Hermes Healthcare is a primary care practice that specializes in foot care. Founded in April 2015 by nurse practitioner and owner Jayne Hermes, it serves over 5,000 patients in 75 locations throughout Kansas. More than twenty staff members consisting of nurse practitioners, nurses, medical assistants and office personnel focus on providing adult foot care for their patients. Cardiologist and peripheral vascular interventionist Dr. Ravi Bajaj is the collaborating physician for the practice.
Owner Jayne Hermes shared information about the challenges and rewards of operating a growing healthcare practice in this interview.
Describe the mission of Hermes Healthcare.
We fill a clinically neglected gap in healthcare and enhance the quality of life of those we serve by providing excellent foot care and education. Healthy feet are an important part of maintaining independence and enhancing quality of life. Caring for them as we age can be difficult due to failing vision, as well as decreased mobility and flexibility. Diabetes, heart, kidney, and neurological problems put people at risk of loss of limb, making screening, prevention, and education paramount. Peripheral vascular disease is largely unrecognized and can cause foot and leg pain and non-healing wounds leading to amputation. Foot and toe deformities compound the problem by creating pressure points that can lead to painful sores.
Because routine foot care can prevent foot and leg complications and help patients keep their independence, many of our services are covered by Medicare and other insurances if patients have a qualifying diagnosis. Foot care includes a thorough foot exam and assessment of circulation and sensation, trimming and cleaning of nails, reduction of calluses, removal of ingrowing nails, and freezing plantar warts. We also provide education on foot care, safety, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and other health conditions. We test for peripheral artery occlusion if indicated.
Describe your most recent successes.
— We recently surpassed 5,000 patients.
— April 2 was our third anniversary.
— We’ve outgrown our current facility and are in the process of moving to a new location at 3343 W. Central, which will open in May.
— Our services were profiled in The Wichita Eagle on April 5. That story generated 15 new patients for us on the day the article ran plus a number of inquiries. We’ve continued to gain three to six new patients per day as a result of that article.
To what do you attribute your success?
I think this was God’s plan. It certainly isn’t something I envisioned. The need and opportunity just presented themselves.
What differentiates your business from your competitors?
Our foot care services are different from podiatry in that podiatrists focus on the structure and function of the foot. Our focus is on circulation, sensation, screening, and education.
What is something people may not know about you or your business?
People don’t know about the prevalence of peripheral vascular disease or that professional foot care is recommended and covered by insurance if present.
Where do you see your business in five years?
Because, atherosclerosis (plaque) is not usually localized, I can see our services expanding to screening, treating and referring for coronary artery disease and carotid disease. While peripheral vascular disease causes pain and poor healing, patients with it usually die of heart disease and stroke. It’s also conceivable that we could expand into other states and regions.
What about your business are you most passionate?
Providing exceptional patient care and a positive work environment.
Why did you join the Chamber and what do you think will be most valuable about Chamber membership?
I joined the Chamber to network and tap into business and leadership resources and marketing opportunities. I find opportunities like this Member Minute to be quite valuable in increasing visibility and exposure.
What is your favorite Chamber event, program, or service and why?
I appreciate opportunities to learn about the success of other area businesses via Chamber communication initiatives. I’ve been watching the Nuggets of Wisdom (N.O.W.) videos produced by M.A.D. Ad Company about Chamber members. I’m learning a lot about area businesses which is not only beneficial professionally, but personally. I now know where to have my next diamond ring designed and where to get my craft beer.
What has Chamber membership brought to you and your business?
Exposure, visibility and opportunities to network.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how strongly would you recommend Chamber membership to a colleague? Why?
A 10 because of the opportunities for networking and exposure, resources, support and communication about Wichita leadership and events.
What is your biggest challenge as a small business?
Keeping up with Medicare/insurance policies and regulations.
What’s your best piece of advice for new small business owners?
Discover hidden talents of your staff and put them in a position to best utilize those talents.
Why do you like doing business in the Wichita area?
We are headquartered in Wichita and have many loyal and supportive patients.
Favorite business app?
Up to Date (clinical decision support tool)
Favorite business book?
Nurse Practitioner’s Business Practice and Legal Guide by Carolyn Buppert.
What’s the most effective social media tool for your business?
We use Facebook to recruit qualified staff as well as new patients.