Lackey Clinic, located in Yorktown and a mere 20-minute drive from William & Mary’s School of Business, was founded in 1995 with the mission of providing health care to the uninsured in the area. Since their humble beginnings, they have expanded and now provide primary care, mental health resources, dental treatment, specialty care services, and access to much needed medications to patients all over the Greater Williamsburg and upper Newport News area.
“We do more than give our patients a band-aid and an aspirin,” Medical Director Dr. Ralph Robertson explains. “Most of our services consist of chronic disease management, and close to 70% of our patients have three or more chronic illnesses.” With a smile, Dr. Robertson describes how “we at Lackey take care of people from start to finish.” It was this dedication and emphasis on helping people that drew the clinic and the Raymond A. Mason School of Business to come together for a collaborative project.
This was not the first time that Lackey Clinic had a connection to the William & Mary School of Business. According to Kim Mallory, Field Consultancy Faculty Advisor, there are several members of William & Mary’s Executive Partner (EP) program also on the Board of Directors at the Lackey Clinic. Mallory describes how “once the partners learned about our field consultancy program, they began to see that a collaboration with Lackey could benefit both parties and provide an invaluable experience for both.”
As part of the full-time MBA program, students are given the opportunity to collaborate with real businesses and organizations in the area through the Field Consultancy Program. Given the nature of the project and the fact that the business school is already connected to the Lackey Clinic through the Executive Partner program, the union of the two groups to work on a project seemed to be destined.
For almost six months during the 2017-2018 school year, directors from Lackey and a group of five MBA students met every Monday to run numbers and analyze data, with the hope of improving the operational efforts of the clinic. They spent a substantial amount of time at Lackey, meeting with the directors and hearing about company values. The students organized surveys, conducted interviews, and engaged in extensive research. The group also created a plan to improve community awareness and social media presence.
“It is a challenging project,” Mallory explains. “There is so much information that is thrown at you from the beginning, and these students have to learn both the industry and the specific business, as well as the needs of the client. It’s a lot.” She goes on to describe how “Lackey was a very engaged and passionate client, and their excitement rubbed off on the students, getting them into the mindset of what it is like working with a real business.”
At its core, the collaboration had a two-tiered benefit. Lackey Clinic was given a valuable and extensive business profile, complete with organizational analytics as well as recommendations for future operations. Dr. Robertson explains how “the information the students provided was very interesting, and it allowed us to look at our clinic and our operations from a different perspective.” The William & Mary School of Business’s MBA students were subsequently given valuable experience and exposure to the real business world. Mallory ties it up perfectly when she describes how “One of the very cool things as a faculty member was to see the students have the opportunity to interact with the real business world, and not just through some classroom simulation.”