Several years ago, Melanie Hall had an innovative idea when it came to healthcare — offering a number of services under one roof.
The PIC Place, or Partners in Integrated Care, based in Montrose, came to be as a result. The PIC Place provides medical, dental, vision, behavioral health and physical therapy in one place. Everyone is welcome, as they accept patients with all kinds of insurance, including Medicaid and Medicare, and even those who don’t have any.
The executive director’s forward-thinking, outside-the-box ways were recently recognized when she was accepted into the BBVA Momentum accelerator program. Hall is one of 19 entrepreneurs across the country who are participating in the program, which runs June to November 2019.
This is the third year BBVA is conducting the program in the U.S., but it has been offering this program internationally for years. The goal of the program is to enhance the operations of the organization, but also to expand its reach doing the most good for the most people possible.
Hall applied for the program in January, and in May she was notified she was a finalist. There were 150 finalists who took part speedy interviews conducted by a variety of people. At the end of May, she was notified that she was accepted in the program.
The program has two main parts: onsite learning at the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business; and weekly distance learning which comes out of Spain.
There are three onsite learning sessions, and three weeks on the university campus. The program utilizes the professors at the University of Texas and will have presentations on topics such as economic in terms of impact evaluation. It offers what’s cutting edge right now in terms of business development.
During their onsite time, they will participate in workshops where they take their models and discuss them in a forum.
Although the sessions are intense, there is some down where Hall is able to connect with others.
“I have met the most amazing people through this program,” Hall said. “These are all social entrepreneurs. People who have the same values, creating a better place in the world.”
The group of entrepreneurs together becomes a sort of think-tank for those who are already geared towards thinking of things differently, have a new solution and aren’t afraid to challenge norms, Hall said.
“It’s not just what type of business ownership should I take, it’s what are the long term strategic significances of this path. That’s been really enriching for me to be a part of.”
The fact that there are learning opportunities for development and social entrepreneurship — even from a worldwide perspective — really challenges the entrepreneurs’ thinking, Hall explained. It’s not only about what the PIC Place can do for this area, but what could it do on a larger scale.
“It is exciting, and scary and overwhelming to think about, but I like that they are challenging our assumptions of how much good can you do,” Hall said.
The PIC Place, which is the only healthcare organization in this year’s program, is not only showing up on the national but also the international level. Hall noted that she is a humble person so being recognized on this level can sometimes be uncomfortable, but there is a sense of pride about coming up with fresh ideas.
Hall said the healthcare industry, and how care is provided to those who can’t afford it, is one that needs to be “flipped on its head.” This flip needs to be one that achieves higher health outcomes and can cut the total cost down.
Based on what she has learned, Hall hopes to bring technological advances to the way the PIC Place communicate with the patients, which in turn could impact health outcomes for the patients.
At the end of this program, BBVA will select three businesses to receive funds to expand their reach. There will be a first-place winner who will receive $100,000 and a trip to Spain where the honoree will learn more about international projects; second will receive $50,000; and third will receive $25,000.
Hall has one onsite class to go. She is most excited about what this will do for the people PIC Place takes care of.
“You can manage impact either deep or wide,” Hall said. “Wide is going to be more people — more access, whatever that may be. Wide means that you are creating lasting impact, something that sustains, relationships, changes in paradigm. You’re changing how a mom takes care or sees her health and wellness. That translates to children being raised in a home where that’s now the norm, that’s deep.
“I think our challenge is to always balance deep and wide. It’s not always just do more, it’s do better.”
Monica Garcia is the news editor for the Montrose Daily Press.