“I tried to see what options there were for a veteran trying to start a small business, but the traditional banks were not concerned about my veteran status.”
– Abe Herrera, Owner, The Children’s Health Place
The Children’s Health Place in Greeley has been a go-to for families to tend to their children’s health needs since 1983. Today, thanks to veteran Abe Herrera, it’s the city’s last standing independent pediatric practice.
Abe started working at the practice in 2013 under the original founder, Dr. Dubynsky before purchasing it in March of 2019. “I wondered what would happen when my boss was ready to retire. This is my neighborhood, my community, and we do wonderful things here. I felt compelled to take over and continue the legacy of The Children’s Health Place,” says Abe.
A 21-year Army veteran with a master’s degree in organizational leadership, Abe turned to banks to get a small business loan for the purchase of the practice. But several banks turned him down. “I tried to see what options there were for a veteran trying to start a small business, but the traditional banks were not concerned about my veteran status,” he recalls.
Giving up wasn’t an option for Abe, though, and thanks to a recommendation from one of the banks, he reached out to Colorado Enterprise Fund where he was able to secure funding. With funding from CEF locked in, and the future of the Children’s Health Place secured, Abe was ready to focus on his new business venture.
The next phase for The Children’s Health Place? Grow their footprint to expand their services and serve more patients.
With six exam rooms currently, Abe is adding an additional seven rooms; three of which he plans to lease out to a pediatric physical therapist, a speech pathologist and an occupational therapist, making the practice a one-stop-shop for children’s health care needs.
The importance of this growth goes beyond childcare. “Right now, we have to refer families to outside providers for these services. By bringing these providers onsite, not only are we simplifying health care for families, but we’re helping other small businesses in our community, as well,” Abe tells.