Jane Gonzalez is no ordinary woman.
Resonating from the San Antonio native is the strong demeanor of a compassionate woman who sets no boundaries, only opportunities for her life and the lives of countless others. As founder of MEDwheels, Jane says it’s not simply a company to her, it’s a mission. She sets the stage as a leader, visionary, pioneer and political activist to provide patients who are under medical distress, off ering all the same conveniences and care a hospital provides in the comfort of their own homes and surroundings.
MEDwheels is a San Antonio Local Company
MEDwheels, a locally based durable medical equipment company that provides home care products to its patients, incorporates a cost-eff ective and convenient business model focused on the patient, the #1 priority. “We stand behind our products,” she says. “We guarantee our customers are satisfied. Not everyone works by that philosophy.”
A Pioneer Effort
After graduating from Our Lady of the Lake University, Jane moved to Houston, and in the early 1980’s, relocated to the East Coast where for the last seven years before starting MEDwheels, she was involved in the defense industry. Jane served as General Manager and built network protectors for the military. The idea to switch career paths took its turn two years ago when Jane’s brother, Roland, proposed the idea to form a medical home care company. Jane admits it was a huge leap, considering she’d been away from her hometown for twenty years. “San Antonio is a terrific city and I wanted to do it,” she explains. In June 2005, MEDwheels opened its doors to the community. Today, Roland functions as Director of Operations. His wife, Yvonne, controls billing and followups, and Ralph, Jane’s eldest brother will soon relocate from the West Coast to join the family business. Ralph brings 25 years of healthcare experience and is well versed in this everchanging healthcare environment, while Jane maintains her roots as both the company’s pioneer and healthcare advocate for her patients.
“Nobody does it as good as we do,” says Jane. As a family-owned business, run by an assertive individual who is fueled by passion and who some might even label a bit of a spitfire, Jane consistently stands amongst the public advocating for change within the medical community and political canvas in order to raise a powerful voice for those who are less able to do so for themselves.
In the political chaos of healthcare; the culprit of insurance inequities and regulations is an on-going battle between medical providers and those with limited resources. Where does one gain access to medical care that is not entangled in the strife between political power and fair governance? Among all the political dialogue, who will stand up to represent the voice of the people? They say it takes one person to make a difference, to lead an army to victory. Jane is one such person. She engages in continual political advocacy for the patient, negotiating with doctors, politicians, and insurance providers to ensure the patient is properly provided for. “My goal is to increase political awareness by voice of the community.” Her obvious greatest challenge lies in the turmoil of the DME (Durable Medical Equipment) industry. Unfortunately, in the midst of undergoing the challenges associated with health insurance, the DME is in a constant state of influx as regulations increase and services are on the decline, causing many companies to go bankrupt. However, Jane and her team insist they understand the regulatory changes that will affect the industry and have strategic plans to circumvent those challenges. “We’re here for the community,” she advocates. “We’ll do whatever it takes to stay here and serve San Antonio.”
A New Endeavor
Starting September 2007, home healthcare will be an additional service MEDwheels provides. MEDwheels is currently set up to create a functional living environment for those under medical care. However, with the new expansion, MEDwheels will now be a one-stop home care company. “You don’t want to have patients deal with multiple faces for multiple providers. We’ll provide everything to service our patients under one umbrella,” she says. “MEDwheels will stand behind that service.”
MEDwheels receives referrals predominantly from the strong relationships it maintains with doctors, health agencies, specialty medical groups and patients who gladly refer family and friends. “The relationships I build are longterm,” she says. It can be as simple as calling a patient to ask how they are doing that distinguishes MEDwheels as a customer focused company rather than a fly by night service. “I don’t like services in a vacuum,” she stresses. “Everyone has to be engaged in the dialogue.”
In the next year or so, MEDwheels plans to take the company national. “We want to have a real impact in this community and all over the country,” she says enthusiastically. “During their most difficult times, our priority is to bring a sense of freedom and even a little joy into our patient’s everyday lives.”
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