Healthy Life Clinic, Inc.
2011 SCORE Award - Outstanding Small Business Launched By An Individual 50+
While some retire to a life of ease, Dr. Gary Bickford retired from DuPont Medical Diagnostic Division with a very different plan. Dr. Bickford’s dream was to bring critically -needed health care services to the poor and medically underserved in East Tennessee. While at DuPont, he’d already earned a PhD in Health Systems. At age 56, he enrolled in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville to become a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner. Leaving nothing to chance, and in preparation of opening his own clinics, he put his skills to the test working in demanding settings, including a hospital emergency room, and an on-site clinic of a manufacturing plant. With a business plan that led to the initial start-up funding, Dr. Bickford opened his first Healthy Life Clinic in late 2009, and credited the invaluable help of SCORE mentor, Chuck Christiansen. By the end of the fourth month his first clinic was generating a respectable $40,000 in revenue. And after only 2 years in business Healthy Life Clinics has hired 27 full-time employees, with a combined location projected revenue for 2011, of $1.7M dollars.
Healthy Life Clinics and Dr. Bickford serve people with otherwise few health care options. Seeing up to 30 patients in a day, Healthy Life Clinics can do everything a doctor's office can, from prescribing medicine, performing minor procedures, and treating common but serious health issues, like high blood pressure and diabetes. Desperate patients are relieved when they learn they’ll be taken care of regardless of insurance.
In January of this year, Dr. Bickford purchased an existing medical practice and it’s building, expanding from one location in 2009 to 4 clinics throughout Knoxville and Jamestown, Tennessee. The rapid growth of the medical facilities affirms to Dr. Bickford 2 things. Number one, more clinics like his are needed, and number two, retirement is highly over rated.