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The Little Guys in the Big Corporate World Fuel Success

I was intrigued when I visited CEO Vicky Samuelson of HG Doctors, now with facilities in Coral Springs (Coral Springs Medical & Dental), Hallandale Beach (Hallandale Medical Center), and Delray Beach (Delray Medical & Dental).  Not ONLY because they were a new facility in Coral Springs.  Not ONLY because they appeared to be successful, and not ONLY because Samuelson was lovely and seemed genuine.

What initially grabbed my attention were actually two things.  First, the team was extremely warm and welcoming when I walked in the door.  Not just friendly.  Friendly is much easier.  They were authentically warm and welcoming.  When I returned to my office, I looked at their google reviews, and they are quite impressive.  In fact, really amazing.  I knew there was something special about this team.

Further, this for-profit facility included a Senior Activity Center for the benefit of our community.  With an almost 1000 sq. ft. room that brought in no profit but offered classes and support groups. Some of the courses included but were not limited too, Silver Sneakers®, chair yoga, meditation classes, arts & crafts, painting, wellness lectures, and grief support groups for the residents of our community.  I love WOW moments. And that I had!!  Two of them.  Nice, right? But there is more to this story.

I learned of HG Doctors, Coral Springs Medical & Dental when visiting as an ambassador with the Coral Springs Coconut Creek Regional Chamber of Commerce. After that very brief meeting, I knew I needed to return in another capacity.

I love to study successful businesses with high-value cultures and wanted to visit Vicky again in my role as a consultant.  After all, they won me over, and I didn’t even know them!

What can I learn from this company?  Would they be willing to share so that others benefit, I wondered.

A month or so later, I sat down with Samuelson and her COO, Randy Kirshbaum.  Here are a few other things that I thought were shareworthy.

First, when many other medical facilities closed in 2020 due to Covid constraints, they flourished.  Why? As a medical facility, I learned that it was extremely difficult to find medical equipment (E.g., PPE equipment).   And, when they COULD find this equipment, it was expensive.  “We refused to run and hide,” said Kirshbaum. So, instead, this team searched for and paid the high PPE costs. 

And they did more! This small, privately-owned business added an internal lab to support their patients with covid testing, blood draws, and other needs. But, of course, this lab added even more to their overhead cost.

There must be more, you might think. And you would be correct. So how did they continue to grow their business when other medical offices were closing in a new location?

Because they stuck it out and increased their testing capabilities, the Department of Health learned of their abilities and reputation. So they referred patients to them, a lot of patients. That was huge, according to Kirshbaum. The investments in the lab and the high cost of the PPE equipment paid off.

And what about staffing? Did they struggle to keep employees?  Of their 65 employees, they did not lose one! They used both routine meetings to communicate and regular touches to motivate and thank their employees. They also conduct employee surveys.

I also asked about their benefits, and it is a nice package.  My favorite pieces include a 401K (no requirement for employees to match) and profit-sharing.  Each year, they have turned a profit and shared it with their employees.

I asked where their quite impressive company culture started.  Where did that fire start in the heart of this CEO?   I learned about Samuelson’s father, Dr. Hernando Giraldo.

The late Dr. Giraldo started the first location in 1979, then known as Boulevard Medical Center. It started out with just three employees and one medical doctor.  Later, Dr. Giraldo changed the name to Hallandale Medical Center, where 42 years after first opening, and now having over 30 employees and five medical providers, it continues to be a staple amongst the Hallandale Beach and surrounding communities. Dr. Giraldo was clearly a wonderful man, and his family followed his lead.  Here are some of the lessons they learned from dear dad and mom.

He was generous.  Dr. Girlado was not wealthy, yet he and his wife sent money to his extended family living abroad to help pay for college. He also was brilliant at earning loyalty.  In addition to his generosity, he was all about his patients and supporting his team.  Employees would see him providing free medical services to those who could not afford it and mentoring those looking for guidance.  One of the doctors that worked with him came to Samuelson’s aid when she first took over the practice. “He saved our practice – all because of the loyalty he had for my father,” Samuelson said.

There is so much more to this story, so many wonderful stories, but I believe you can get the picture.  And this touches my heart for many reasons.

As one that spends a lot of time speaking & consulting on developing customer and employee relationships, I knew this was a story that needed to be shared.

Giving and kindness create karma. And sometimes, the way to success is what scares you the most.  Absorb the details of this story, and ask yourself what you can do differently.  I know I did!

Parone Group is a consulting firm enhancing organizational effectiveness.
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