Founder, president and chief executive officer
633 W. Wisconsin Ave., Suite 1310, Milwaukee
Industry: Health care
Revenue: 25- to 30-percent growth annually over the past five years
Patient Care founder Jane Cooper did not plan to come back to Wisconsin until after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans.
Cooper founded Patient Care in August 2001 in New Orleans as a national advocacy company for health consumers.
Hurricane Katrina destroyed her business in 2005, so she moved back to Wisconsin, her previous home, and the location of several of her clients.
“I had investors in Milwaukee,” she said. “Our largest client at the time was Briggs and Stratton Corp.”
Cooper moved to Milwaukee and offered her 16 employees the opportunity to make the move with her. She ended up re-starting her business with four of her employees.
“I didn’t have a disaster recovery plan implemented,” she said. “I had to restart, and we had to restart with nothing.”
Today, Cooper has grown Milwaukee-based Patient Care to 50 employees. The company recently celebrated a milestone for providing services for 1 million members nationwide. Patient Care has grown 25 to 30 percent annually for the last five years.
According to Cooper, the next area for growth will be in elder care.
“Elder care is frustrating,” she said. “We plan to add customers and continue to hire advocates.”
She also sees a business opportunity in the recently approved federal Health care reform legislation.
“The insurance industry will be the most impacted, and employers will become more engaged with communication with their employees,” she said. “Our role is to help them understand the benefits and to help people navigate the system correctly.”