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Spotlight: Eileen Chernoff, MBA '87
This article originally appeared in the Bentley Magazine.
At Community Rehab Care (CRC), Eileen Chernoff, MBA '87 (pictured far left in orange) makes business personal. As co-founder and president of the outpatient brain injury rehabilitation center, she's as likely to be consulting with a client about a health issue as she is to be managing the company's financials or developing a marketing plan.
The alumna and her business partner, Ann Gillespie, know clients and client families by name.
"We're intimately involved,"Chernoff says of the company she established in 1996 with two colleagues. "In a small business, you have to be there, moment to moment."
The all-in commitment comes naturally. Chernoff has seen the health care industry from many sides: clinical nurse, nursing instructor, administrator and advocate. Earlier this year, she was appointed to the board for the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts; CRC has worked closely with the agency over many years, to promote education and advocacy for those with brain injury.
Chernoff was working at a rehab center in Braintree when she enrolled in Bentley's MBA program to hone her managerial, accounting and marketing skills. Her studies also provided a foundation for navigating the health care system.
Addressing reimbursement and regulatory issues for CRC is "a constant challenge," she explains. "To say nothing of trying to maintain a staff that’s developing and growing."
The challenges have led her and Gillespie to downsize CRC from three locations to one, in Watertown, Mass., to stay profitable while maintaining a high quality of care. Chernoff's background in treating patients has been essential to keep the company focused on what matters most.
"In health care today, people feel passed on from one place to the next, and really never get to know the people who are providing the care," she says. "We're hanging on to the old-school value of making treatment very personalized … while still watching out for the business side of the business."
When Brenden Botelho ‘20 and Jonny Boains ‘18 took internships in the Mass. Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, what was the biggest community problem to tackle? Adapting to climate change.