One Mom’s Passion :: From the Corporate World to Owning Her Own Business

We are so thankful to Dr. Breeze and Next Level Urgent Care for continuing to share valuable information with our readers this year!

We were fortunate enough to chat with Next Level Urgent Care’s CEO and Medical Director, Dr. Juliet Breeze, to ask her a few questions about how she started Next Level, what drives her, and how she balances it all. {Spoiler alert :: no magic here!} At Houston Moms Blog, we so admire powerful women entrepreneurs and we hope her story inspires you, too!

Why did you start Next Level Urgent Care?

Back in 2012 I had just stepped down from my role as CEO of a large orthopedic practice.  I was enjoying a spring day of swimming with my children when my son came up from a deep dive, screaming in pain.  I was pretty sure he had ruptured his eardrum but it was Saturday afternoon and his pediatrician wasn’t open.  Even though I am a physician, I have a strict rule against treating my own children.  I figured we could go try out the new “free-standing emergency room” nearby to get a quick diagnosis and some pain medicine for him.  The ER was very nice and super-efficient.  We were in and out in no time at all and saw a physician for all of two minutes {because that was all we needed}.  I thought that it was an ideal healthcare experience. That is, until we got the bill.  The charge was $800 for a quick peek in the ear and a prescription.  I was shocked and upset by a bill that high even with insurance.  I began to ask my friends and neighbors what they do about medical care when their doctor wasn’t available.  All of them told me that they usually just went to the ER.  When I asked about the cost, they admitted that the prices were usually outrageous but they wanted to make sure they received adequate and relatively quick care.

I immediately saw this as my opportunity to use my experience to make an impact on my community and provide a service that was not readily available at that time.  I wanted to design clinics that could handle most of the things that people used emergency rooms for but at far lower costs.  The idea was to achieve cost efficiencies by developing multiple centers across the city that all shared the large expenses.  Ultimately, I was able to create clinics that operated with lower overhead. This savings was passed on to consumers giving our centers the ability to treat many conditions at one tenth the cost of an ER visit.

How is it following your passion?

Next Level Urgent Care has been my opportunity to roll all my experience and interests in to one company.  I started my career as a family physician before I was attracted to the healthcare business realm. I spent 10 years building an orthopedic super-group where I developed ancillary businesses like physical therapy, imaging, surgery centers, and finally hospitals.  This broad background supplied me with all the tools I needed to create highly efficient, stream-lined facilities.  Urgent Care also combines pieces of my medical background as a family physician plus lots and lots of orthopedic injuries.

Finally, Next Level has been a platform for me to pursue my passion for finding solutions to high costs in healthcare.  I love the idea that I am working to create savings for everyone while maintaining quality. That makes me proud.

How do you balance running a company, family and taking care of “you”?

I get asked this question a lot! And honestly I kind of hate it because I don’t feel balanced at all. Some days it’s all about my kids, some days I make sacrifices because I need to work. I’ll be honest, “me time” is definitely the hardest to work in.  But, when I need a break, I take it.  Every day I determine what the number one priority is and that’s how I do it. No magic answers here! 

What is your biggest lesson learned and what advice would you give entrepreneur mom starting her business?

When I am doing something I love and feel strongly connected to, I have more energy and more “time” even though I work more hours as an entrepreneur.  If you are waiting to pursue your dream until kids are grown or husband’s job is stable or for any other reason, you may be making the wrong choice for everyone involved.

I think my family would agree that we are all happier and I am a better mom when I am pursuing my passion instead of working at something that doesn’t feel meaningful.

Juliet Breeze, MD graduated from Northwestern University in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in English. In 1995, she earned her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine. She completed residency training in Family Practice at Memorial Hermann Southwest in 1998 where she received the Norma Culver Outstanding Family Practice Resident award. She founded a private practice in Richmond, Texas and worked in group practice for four and half years before leaving to pursue the business aspect of medicine.

She served as the CEO of Richmond Bone and Joint Clinic for ten years and the President of Kingsland Surgery Center for three years. She has project-managed all aspects of design, construction, and operations for several hospitals, surgical centers, and physician practice start-ups.

Currently she serves as CEO and Medical Director of Next Level Urgent Care, LLC where she is able to combine her business skills with her primary care background. In Next Level Urgent Care she has combined her customer experience focus with her dedication to quality and consistency of care.

Dr. Breeze enjoys traveling, language study, and cooking in her free time. She also enjoys time with her husband, children and host of pets.

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