HealthQuest: New Approach to Medical Equipment
Fair Oaks, CA (MPG) - Who says shopping for things such as compression socks, knee braces, walkers, canes or crutches has to feel clinical and impersonal?
Vanesa and Kevin Grenyion, the husband and wife owners of HealthQuest in Fair Oaks, have done everything possible to make the experience of shopping for medical equipment and supplies a much kinder, gentler one. In short, they hope to turn the industry on its head by providing a fresh approach to the physical space in which these products are sold, supported by a suite of services that include educational seminars, custom fittings, and an emphasis on “wellness,” as well as recovery.
“Two things were very important to me when I was researching the plans for opening the store,” says Vanessa. “First, I wanted to make sure that we treat every single person who walks through those doors like a human being, not a dollar sign. Second, I wanted the space to feel open, warm and well lit, so that the experience for everyone was pleasant and not so clinical.”
HealthQuest, which will be celebrating its first year in business July 18, offers a vast, top-of-the-line inventory of pain management, diabetes support, bath and safety accessories including walk-in tubs and raised toilet seats, scooters, walkers and rollators, a large selection of lift chairs, orthopedic braces, high-quality closed shoes and sandals for men and women, facial and “beauty” products, even a mothering section that includes breast pumps and pregnancy aids.
Rather than stuffing these items onto metal shelves in a crowded space where volume overshadows service, Vanessa and Kevin, both trained pharmacists who, by the way, met in pharmacy school in Massachusetts, have created something more akin to boutique for medical supplies, with categories of products grouped into their own “departments,” each designated with bright, painted signage, soft wood wall décor and inviting displays that strip the sterile right out of the experience.
“We want the experience of shopping in our store to be calming and supportive,” says Kevin, an air force veteran who still works as a pharmacist at Mather Air Force Base while sharing responsibilities for managing the new business. Vanessa, the face of HealthQuest, says she and Kevin considered opening their own private pharmacy, but competition from chain stores, as well as concerns about being targeted by thieves put that idea to bed. Instead, the couple, both born and raised in Jamaica, decided to parlay their experience in the pharmacological field with a strong interest in serving others through wellness and health services.
With the help of a VA loan, the couple were able to invest roughly $200,000 into their new venture. The first year has had some challenges, but with any small business, marketing has been key. Vanessa has spent the last year nurturing relationships with home-health care providers, assisted living facilities, pharmacies, chiropractors, physical therapists and other ancillary businesses to ramp up visibility for the new store and exposure to service providers who, like Kevin and Vanessa, want a better experience for their clients and patients.
“We have worked hard this last year to build relationships in the community, to let people know we are here and it is starting to come through for us,” Vanessa said. “This last month alone was a really strong indicator of how things are beginning to really start to shift into gear.”
The store also has partnered with at least two elder care organizations, the Older Adult Collaborative (OAC) and the Elder Society Network (ESN) to provide on-site seminars and workshops at facilities across the community to educate both care providers and the patients themselves.
“We think of ourselves as a resource center, as well as a retail store,” says Vanessa. “This is a business that relies on the needs of those in care facilities and the caretakers themselves, but it’s also here for anyone who wants a more personal experience shopping for items for themselves or their loved ones, or those in their care.”
The store offers senior discounts of 10% every Monday, as well as loyalty customer discounts of 5% off all purchases of regularly priced items.
In recognition of its first year in business, the store will be having an open-house from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 18. All are invited.