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Monday, May 21, 2012

YourCity.MD: A good way to give back

Joe Benza’s story: 
I’m an entrepreneur, with several successful businesses over the years.  My book called "Preventing Aids" published in 1985 by JALSCO, Inc.  is in 40 countries.  I also bought and sold Internet domain names as a rewarding hobby.  I come from a medical family:  I have a brother who’s a surgeon, and we have dentists, dental hygienists and a urologist in the family as well. 
My father had Parkinson’s, and his hand would shake a little.  He was a proud man, so he wanted medication to stop that from happening as he was very self-conscious.  He ended up getting leukemia, which was one of the rare side effects of taking his partiular drug.  My whole family missed it; we didn’t look at the drugs he was taking to see if the risk outweighed the reward; none of us looked.  The drug was somewhat controversial, and my Dad told me two of his doctors argued about the use of the drug.  One of the doctors stated the other doctor was getting a kickback or had a financial interest of some kind in prescribing the drug! 
Experiencing side effects, he was misdiagnosed by his doctors for four months, and then he passed away.  We were really angry but took on most all of the blame ourselves...at least, I know I did.
About a year and a half later, a business opportunity developed.  I’d realized that the name www.YourCity.MD was available as a Web domain name with the "Local" city names as well.  The Gannett company encouraged me to build the websites to help people like my Dad and my family.  They were prepared to collaborate with me on making YourCity.MD into a business. They ultimately bowed out, but I kept with it.  In light of what had happened to my father, it seemed a good way to give back to everyone else so they can avoid our guilt by using our free resources to make the best decisions for their own families.  
Today, we’re helping people in 100% of the USA to find good local doctors and the best healthcare information available.  We are the only "local" platform on the Internet in any industry with a national footprint. 
Read another entrepreneur’s entrepreneurial patient safety story.  Thanks to Joe for the interview, and to Joelle Caputa of CPR Communications for connecting us. 

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