Chaifetz MBA Alum Opens Independent Medical Practice
When Dr. Becky Kaufman Lynn (MBA ’19) opened an independent medical practice in February, she was prepared for almost anything. Lynn, who holds degrees from Berkeley, Georgetown, Washington University and Saint Louis University, had spent years preparing to open Evora, a St. Louis medical practice focused specifically on women’s sexual health, menopause and gynecologic care. She had over a decade of medical practice experience, worked as a professor at SLU and earned an MBA to better familiarize herself with the administrative side of medicine. But even with all that experience and hard work, Lynn couldn’t have anticipated the sudden hurdle she would face upon opening her business: the rapid spread of COVID-19 and the subsequent city-wide lockdown.
Lynn was ready for anything else. After a decade of medical practice, she realized something was missing from her work. Despite all she had accomplished, Lynn wanted to be able to offer her patients more personalized care. That passion pushed her to pursue an MBA at the Chaifetz School with the goal of opening her own practice.
“Within the health care system, it’s often quantity over quality,” Lynn said. “I wanted a way to give my patients the quality time they deserved, instead of rushing through as many people as possible throughout the day.”
To offer that level of high-quality care, she founded Evora. Lynn—already extremely qualified in her field and with an undergraduate background in economics—picked up practical entrepreneurship skills through her Chaifetz School MBA. When she graduated with her MBA last fall, she wasted no time setting up her business: Evora opened its doors in February of this year. Then, a month later, the pandemic hit.
“It certainly hasn’t been easy,” Lynn said. “A lot of people are canceling; no one wants to go to the doctor right now.”
Evora offers telehealth appointments, and Lynn said she’s been seeing patients remotely since she first opened her business. Because there are very few practices that specialize in women’s sexual health and menopause in Missouri, Lynn has seen patients from all over the state.
She emphasizes that she continues to offer compassionate, quality care to her patients.
“Evora isn't a place where you’ll wait an hour to see a doctor for five minutes. I spend time with my patients and I make sure I’m available for them—they have my cell number, they can call or email me anytime.”
Fortunately, Lynn has had some help managing the pandemic’s punches. Chaifetz School Professional MBA (PMBA) students Jess Turner, Kendra Rakers and Joel Jennings chose to work with Evora as part of their capstone project.
“We chose Evora because it was a small start-up,” said Turner. “We really wanted to make a big impact with our project and loved Evora’s mission.”
Turner said she and the other PMBA students were able to utilize what they had learned from the program to identify strengths and weaknesses in the business, define its target market and streamline its brand and marketing.
“Each of us brought a different set of skills to the project. I have a background in marketing and design, Kendra is a great project manager with a strength in analysis, and Joel has an extensive background in social science with an interest in marketing,” Turner said.
The PMBA students continue to work with Lynn to help her develop business practices that will allow her to remain successful during the pandemic.
“I love the SLU students!” Lynn said. “They’ve been fantastic, very helpful. If I can, I’d like to get a group of capstone students to help out next semester, too.”
Lynn is determined to see her business thrive through the effects of COVID-19. She wants people to know that in her practice, she devotes 100% of her resources to her patients. Lynn is so devoted to helping others that the second Tuesday of every month is “Giving Back Day” at Evora, and patients can pay whatever they think is fair for her services—even “a box of cookies.”
When asked why she’s so passionate about her work, Lynn said, “I like taking care of people. It’s in my soul."