Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Title:               Kaplan University Transforming Students
Byline:            From academics to entrepreneurs!
Author:            Dorette Nysewander, EdD, “DrD”

In 2009 an inspiring entrepreneur returns to college after many years away from academia to pursue the dream of owning her health and wellness business. In her own words, “while terrified about the unknown task ahead”, she was met by a professor for her first two classes that encouraged the thought process… Students, "It's never too late to be what you might have been" by George Eliot. Later she learned that George Eliot was actually a woman named Mary Ann Evans! The professor’s classroom manner, style of teaching and structure provided the foundation to press forward in completing Kaplan undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Who is this entrepreneur? It is my pleasure to present the accomplishments of Bobbie Covington Stokes, MSHE. In August 2014 Ms. Stokes completed a Master of Science in Health Education. With degree in hand she set out to name and register her S-CORP woman-owned small business, Your Health and Wellness Company, Inc. The organization’s mission is community health. In February 2015 the doors opened to service chronically ill and obese clients. Ms. Stokes wrote the program using the information learned in her Kaplan graduate program. The 3-step program implements health education, nutrition counseling and health related physical activity. Through this process the impact in five months of operation has been high retention rates and multiple success stories.

Business is location, location, location and Your Health and Wellness Company is perfectly positioned to care for the target population of underserved and indigent clientele. The facility has classrooms for health education, nutritional counseling and floor space with weights, cardiovascular machines and stretching areas for the physical activity or exercise programs. Local independent internal medicine physicians and one Carolina’s Medical Center physician refer their patients to the center. Ms. Stokes and colleagues are in the credentialing phase for Medicaid, Medicare, bidding on opportunities in Federal Business Opportunities and, in addition to working with other insurance companies and joining the local Chamber of Commerce.

Recognizing that there are not a multitude of ICD-9 Codes for prevention, wellness, and intervention services, as learned through Kaplan University the solution for business and social challenges are networking and research. Part of her process has been to network with the Small Business Administration, local politicians within the center's district and utilize the services of an independent public relations specialist. Through research she has identified for future exploration ABC Codes [codes for health and wellness reimbursement] and becoming a part of the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System or NPI Number. This allows the connectivity between working as a woman-owned business supporting patients of internal medicine physicians and receiving reimbursement from insurance companies.   

Hope you have enjoyed reading about the successful path that Ms. Stokes has taken from academics to entrepreneurs and learned from her professional savvy. Encourage you to reach out to her if you have an interest in this area or continue reading about her organization:

Your Health and Wellness Company, Inc.
2920 N. Tryon St Suite 212
Charlotte, NC 28206
(704) 604-3089
Keeping you well is our goal!


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Kaplan Center for Health and Wellness
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