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Put People First & People Get Healthy™
When David Berg and Janice Johnston were attending college in Toronto, they had no idea that they would one day build a healthcare organization that is known for excellent care that puts people first. David, a budding chiropractor, and Janice, a budding family physician, saw themselves graduating, getting married, starting a family, and starting their practices.
Early in their careers, David worked in a small chiropractic clinic in Toronto with Janice assisting on weekends while completing her medical degree and residency. She later went to work at a family practice clinic when they moved to Phoenix in 1995. Both loved taking care of people, getting to know them, seeing them get well and knowing they had a hand in those positive outcomes. It felt good to make a difference, and their life plan seemed to be working.
But then something happened. They began noticing the many flaws in the American healthcare system. They started to ask questions that others in the profession couldn’t seem to answer. They started questioning the effectiveness of what they were doing, the ease and convenience for the people they served, or lack of it. “Is the system making it hard for people to get well?” they wondered. David and Janice came from two different healthcare philosophies – allopathic medicine and chiropractic. Despite their differences, each had an appreciation for the other’s knowledge and expertise. They began to ask, “Why can’t we combine our specialties and the specialties of others into one office? Why should people have to drive all over town to get well? Wouldn’t it be better for them to get the care they need in one place where providers worked together in an organized and well-planned way?” So in 1997, David and Janice traded in their almost-guaranteed “good life” for a dream of creating a better life for the people they served.
“All we did was ask people what they wanted,” said David. “And we were overwhelmed with the openness and honesty of the responses. In general, they found the healthcare industry routinely was letting them down.”
People told David and Janice what they liked, what they didn’t like; what they wanted and what bothered them most about healthcare. The couple took it all in and using this knowledge, built Arrowhead Health Centers.Because of its roots, the practice looked, sounded, and acted like no other practice in Arizona (and possibly America). Online scheduling, same-day/next day appointments, an On-time Promise, and visits by phone are just a few examples of the many ways Arrowhead Health Centers acts on the feedback they receive.
Arrowhead Health Centers now has six locations in Arizona and has received the coveted Patient-Centered Medical Home (Level 3) recognition by NCQA. Their comprehensive, integrated systematic approach, their understanding of how to run a highly functioning Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home, the respect and care they show people, their willingness and ability to listen, the many systems and processes that give consistently wonderful customer experiences — these are the things that set Arrowhead Health Centers apart.
Despite Arrowhead Health Centers’ success, David and Janice give most of the credit to the people who knew what they wanted, but were missing, in healthcare. As David and Janice put it, “All we did was ask.”