'It's an experience.' Meaningful patient care key at JenCare Senior Medical Centers

Smaller patient loads, frequent communication, and a focus on preventative care help JenCare Senior Medical Centers in Louisville keep their seniors living in underserved communities healthy, company leaders say.

JenCare, which has been in the Louisville market for a decade, was recognized in this year's Top Workplaces survey with the Meaningfulness Award. Top Workplaces, is a partnership with Energage, which has been 15 years researching employers with highly engaged workforces.

In asking what employees found most meaningful about their jobs, "patients" and "impact" consistently appeared in survey responses.

"Rescuing the neediest population, flexibility of my schedule, being able to create memorable experiences for seniors in my community," one employee said.

"The opportunity to make a difference in the lives of seniors and those who need it the most," wrote another.

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JenCare won the Cone Eater award during the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Great Bed Races at Broadbent Arena in Louisville, Ky. on May 2, 2022.
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Between its four primary care offices in or near Newburg, Shively, Valley Station and California, the medical provider employs about 170 people and serves about 7,000 patients.

Dr. Richard Baney, the regional chief medical officer overseeing Atlanta and Louisville offices, said staff in Louisville strive to provide “loving, attentive care” to patients, who generally are 65 and over and live below the poverty line.

“The meaningfulness of this job is so different. It really touches your heart,” Baney said. “It’s not just a job. It’s an experience. It’s more than a career. It’s the excitement and satisfaction of being involved in the lives of these patients.”

Doctors see patients in person at least once per month and may chat via phone more often than that, Baney said. Patients and doctors have each other's phone numbers, encouraging communication and trust building.

“Our providers form incredibly close relationships with their patients,” he said. “It’s a very different paradigm than you have in your typical fee-for-service practice where it’s not as personal."

Founded in 1994 in Miami, parent company ChenMed operates more than 100 medical offices across 15 states with some 4,000 U.S. employees.

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Smaller patient load for JenCare physicians (about 400 people) helps keep connections personal, elevating patient care and well-being, said Regional Vice President George Payne.

Payne said the company embraces the idea that taking care of employees means better care for the seniors they serve. This includes thorough onboarding and training, job advancement opportunities, and financial assistance during difficult times.

"You need someone that is outgoing, loving and willing to stretch themselves," Payne said. "Our care teams know each one of their 400 patients — and often their grandkids and dogs, too."

Reach Business reporter Matt Glowicki at mglowicki@courier-journal.com.

JenCare Senior Medical Centers

Locations in the region: 4

Founded: 1994

Ownership: Private

Employees in the region: 169

Top executive: Dr. James Chen

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Helping underserved seniors is meaningful work for JenCare employees