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MBA students advise USF Health center on marketing

From the Board Room to the Exam Room Monsour Executive Wellness Center at USF Health

Students advising the Executive Wellness Center

Tampa, FL (May 10, 2013) — Competing with big names like the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic might seem like a challenge, but a group of MBA students recently advised board members of USF's Monsour Executive Wellness Center on how they could do just that.

As a final project in their MBA capstone course, the group had been tasked with developing a tailored marketing plan for the center. Board members listened to MBA students Michelle Fournier, Jennifer Kotwicki, Ryan Lester, Baljinder Singh, Cory Stott, and Zhenyu Tian as they described ways that the center could emphasize its strengths and shore up its weaknesses to gain a larger share of the executive market. The group's recommendations included making the center's website more searchable, improved documenting of interactions with customers, and focusing on businesses beyond Fortune 500 companies.

The Monsour Executive Wellness Center, now in its third year, offers busy executives an all-encompassing physical with just a half-day time commitment. Clients spend the day at USF's Carol & Frank Morsani Center for Advanced Healthcare, where physicians provide complete physical exams and a full panel of laboratory tests. With four staff physicians and a personal health concierge/program director, the center is poised to become a national model for executive health

Dr. Stephen Klasko, CEO for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine, told the students at the beginning of their presentation that he had done a similar project at The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School as an MBA student. He said that business executives attending the presentation by him and his classmates took offense to any suggestions of weaknesses in the company. A few months later, the company was in bankruptcy and the chief executive had been indicted.

"So that's the lesson, we're willing to listen," he said, laughing.

One of the center's strengths the student group quickly honed in on was the relatively small amount of time required for executives to get a comprehensive checkup — only half a day — while the center's competitors require one to two days minimum. The Monsour Executive Wellness Center also does not bill patients using health insurance, unlike other competitors, which is a net positive because it reassures their executive patients that they have full confidentiality and that their companies will not find out about any health issues.

"These clients aren't going to the Mayo Clinic because 'they take my insurance,' they're going because it's the Mayo Clinic," Fournier said.

"Once you realize your core competencies and what makes you different from other clinics in the state, you'll be able to hit those sales projections," Stott said.

The group focused some of its strongest recommendations on enabling potential patients to easily find out more about the Monsour Executive Wellness Center and on retaining patients who have used the center's services.

The group noted one of the most cost-effective immediate changes the center could implement: strengthen its search engine optimization to enable people to more easily find the center's website, instead of depending upon potential patients navigating through the USF Health site.

"That is our gut feeling," said said Dr. H. James Brownlee, the center's medical director. "We've got to get hits and make it easy for people to find us."

Students also told the board that they felt the center could focus more effort on patient retention, implementing a CRM (customer relations management) system to track patient visits and writing a survey patients could easily fill out on an electronic tablet in a few minutes before leaving their appointment.

"Ask closed-ended questions," Kotwicki said. "An executive doesn't want to sit there and answer questions that start, 'tell us about ...'"

The group also emphasized that although Monsour was focusing on executives at large companies, small business owners might be potential customers as well. For people running a small business, time is literally money, the students noted. Kotwicki said she had told her dentist about the project in passing conversation during an appointment, and he said it sounded like something that would interest him.

"He said, 'I'm losing patients every time I go to the doctor,' " she said.

Group member Fournier said the students felt sure the center could compete nationally with raised awareness of their services.

"It's a great program, you just need to know how to get to your market," she said.

Barbara Harken Monsour, who attended the presentation with her husband, Dr. Roger Monsour, whom the Center is named after, said she thought the center met a strong need in an industry that sometimes loses sight of patients.

"I think we forget that every individual is the executive of their health," she said.

Monsour Executive Wellness Center
13330 USF Laurel Drive
Tampa, FL 33612

Call 813.974.1794 or visit executivewellness.health.usf.edu to learn more.