What was once a small, dedicated group of nurses directing ministry patients to needed care has grown into a for-profit company serving 1 million-plus patients around the country.
Conduit Health Partners is that company and at the helm is President Cheryl Dalton-Norman, who recently won the Cincinnati Business Courier’s 2022 Health Entrepreneur award for an entrepreneurial initiative that is making strides in the health care industry.
A 39-year Bon Secours Mercy Health nurse and leader, Cheryl said she didn’t anticipate the growth that would emanate from the ministry’s nurse triage program. “We were just going to do what we were doing for Bon Secours Mercy Health – no thought of selling this to anybody,” she admits.
What happened? Cheryl explains: “People needed what we were doing. We had a great service that’s tested and proven within Bon Secours Mercy Health. So that’s huge. When you have a massive health system that’s testing and proving what we’re doing, that goes a long way.”
Today’s Conduit offers customized health care solutions for health systems, health plans, employers and others who want to improve care and access for their patients and employees nationally.
Cheryl’s wide-ranging expertise is instrumental in developing innovative solutions. “I understand the challenges a health system faces and I understand the value nurses can bring,” she says. “We are a nursing-driven and nursing-focused organization. The services we offer really have that clinical element.
“We keep patient care first,” she emphasizes, describing the importance of having an experienced nurse first assess a patient’s symptoms to determine the right level of care at the right time and in the right setting for their needs.
Ultimately, patient needs spurred the Conduit team, which grew from fewer than 10 associates serving 22,000 patients in 2017 to almost 300 helping 1.3 million patients last year. The COVID-19 pandemic helped propel its growth and Conduit’s workforce is fully remote. “There’s a huge advantage in hiring nurses nationally,” she says. “We’re giving nurses the opportunity to work in an alternative setting.”
Conduit Health Partners will continue its growth trajectory. “We only hired our first sales team member a year ago. Before that, our growth was organic,” she says. “We are positioning ourselves for growth because we understand our role as a subsidiary of Bon Secours Mercy Health. However, we can bring value back to the ministry and support the ministry, its Mission and values, and that’s what we’re going to do.”