We had the good fortune of connecting with Alana Kennedy-Nasser, MD and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alana, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Life is short. If you CAN be your own boss, do it. Small business owners and entrepreneurs tend to be risk takers, willing to fly without a firm safety net. I know that starting the first concierge, membership based, insurance free pediatric practice in the greater Houston area was a very big risk. However, having spent my prior medical years working for a large pediatric academic center, I recognized that most medical business models rely on a revolving door of large volumes of patients, with physicians spending too much time on the never ending “clicking” of boxes in an electronic medical record to maximize insurance reimbursement. And I knew that I would rather spend that time really, really getting to know my patients, their parents, their pets, their fears, their passions, their medical issues and their life changes. So, starting the practice was the easy part!
What should our readers know about your business?
We started purePEDIATRICS in 2013, as the first membership-based concierge pediatric practice in Houston. During the past 7 years, we have watched our small practice grow to a beautiful space in Bellaire with the addition of an amazing pediatrician, Dr. Kelly Hodges, and a great family nurse practitioner, Camille Canty. While staying true to our core values, we know that preventive health is a family-based approach to living a healthy lifestyle, not just quick visits to the doctor once per year. We are one of the few practices to do HOUSE CALLS (and we love doing them!) Our greatest hurdle early on was simply that no one knew we existed! Forming relationships with other medical community members was key to our success. We spent a lot of time and effort networking and really getting to know our fellow pediatric specialists and pediatric providers throughout the city. If someone needs a neurosurgeon tomorrow, we have their number and call it. We keep close relationships with specialists so that if our patients need further care, we are closely involved in that process. Our greatest strength is not a medical one at all. We actually have FUN every day. We have a dynamic team with a great culture. We dress up for Halloween. We read children’s books on Instagram. We love to come to work. We enjoy running into our families at the grocery store (and checking out their carts!) Our greatest compliment is having a patient wave us down in the street or running up to us at a restaurant. And knowing them by name, and their parents, and even many of the grandparents, is immeasurable. Not only to them, but to us.
As part of our commitment to keeping families healthy and happy, our next BIG step is expansion of the practice to include adult concierge medicine as well! Through the years, I have been asked by parents, “How do I find a doctor just like you for me?” And now, I have a GREAT answer. Dr. Dean Nasser, who is trained in internal medicine, pulmonary and critical care, will be joining us in November to start seeing the parents of our amazing patients as part of our family membership plan. He is excited to join our practice (and we are VERY excited to finally have him!) Current members of the practice are probably already very familiar with Dr. Nasser – as not only one of the best doctors around but also as my husband of nearly 20 years. He is awesome. We are lucky to have him!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Favorite Spots in the City: 1) Memorial Park, Arboretum, Hermann Park, Rice Loop – early morning sunrises with a healthy dose of exercise to start the day 2) Lunch spots: Prefer trendy patios with healthy options – Local Foods, Flower Child or The ‘401 in Bellaire are a few of my favorite grab and go spots 3) Houston Arts/Musical Theater/Symphony – I am a huge fan of anything/everything in our Arts district, whether seeing a Broadway show (the most recent was the amazing “Come From Away” the weekend before the city shut down!) 4) Astros games – previously a near weekly event (Tuesday nights were our favorite) last summer – can’t wait for 2021 to get back into the stadium. 5) Dinner spots – the River Oaks District is a must-see, from dinner to interesting shopping (we can find anything at Saint Bernard it seems); Truck Yard (and most anything in EaDo) is a great place to hear some live music and have a little outdoor fun
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Entrepreneurs cannot brave the path alone, as there will be pitfalls and challenges along the way. When I broached the idea of starting the first concierge pediatric practice in Houston to my husband, children, parents, in-laws and close friends, their immediate response was unanimously, “Absolutely.” From spreading the word, to helping with events or even answering phones, I will be eternally grateful for their love and support.
Haley Webster, Three Smudges Photography (Dr. Alana solo2 and Dr. Alana candid)