Jennifer Veitch (owner of Veitch Wellness Centre, Veitch Physiotherapy and Wellness, and Veitch Wellness Pharmasave) has been a physiotherapist for 20 years, a business owner for 10 years, and an independent business owner for 5 years.
Veitch Wellness Centre began operating in Corner Brook in October of 2013 and moved to its current location in January 2018. Jennifer owns the building, as well as two of the businesses operating within it.
The Wellness Centre is a multi-disciplinary access point for health services. Jennifer’s vision was to create a space where patients could come for a variety of health services and where health professionals could work in a collegial and supportive atmosphere. The Centre offers physiotherapy, massage, occupational therapy, speech pathology, psychology, personal training, and foot care. It houses the offices of dieticians, a chiropractor, a lactation consultant, an acupuncturist, and a number of physicians. And there’s a pharmacy and a yoga studio.
Jennifer believes in the importance of bringing professionals together under the same roof: “If you can walk down the hallway and knock on someone’s door and ask a question or confer over a client, your day works better, you’re better able to serve that patient.” A patient who might feel intimidated by a referral for psychology or massage can find reassurance in the fact that they already see a family doctor in the same building: the space is familiar; they’ve seen the receptionist before. That familiarity can break down barriers for people to access more services.
Jennifer’s businesses give back to the community by sponsoring sports teams, arts events, and the like. But the Wellness Centre itself is rooted in the desire to do good, to create a space that is beautiful and welcoming, where people can have better health care experiences. Jennifer also wanted a place that would attract health professionals to Corner Brook, where she and her husband grew up; she wants professionals to commit to the community and make it the kind of place her children will want to live in. She talks about the sense of connectedness she feels to the town, one that isn’t the same in larger urban areas. “I want this place to thrive,” she says.
"I want this place to thrive."
What helps Jennifer to thrive as an entrepreneur? As she explains, the skills that make her a good physiotherapist are also the ones that make her a good businessperson: her ability to communicate, to relate to people, and to bring people together. “I used to dread that question, What do you want to be when you grow up?” Jennifer says, “because I never knew.” Gradually, she’s realized that business is a good fit for her.
The keys to her success have been numerous, Jennifer says: she is organized, decisive, and open-minded; she surrounds herself with good people, and she’s willing to take risks and to start out without knowing what the end result will be. She’s prepared to say, “You know what, we’re just going to do it!”
Economic Impact recognizes an entrepreneur whose business has significantly impacted the local economy. This entrepreneur has improved the economic position of the community in which it operates by employing local resources, stimulating growth and contributing to sustainable community development. Sponsored by Hebron Project