We asked some of our long-time small business customers why they chose — and continue to choose — Wellmark for their health coverage. Here's the story of Audiology Specialty Clinic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a business owned and run by three women.
When business is booming, it may be tempting to hire out the more tedious tasks of running an office: someone to answer the phones, schedule appointments or clean the bathrooms. But the owners of Audiology Specialty Clinic External Site in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, do it all. In fact, they make the most of it. “At the end of the week, we scrub the place top to bottom, then we order pizza,” says Melinda Heegel, one of the three audiologists at the clinic. Her colleagues, Dr. Kristen Kaufman and Dr. Lindsey Koch, have always been on board with the ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach. “Our relationship is built on mutual trust and teamwork. We have a deep respect for each other, personally and professionally. Plus we have a natural chemistry,” adds Heegel. “And I think we all agree, the behind-the-scenes work grounds us.”
Being approachable is important to the three women, who agree it helps them serve the patients who are at the heart of their business. “Hearing loss is isolating. It is incredibly important to one’s quality of life," says Heegel. "We see patients of all ages with a variety of hearing problems."
Their business is growing as baby boomers are less likely to sit back and accept hearing loss as part of life. “They know the technology is out there, and they want to live their best lives," according to Heegel. "We see it all. We are there when a baby is diagnosed with hearing loss, but we can also be there the first time the baby hears it's mother’s voice. It’s both emotionally draining and incredibly rewarding.”
The women have more than 80 years of experience between them, and they represent three different generations. “We all bring something to the table,” says Heegel. “We need each other’s collective brainpower to keep up with everything going on in our field, as it’s constantly evolving. We have to be extremely tech-savvy.”
While most clinics offer a certain line of products to their patients, Audiology Specialty Clinic takes a different, more demanding approach. "There are literally thousands of products out there. So, we do the research to find the right product to suit each patient's needs. We believe this is the type of service that sets us apart.”
When it was time to select health plan benefits, the women knew they needed the same type of personalized service their patients expect. “We wanted the right product from the get-go. We have demanding jobs and busy families,” says Heegel. “For us, it was ultimately about having access to a broad provider network, which gives us peace of mind.” She adds, “Wellmark was the obvious choice. It’s just one less thing we need to worry about. As a business owner, that means everything.”
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About the series
We wanted to learn more about why some of our long-time small business customers continue to choose Wellmark for their health coverage in their own words. Trust, shared values, experience, longevity and understanding continually came to the forefront.
Thank you to Audiology Specialty Clinic for sharing their story with us.