ITA Spotlight: Kaizen Health
Monday, June 17, 2019
Posted by: Kaylin Berg
Mindi S. Knebel, CEO, Kaizen Health @KaizenHealth1
Kaizen Health is solving access to healthcare and everyday needs through aggregating transportation options to serve every person, regardless of their physical abilities.
In 25 words or less, what is Kaizen Health all about?
Kaizen Health brings together every level of transportation so that everyone can access healthcare and their community regardless of their physical ability.
How did you get started?
In 2015, my family struggled with transportation when seeking healthcare. My aunt in Iowa had M.S. and at just 53 years old had to move into a nursing home – not because she needed full time care, but because the Medicaid transportation was so bad that she could not rely on it to get her back and forth to physical therapy. A month later, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. Although she was a woman around the same age as my aunt, her story couldn’t be more different.
My mother-in-law was not a person that ever struggled with transportation before she was diagnosed. She worked fulltime, had good health insurance, a car and money – the typical barriers were not there. As she went through treatment she was just too exhausted to safely drive. Luckily our family was able to shuffle around schedules to get her back and forth. Unfortunately not everyone has a support system around them and would often be waiting for hours after their appointments for their ride home.
Sadly, my mother-in-law passed away just 5 weeks after her diagnosis. After some time had passed, I revisited my aunt’s situation, while medical transportation kept showing up in my life in other ways. Finally I got the hint and started to dig into the problem – not only to solve my own family’s struggles, but to ensure that no other family has to have these same struggles.
What’s the No. 1 thing on your to-do list?
The number one thing on my mind always is our company culture. That means that the number 1 thing that I am always doing is recruiting prospective colleagues that not just fit into our company culture, but add to it.
Why does Kaizen Health call Chicago its home?
Chicago is a wonderful place to start a company – exceptional talent, a hub of healthcare and a strong innovation community full of support and mentorship.
How does Kaizen Health interact with the Chicago community?
Kaizen Health transports the Chicago community to their healthcare appointments, gets seniors out into the community and ensures those with addiction challenges are able to get to the treatment that they need.
What is the top reason employees would say they love working for Kaizen Health?
When I ask my colleagues what their favorite part about working at Kaizen Health is, I consistently get the same answers – the culture and the knowledge that we are doing good in the world.
What is the one thing Kaizen Health cannot live without?
While I have never had a cup myself – coffee is a pretty solid staple among the team. And monthly Jet’s Pizza team lunches.