Adrienne Clark runs a company with a memorable name. If you’ve heard about it, it was most likely in reference to getting tested for COVID-19.
Since 2018, her company Qualified Quacks has served as a to-your-door service that provides primary and urgent health care services for individuals and businesses. Most of her time now is focused on testing for the virus as her company arranges for the test to be read and reported back. Growing at a rapid speed, Qualified Quacks started as a small, Direct Primary Care concierge practice that brought back an old-school model of healthcare by only making house calls.
As founder and clinical director, Clark shared, “I’m a tomboy-farm-gal that transformed into an observant Jewish woman and mother of three children. I’m quirky, love the little miracles in life that are everywhere, and jumping in where I feel I can help make a difference.
“After I graduated from Johns Hopkins Nursing School, I moved to Atlanta with my family – to be nearer to my now ex-husband’s family – and started my job as a labor and delivery nurse at Northside Hospital,” she said.
“I decided to become a nurse after I had a less-than-pleasant experience when I was delivering my first born (daughter). I decided I could be at least one person helping women to have a positive experience during, what I believe, is the most vulnerable and intimate time of a woman’s life. This seems to have become a theme over my 13 years as a nurse; I identify a need and set out to try and make a positive difference.”
The story of Qualified Quacks is two-fold. “First, I was frustrated with what I was witnessing and experiencing as a nurse: healthcare becoming business-focused and losing sight of patient care. I reached out to some physicians I knew who shared a similar vision, close friends, and asked them to take a leap of faith with me.”
So how did she pick the company name? “I have a quirky sense of humor and my mother is an English teacher. I wanted a name that embodied both my quirkiness and attention to small details. Qualified Quacks is paradoxical, and an oxymoron. It’s memorable. People either love or hate the name, yet they remember it.”
She added, “My logo is the ‘real story.’ Years ago, I lived in Birmingham, Ala., where I met an artist named Don Stewart. As I was speaking to him, he shared that he had gone to med school, then residency, and when he finished, he decided he had no desire to be a doctor and wanted to pursue his art instead. I’ve always followed my intuition or marched to my own beat. Here was someone who had done so and was completely grounded. One of his pieces of artwork, which he describes as his ‘self-portrait’ is titled ‘Quack!’ As soon as I decided on the name, I knew there could only be one logo for me. I emailed Don, told him what I was doing, and asked if I could pay for the rights to use his artwork. He told me to use it (free of charge) and I was blown away.”
Clark continued, “When COVID hit, I recognized the faultiness in the logic about only testing people who were horribly sick to the point of needing hospitalization. I wanted to get people tested before they hit that point. So, I investigated what the barriers were to testing, networked and hit the ground running with testing.
“We offer direct primary care memberships, which provide patients with all their primary healthcare needs and sick calls. We also provide urgent care services such as stitches, IV hydration, physicals, blood work, X-rays and ultrasound – all in the comfort of patients’ homes. Most importantly, we aren’t on a time clock. We get to take our time, educate and address patients’ concerns.
“We use a molecular PCR COVID-19 test and use a nasopharyngeal (NP) [nose swab] sample, which is considered the ‘gold standard.’ Our labs are run by Ipsum Diagnostics, one of only 12 FDA-approved COVID-19 molecular labs in the U.S.”
When it comes to educating the public, she added, “Every time someone calls to book a test there are always questions, or they request a rapid test, or a blood spot test. We educate them right then about the difference between the reliability and accuracy of the variety of tests, and the rationale behind why we test the way we do. That education continues on-site at the patients’ homes, and we stay until we have answered their questions,” she said.
“Typically, results are available within 48 to 72 hours and if their results are positive, we notify patients when their tests are positive. We send them a handout with warning signs or symptoms they should seek emergency help for if they occur, and teach them how to contact trace and notify individuals who may be affected. We also explain about quarantining and when to retest to ensure they are negative prior to coming out of quarantine.”