If Rudy Yadao is going to take the job, he wants to leave a legacy worth crowing about. Over 24 years, Yadao opened 400 World Market stores, bringing imported home furnishings, gourmet food, and wines to all corners of the US consumer market. With so much success in the retail space, what motivated Yadao to come to GoHealth Urgent Care in 2014?
“I like to be behind a concept that I can really invest in and believe in,” explains Yadao, director of development and construction, build-out, retail store design, and planning. “I really enjoyed working in home furnishings. I did it for a lot of years and I did it well. But I was able to come to GoHealth with the knowledge that there is insufficient distribution of ambulatory care and urgent care in our communities. Bringing that to people who need it is something I could get behind.”
A year after Yadao came to GoHealth Urgent Care, it became the first healthcare company to win the International Council of Shopping Centers US Design and Development Award for its center designs and customer-friendly technological innovations. That concept, Yadao says, started with “location, location, location.”
“Our urgent cares are intentionally fixed in locations where people spend their lives—retail environments where people shop for groceries, do their banking, or go to yoga,” Yadao explains. “People were used to having to go to a certain area of their community that was essentially a healthcare zone. Our model is the exact opposite. We go into retail shopping environments where you can take care of other parts of your life in the same trip you take for healthcare.”
The center design and processes were carefully considered so that common procedures, like the application of stitches, could be done quickly, sending patients on their way sooner. GoHealth Urgent Care streamlined its patient intake processes to cut down on extensive paperwork; even better, a patient could be prompted via text to preregister for their visit or alerted when they could pick up prescriptions or their provider was ready.
Then there are the little considerations that amount to something far larger for patients: GoHealth Urgent Care enlarged exam rooms to accommodate extra family members or strollers so parents could get care for their children with ease. Elements like color-coded signs on exam room doors, soothing scenes on walls, tot-size toilets, and ottoman seating all create an environment attuned to parents and their child’s care.
If this model seems familiar, it’s because the healthcare industry has since followed GoHealth Urgent Care’s lead from nearly a decade ago.
“I think we’ve seen a lot of our competitors try and duplicate our design,” Yadao says with a smile. “But things continue to change and evolve, and I’d like to think we’re ahead of that curve.”
If You Can Build Here
Yadao’s success is in the numbers. GoHealth currently has over 250 centers nationwide, with more opening every week, or at least it seems like it given a simple Google search. Leesburg, Virginia; Deer Park, New York; and Woodlands, Texas, are just a few locations that have opened over the last few months.
But Yadao says one location, above all others, stands out as the most memorable. In 2014, GoHealth initiated its first joint venture with a major healthcare system, New York’s Northwell Health. That partnership resulted in reopening dozens of urgent care centers in a short time, but not without some mountain moving done by the design and construction teams.
“There was so much going on in the building scene of New York in 2014,” he remembers. “The city was cleaning up its building inspection process and their building permit processes. They were retooling just about everything. Our teams really had to hit the ground running through all five boroughs.”
Yadao learned the lesson first popularized by Frank Sinatra: “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.” The director said he learned so much by the time he and his team were able to begin builds in Connecticut—now in partnerships with 11 large healthcare organizations like Hartford HealthCare on the East Coast, Mercy Health in the Midwest, Memorial Hermann in Texas, and Dignity Health on the West Coast—that the group was ready for any and everything.
“I tell people that if you want to build in New York, you have got to have a ‘want to win’ attitude,” Yadao says. “You’re going to get hit, you’re going to get knocked down, and there are going to be a lot of questions to answer. You just have to have patience. But you have to want it.”
When Yadao talks about his successes, the first thing he mentions is the strong mentors who showed him the ropes early in his career. The director stresses the importance of building a team of leaders and performers who have a true shared vision for their organization. It’s not easy, and Yadao says it’s becoming increasingly difficult to source talent who are willing to invest long-term in organizational success.
“Frankly, it’s tough to find people who want to share your vision, believe in what you’re doing, and are willing to invest with you for the long haul,” he says. “I think that’s probably true across multiple industries, but certainly ours. I look for people who really want to develop and grow, people who will propel forward as you work toward a shared goal.”
This is exemplified in testimonials from his partners. “Over the last seven years I have known Rudy, he has proven time and time again to be a great partner, experienced problem-solver, and effective leader. I view him as a personal mentor on how to communicate and successfully run and complete projects,” says Trey Watts, vice president of sales at Springfield Sign.
One of Yadao’s most impactful lessons he works to pass on to his people is as applicable to retail as it is to hospitality as it is to healthcare:
“Whether it’s GoHealth or a restaurant, if you let people down the first time, that’s what people are going to remember,” he explains. “It’s imperative to make sure that patient experience is spectacular. That’s about supporting our caregivers. I can provide a beautiful design, great colors, perfect lighting, but in the end, that comes down to our healthcare providers. That care piece is absolutely critical. But we’re here to help.”
GoHeath fosters a welcoming culture of care with market leading health systems in the communities it serves. Rudy is self-driven and dedicated with over 35 years of professional experience in the retail, medical, and construction industries. He has a proven track record of improving efficiency, expenses, and revenue in a highly competitive retail industry.
His leadership qualities enable him to build, develop, and manage productive teams and to communicate ideas and solutions to individuals and groups. He’s able to utilize rational judgment with a talent for evaluating many aspects of a problem and focusing on issues while maintaining composure and achieving objectives in demanding situations. His strong leadership skills consistently succeed in building productive relationships and on-time delivery.
Bobby Castle Construction is proud to partner with Rudy Yadao and GoHealth!
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