Dr. Eric Chenworth and his wife, Alby, started Wasatch Allergy and Asthma in July 2013, a specialized medical center that diagnoses and treats allergies and asthma through the latest medical technology with highly trained and compassionate staff. Prior to opening this clinic, Dr. Chenworth did his medical residency and allergy/immunology fellowship at the prominent Mayo Clinic and was an assistant professor of medicine at National Jewish Health, a renown medical research institution. Alby Chenworth grew up in an entrepreneurial family. With that foundation, she went to school and earned a bachelors degree in business administration from Universidad de Quintana Roo in Mexico and another bachelors degree in economics from the University of Utah. Following college, Alby started her own insurance and financial services brokerage business in Salt Lake.
This skilled medical and business duo had a lot of enthusiasm, a rough business plan, and three employees as they opened their first location in downtown Salt Lake. Despite the difficulties navigating the healthcare industry, Wasatch Allergy and Asthma has stayed true to their patient care commitment of patient quality time rather than patient quantity.
“We consider the SBDC office our ‘business clinic.’ As soon as we see unpleasant business symptoms we meet with our ‘Business Doctor’ Jim, who helps us figure out what may be going wrong and ways to get back on track.”
– Alby Chenworth, Co-Owner
In 2015, Eric and Alby decided to open a second location and wanted objective data that would support this decision and to determine a particular location for the new clinic. Searching for a market research company, they discovered the SBDC. Alby called and scheduled an appointment with Jim Herrin, the Salt Lake SBDC Director. “He came to our business,” Alby stated, “and sat with us to figure out what we wanted to do. A few days later we got the most comprehensive Market Research report we had ever seen.” With the help of this information, they located and opened their second clinic.
Secret to Success
“It takes more than passion to run a successful business. You have to be humble to accept that you don’t know it all and that your business may not be as perfect as you think. You need to be open to learn every day and to seek the help of those that can help you. To succeed it is necessary to accept change.”
– Alby Chenworth, Co-Owner
As Wasatch Allergy and Asthma grew with the opening of their second location, so did their needs for more business counseling. Alby relates, “Our skills did no longer support our business growth. The SBDC has been very instrumental in giving us one-on-one coaching on finances, management, leadership and even accounting practices. They have also assisted with resources we had never found on our own, like the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.”
Small independent clinics face challenges related to insurance reimbursement and participation. They receive lower reimbursements and may be denied participation in a network. However, Alby states, “We’ve overcome these challenges by ‘doing more with less.’ We run an efficient operation which allows us to keep our costs down and makes care affordable for our patients, including those out of network or without any insurance.” Today Wasatch Allergy and Asthma has two locations and 18 employees, all in just five years.