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Honoree Headshot

Baha Zeidan

Chief Executive Officer
Azalea Health

Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Founded: 2008
Industry: Healthcare IT

Don H Bravaldo

The healthcare industry as a whole is inherently complex. The healthcare technology industry, designed to streamline processes and support medical personnel in doing their jobs better, adds a layer of complexity. These are compounded when technology is cumbersome, expensive and time consuming.

Baha Zeidan and his colleague Doug Swords witnessed this firsthand while working together at a Valdosta medical laboratory in 2006. Electronic Health Records (EHRs) were relatively new then. Mandated for government use, the technology was geared toward regulatory mandates, not the medical professional or patient. Recognizing the frustration caused by EHRs — slow billing processes, lower revenue, long patient wait times and attention shifted away from patients — Zeidan knew there had to be a better way.

Zeidan and Swords left their stable, well-paying jobs to establish Azalea Health. What began as a billing software company has grown into a complete EHR suite with electronic medical record, practice management, analytics, patient engagement and RCM solutions focused on serving healthcare providers in underserved populations. Zeidan took a very complex problem in one of the most complex industries with little resources and no funding and created an easy-to-use solution that helps underserved healthcare providers improve patient care and profitability.

Where many saw an impossible mountain of complexities, Zeidan saw an incredible opportunity. “Everyone should have access to easy-to-use technology, tools and services to keep communities and their patients healthy and happy,” he said. This mission remains intact nearly 15 years later. In the next five years, Zeidan expects to continue to grow the business, expand into larger enterprise companies and larger hospitals and look for other underserved specialties, such as behavioral health.

Over the past 14 years, Zeidan has grown Azalea’s revenue from a two-person, $5 million company to a $37 million organization, attracting top-tier private equity investors and employing more than 250 employees. Azalea has made many acquisitions in recent years and will continue to explore future acquisitions to expand its products and services.

Zeidan has been recognized with multiple awards, including the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Most Admired CEO (2019), The Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 (2018), and Tag Hub Magazine’s Georgia Healthcare IT (2016). In addition, Azalea Health, under Zeidan’s leadership, was included on the Inc. 5000, a prestigious ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in America.

Staying true to Azalea’s original mission in the face of accelerated growth is important to Zeidan. To do this, he understands the importance of listening to his team, acting as a mentor to others, and enabling his people to do their best work. “The best leaders,” he says, “are focused on the big picture but are adaptable to change.” Zeidan keeps his focus on employee happiness and success by adopting a hands-on approach to business in which everyone in the company feels heard, valued and included.

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Baha shares his birthday with his two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Aya .

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