By David Martin, President and CEO of VeinInnovations
Two weeks ago, the VeinInnovations staff and many of their family members participated in Heart Walk. We had a great time volunteering at the photo booth, chatting with participants and celebrating the great start of fall weather together. As I wrote last week, the most important part of the event was education and awareness. The American Heart Association’s Heart Walk is an annual event to reach out to communities across the nation about prevention of heart disease and stroke. It’s also one of their biggest fundraisers – money raised by participants goes to research, as well as community and professional education programs.
We decided to donate and participate for several reasons. As health care providers, it’s our mission to improve the health of our patients and the community we live in. Organizations all over Atlanta reach out. Linda Matzigkeit of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta was kind enough to speak with me about their efforts to curb childhood obesity. Becoming a visible advocate for health in your community benefits your community and benefits your practice. You’re reaching out to potential patients and other health care organizations.
To thrive as a small practice, you’ve got to find creative ways to grow your practice. Volunteering at large events like Heart Walk is one way of many to increase your profile in the community. Perhaps your practice could host a health fair. An endocrinology practice could spend a Saturday inviting patients and the community to learn about diabetes, prevention, and proper care for eyes and feet. You know you’ll have an attentive audience – those that attend came just to hear you. If you do a good job, you’ve just increased your referral pool.
Host a blood drive. In Georgia, the blood shortage is severe. Hosting a blood drive saves lives, and connects you to your community. If your practice operates out of a medical office building, you can invite all the other health care providers to participate. You’ll make connections with medical professionals right next door. When so much of medicine is specialized, connecting to other practices is important.
At the end of the day, doing something good in your neighborhood is the reward in itself. Altruism lifts you up while it lifts others up. It’s a happy coincidence that you can “do well by doing good” as the saying goes. If you’re looking for proof, you can see more photos of the Vein team at Heart Walk on our Facebook page.