business-building process

Interview with the Health-Centered Entrepreneur, Joel Landau

For New York City-based entrepreneur Joel Landau, empathy and human-centered care have always served as a cornerstone in the business-building process. With well over a decade of experience in investment and growing health-centered ventures in the city, Landau has established himself as a healthcare innovator and creative solutions provider. Today, he leads the Allure Group, a firm that specializes in purchasing struggling nursing homes and placing them back on the path to financial success. As the company’s founder and chairman, Landau dedicates his time and energies to improving the healthcare experience for patients and their families alike.

Joel Landau’s passion for empathetic care has deep personal roots in his own experience as a family member. When his grandfather was admitted to a nursing home, Landau struggled with a feeling of frustration as he watched his grandfather receive care that took little note of his cultural and personal needs. Joel fought for recognition and asked for more culturally-sensitive treatment from the home’s staffers, but little changed for Landau or his grandfather. After experiencing the exasperation and stress firsthand, Joel Landau was determined that he could make a change for the better, and ensure that no nursing home resident or family member would feel as unsupported and ignored as he had during his grandfather’s stay.

In November of 2010, Joel Landau founded the Allure Group. Over the last eight years, the business has centered on two driving missions: to provide high-quality and culturally-sensitive care to aging New Yorkers and improve integration with insurance payers and medical providers.

Landau has never been content to replicate past processes or meet the minimum standard for care delivery; instead, he aims to innovate. Today, all Allure Group facilities have in-house rehabilitation centers to ensure that patients can receive treatment, recovery and long-term care within one familiar and comfortable setting. Every change he makes to a struggling healthcare organization is in the spirit of positive change; Joel Landau wants every company he takes on to be financially sustainable, accessible to those in need, and supportive of patients, family members, and care staff members alike.

However, Joel Landau‘s work in New York’s health-centered entrepreneurial landscape is not limited to the Allure Group alone. He also serves as the co-founder and Managing Director of Pinta Capital: an equity firm that identifies new opportunities for early- to mid-stage healthcare businesses and takes innovative strides to fulfill them. Since its founding in June of 2012, Pinta Capital has seeded and cultivated a portfolio of healthcare solutions that provide quality care to New York’s elderly, disabled, and chronically-ill residents within the comfort of their own homes and at an affordable cost.

Joel Landau further pursues his mission to revolutionize healthcare delivery and patient care in his work with AlphaCare of New York, Inc. AlphaCare is an NYC-centered health plan that provides Medicare, Medicaid-managed Long-Term Care, and Dual-Eligible products to senior and those struggling with chronic illnesses. After founding the firm in 2011, Landau dedicated himself to working closely with specific communities to create and implement a model of care that would suit the unique needs of those living within them. Today, Joel Landau’s philosophy of patient-centered care guides AlphaCare’s efforts in the sector: the company leverages its knowledge of the communities it serves and the relationships it cultivates to provide a differentiated, tailored, and top-notch model of care directly to patients and their families.

Outside of his own ventures, Joel Landau is an active member of New York’s health-oriented entrepreneurial community as a mentor, advisor, and thought leader. He maintains a role in several local organizations including the Medicaid Managed Care Advisory Review Panel (MCCARP), the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the NYS DOH Preventative Health and Health Services Block Grant, and the NYS DOH Task Force on Long-Term Care Financing.

What’s your best tip for being able to slow down and make meaningful connections in such a fast-paced city?

Take time to disengage from the entrepreneurial chase. I find that when we run full-speed towards new projects, we forget to appreciate the relationships and joys we already have. Chat with a friend of a friend; check in with an employee about their interests. It sounds counterintuitive, but you might just find your next inspiration or connection by stepping out of your business-centered mindset.

How have you been able to successfully engage your local community to inform and excite them about your business?

Engagement is a continual process, and it starts with listening. People want services that suit their needs; if you offer them that at a reasonable price, they will come — and refer their friends. I make a point of building culturally-sensitive services into my businesses so that they both integrate naturally into their communities and make local customers feel valued and cared for.

What is it about your city that inspires you the most, and how do you use it to impact your business positively?

New York is a city of ideas and interaction. Each conversation offers an opportunity to improve, collaborate, and consider something from an entirely new perspective. The close gathering of people, cultures, and interests inevitably leads to new and improved ventures. As an entrepreneur, these collaborations offer me the chance to hone my ideas far beyond what I might have achieved independently.

Feedback from your community is invaluable. What methods have you used to gather responses from the community around you, and how have you found success in implementing feedback?

Talk to people. Talk to your customers, talk to your employees, and never assume that you know what a community wants before you do. Having a bird’s eye view of a market can be helpful, but if you want a business to succeed, you need to be hands-on. I spend time in each department of every one of my ventures and regularly speak to customers to find out what works well and what needs retuning.

What’s your best advice for navigating the competitive, fast-paced atmosphere of New York for startups? How have you been able to use these traits to your advantage?

Keep your eyes and ears open. The first person with an idea isn’t always the one who successfully implements it; a clever observer can pick apart a competitor’s work to find what they do well and what might be improved, and then apply it to their own work. Competition is productive — but steer clear of negativity! Disrespect only ever sours a company culture and leads to lesser performance later.

Every city has certain outlets that can really help build buzz about your business. What local marketing resources have you found invaluable and why?

Some people think that having a social media presence isn’t important for those of us in senior care, but I believe otherwise. Business interactions today often start with an online search; many of our clients visited us online before they ever stepped foot through our doors. I wouldn’t overlook the power of a well-utilized Facebook page or Twitter profile.

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