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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives
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Shay Kerman

COO & Co-owner

Urgent Care Solutions dba AFC Urgent Care

Location: Denver, CO

Founded: 2013

Industry: Healthcare

The biggest risk of all may be starting a business, says Shay Kerman, COO and co-owner of AFC Urgent Care, because of the personal sacrifices involved and having no certainty that it will work.

“You put in your entire savings and give up family time and a good portion of your personal life,” she said. “We wanted to create something good that would benefit our employees, families, patients and the community. However, you never really know how it’s going to go.

“The other side of risk, though, is reward. When the risk pays off, it’s incredible. We created a great team of professionals that care deeply about patient care and have a deep commitment to doing good for the community. It’s a wonderful feeling.”

AFC Urgent Care aims to be the most valued and trusted Urgent Care Group in Colorado. “We will achieve this by exceeding the expectations of every patient in providing excellent patient care and keeping visit times to a minimum,” the company said.

In the past year, under Kerman’s leadership, AFC Urgent Care focused on its corporate culture, formalizing a commitment to continuous improvement and social responsibility in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company invested in coaching and training, including outside trainers, to make sure employees’ skills and expertise were ready for the challenges in the marketplace, regardless of what comes next.

The company also worked with Project C.U.R.E. to send medical supplies to Ukraine and Africa. “Not only did we collect and donate supplies and underwrite shipping costs, but our team members worked to help gather and prepare supplies for donations,” the company said. “This brought team members together for a common cause that aligns perfectly with our mission of providing caring, compassionate healthcare. Social responsibility has become an essential element of our corporate culture.”

The company also leveraged digital technology to improve its efficiency in the last year. It initiated work-from-home options for positions that were able to work remotely and added telehealth capabilities. In the past, there was a stigma associated with providing remote healthcare, both from the provider and patient perspective, the company said. Now, patients are more comfortable with the technology and requesting it. So, AFC Urgent Care invested in technology and training to make sure it could deliver high-quality healthcare with telehealth.

Kerman has also worked to learn and grow personally in the last year.

“The biggest lesson learned over the past year has been embracing vulnerability,” Kerman said. “As a leader, being vulnerable means admitting that you don’t have all the answers or being upfront with your team when you make mistakes. Leaders work hard trying to have all the answers, but the reality is they can’t know everything. Too many leaders try to fake it, yet employees are fully aware and often have better answers, especially when it comes to answers about operational issues. Vulnerability shows team members that you are honest with them and emphasizes the importance of being open and trusting.”

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