An Interview with the Owner of Sunlight Medical Services

by | Jun 7, 2022 | Health & Medical

Executive Summary

We are a team of addiction treatment professionals that decided to do
a better job at it.

Kindly give readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.
We are located in Glendale, but serve the whole Phoenix Metro area and beyond. We offer comprehensive addiction treatment, custom crafted to the needs of every patient.

We treat patients with opioid, alcohol, and other substance use disorders. We offer medication-assisted treatment (including methadone, Suboxone, Sublocade, Vivitrol, and many others), individual and group counseling, an intensive outpatient program, and outpatient detox.

Give us a brief description of yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
I graduated from a medical school in Europe, built a successful career and after our family moved to the United States, I continued my education. Finally, I specialized in addiction medicine because this is where I can make the biggest difference in the lives of my patients.

What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (make significant changes in an existing business)?
The opioid crisis changed the landscape of drug addiction. I realized that anyone can be affected by addiction, but addiction had a stigma, and people were reluctant to get treatment – and the addiction was getting the best of them, often destroying their jobs, families, and lives in the process. I wanted to create a place for them to come for help and feel welcome, an environment they could be comfortable in, an environment that could help them to get their life back.

How did the idea for your business come about?
I’ve worked in the same field for many years before and felt that I could improve a thing or two. Or ten. Or more.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?
My mentors. They showed me what was behind the horizon, and gave me the strength to get off the ground and try to make a difference.

What makes you different from other businesses in your industry?
Our culture. We treat everyone with equal respect – anyone can be affected by addiction, and it doesn’t discriminate. We strive to be a head above what people usually think about as a “methadone clinic”, and be a place they want to come to as often as they feel a need to.

To what do you most attribute your success?
Our culture. Once patients come to us and feel the difference in atmosphere between us and the competition, they stay with us for the entire length of their treatment. We treat our patients like family because we understand how desperately they might need one, even if they may not realize it themselves. We go above and beyond in making our patients feel welcome and comfortable.

What do you think is the best way to achieve long-term success in business?
Treat your patients as human beings and not as cash cows. People matter.

Where do you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
At the rate we’re growing, we will exceed the current office capacity in a year or two. We will not allow ourselves to overrun the clinic capacity beyond what is comfortable for patients and are planning to open another office at a location where it is most needed.

Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
There is no one single “ideal” company, all of them have their strengths and weaknesses, and we’re taking a close look at both. Among those, we watch most closely are those that managed to turn whole industries around – Amazon, Tesla, SpaceX.

Who is your target demographic?

  • Adolescents and up, Phoenix Metro and vicinity;
  • Suffering from substance use disorder.

Please list 3-5 talking points about your business that you feel are most relevant to your target audience.

  • Sounds cliche, but we actually DO care about you (just read our reviews)
  • You get as much time and attention as you need, not “your time is up, next”
  • We take commercial insurance our competition doesn’t

What are your overall thoughts on your industry? Any advice you could give people about your industry?
(defining “”industry”” as “”addiction treatment””)
Don’t be afraid to reach out. Being addicted builds a wall between you and the world, it is important to bring down this wall and get your life back. We’re here to help you make it happen.

Is your business involved with any charitable organizations, social causes, or non-profit work?
Not on a regular basis yet, establishing cadence now.

How do you give back and support your community?
Conducting educational presentations about substance use disorder and treatment methods at non-profits.

How important have good employees been to your success?
Extremely important. We work as a team, and everyone’s contribution is critical. We are a relatively new company, and we keep building the team up – the majority of our employees have been with us almost from day one.

What motivates you?
The success of our patients, that’s the ultimate measurement.

How do you generate new ideas?
We listen, we look, we measure. Then we implement ideas, then reinforce the feedback loop.

How do you define success?
Patients not succumbing to addiction anymore. Patients get their work, family, and life back.

How do you build a successful customer base?
You care.

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
An ability to make a difference in the world.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Seeing the patients come back to life after they lost all hope already, but recovered with your help. Making a difference in people’s lives. Making their lives matter to them again.

What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
Empathy and trust. People without empathy don’t belong in this business, and only people that can be trusted build successful teams.

What is your greatest fear in business, and how do you manage fear?
First of all, there is no “fear” in business, there are challenges. A growing business is facing different challenges at different stages in its development. We carefully analyze where we are going, look at the trends, identify trouble spots, and solve them one by one as we predict them coming. And, let’s just remember the saying – “The only way to deal with fear is to face it”.

How did you decide on the location for your business?
We looked for a place where people did not have ready access to addiction treatment facilities. Another extremely important consideration was that it had to be a place where people would want to come to, and feel comfortable. Since transportation is a challenge for some of our patients, we were also looking for a well-connected place with public transport available. Since we respect our patients’ time, we were looking for a place where they could also shop so that they didn’t have to go out of the way for just us. And, last but not least, having other medical offices nearby was near the top of our criteria list.

What book has inspired you the most (or what is your favorite book)?
I can’t name one, or even ten. Every book I read left an imprint, and it’s difficult to say now which book did what.

What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
I left a reliable job to make a difference. Running a business requires time, effort, and dedication well beyond a regular job, and time was probably the most noticeable of those three. Well, aside from not having a stable paycheck 🙂

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

  • Vision
  • Learning from mistakes, fast
  • What you cannot measure, you cannot improve

What three pieces of advice would you give to entrepreneurs looking to get started in your industry?

  • Think of your customers, not you
  • Think bigger
  • Plan farther

Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Yes. Elbow grease.

What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Ability to see behind the corner. Entrepreneurs face, and solve, problems that employees may not have the slightest idea about. On a regular basis. While employees are sound asleep 🙂

Business Info:
Business Name: Sunlight Medical Services
Contact Name: Vicky Dramaretska
Business Phone: (480) 300-6065

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