About 10 years ago, as a nurse practitioner working in the emergency department at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., Kelly Goodman, B.S.N. 1996, had an idea. She didn’t like some of the trends she was seeing in health care. “The hospitals were merging into conglomerates,” she recalls. “Many primary care practices were coming under the umbrella of large health care systems. There was a trend toward concierge medicine.”
When she discharged patients, Goodman asked about their plans for follow-up care. “More and more, we were seeing insured patients who didn’t have primary care physicians because cost and access had become barriers,” she says. “Many were using urgent care for their primary care. Patients often asked me, ‘Can I see you for follow-up care?’”
That’s when Goodman thought “why not?” Why couldn’t an experienced nurse practitioner with a bachelor’s degree from Catholic University and a master’s degree from Georgetown University open her own independent primary care practice?
That was the start of Kelly Goodman, NP and Associates, a family primary care practice founded in 2009, which is run and staffed by nurse practitioners. At first, she sublet a small space within a podiatrist’s office in Northwest D.C. Today, she has 4,200 square feet of office space in Bethesda, Md., along with a second nurse practitioner-run practice, Promenade Primary Care, at L’Enfant Plaza.
“We do it all,” says Goodman. “We are with our patients from start to finish. Each nurse practitioner does her own initial interview and information gathering and exam. We spend quality time with each patient and we offer same-day appointments.”
Goodman is one of many alumni innovators featured in the fall issue of CatholicU Magazine. This edition features a redesign, renaming, and reimagining of the University’s flagship publication. The theme for the current issue — not coincidentally — is innovation.
The story featuring Goodman also focuses on other Catholic University graduates who turned an idea into something big, something unique.
Angela Santomero’s big idea was an adorable blue dog that revolutionized television programming for preschoolers. While at Catholic University, Santomero, B.A. 1990, majored in psychology with a minor in media studies. She went on to earn a master’s degree in child developmental psychology and instructional media and education from Teacher’s College at Columbia University.
She drew on that education, along with the latest research in early childhood learning, when she began to develop Blue’s Clues in 1994 for Nickelodeon, where she was working as a new producer. When the show first appeared on the station’s “Nick Jr.” weekday-morning time-block in 1996, it turned children’s programming on its head. As a children’s television pioneer, Santomero went on to create other successful shows, including Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Super Why! on PBS, as well as Creative Galaxy and Wishenpoof on Amazon.
Offering advice to others with an innovative idea, Santomero simply says, “Believe it. Live it. Put in the work.”
Other alumni innovators featured in the magazine include Richard Blanch, B.S. 2000, founder of Le Metier de Beaute, a luxury beauty brand launched in 2007 that now has over 300 products found in department stores as well as on QVC; Brian Walsh, B.A. 1990, founder of Faith Direct, an electronic giving service specifically designed for the Catholic Church; and Arianne Bennett, B.A. 1995, founder and owner of Amsterdam Falafelshop.
Like so many of the alumni featured in the “innovation” issue, Bennett says her Catholic University education has been instrumental to her success. “My psychology degree taught me thoughtfulness and a connectedness to people,” she says, “and that has helped me understand and support our staff. Helping your employees flourish is one of the joys of being a business owner.