Dr. Jennifer Reynolds is a Neuropsychologist, Neuroscientist, and the owner and CEO of the Neuropsychological Evaluation and Therapeutic Center of Austin. Here is an exclusive Interview about her Journey of becoming a successful Doctor & Entrepreneur in this Specialty Healthcare Niche.
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What motivated you to start Neat Center? How did the idea come about?
During my third year as a pre-med student at the University of Texas, my mother was in a near-fatal car accident. She recovered physically, but her behavior changed completely. What had happened to my mother’s personality as a result of the brain damage she suffered? That question prompted me to study neuropsychology during graduate school. I now hold two master’s degrees and two PHDs in clinical neuropsychology and industrial/organizational psychology. My graduate studies were focused on clinical neuropsychology, specifically autism and Asperger’s syndrome.
In 2010, I opened a private practice and later was hired to do neuroscientific research for a biotech company in Austin, Texas. I soon realized, however, that my passion is working directly with people in private practice; I stepped down as Chief Scientific Officer of the company and transitioned my private practice into a neuropsychological evaluation and treatment center in Austin.
What was your mission at the beginning of starting your business?
Children, adolescents, and adults alike were vastly underserved in the neuropsychological specialty field in Austin. It was essential to focus on wrap-around care; from intake to assessment to diagnosis and treatment, individuals lacked a clear and linear path to getting the neuropsychological help they needed. The NEAT Center is one of the only specialty clinics in the Austin area that has doctoral-level neuropsychologists and nurses, trained and qualified to administer the full battery of neuropsychological tests required for a thorough evaluation, assessment, and diagnosis of a wide range of educational, cognitive, and mental health issues.
What do you attribute your success to? Is there a trait you have or a person who helped you along the way?
I believe that each patient put in my path--and the path of those employed by my company--was meant to be helped by me (us). I am a passionate advocate for children and adolescents, and my patients become akin to family. As a single mother of an adolescent son, I know what it’s like to fight hard for children’s needs and the importance of having support in their advocacy.
When times get tough, what would you say motivates you to keep going? To not hit the snooze button and to keep fighting for your goals.
I have been blessed; with that awareness comes the knowledge that I have a responsibility to myself, my employees, and most importantly, my patients. Being an active and important, part of the healing process for so many individuals ignites my passion daily--reminding me why I am so fortunate to be given the education and blessed to be provided with the opportunity to heal and nurture other people every day.
Employees are one of the most important players to succeed in business. What do you look for in an employee?
Anyone that I work with must be as equally passionate about patient care as I am; it is often required, in this field, to work long hours and have an eye for detail and a mind for multisystemic tasks. In addition, one must understand that what we do, especially when we put all of our efforts into it, can change peoples’ lives by providing a road map to health and healing—this, the acute awareness to content, and passionate and intrinsically rewarded employees. Most importantly, never allow your employees to forget how important they are to the company, to you, and your patients.
What is unique about your business? Is there a competitive advantage that you have over the rest?
The Neuropsychological Evaluation and Therapeutic Center of Austin is one of the only clinics within a 200-mile radius of Austin, Texas, performing neuropsychological wrap-around patient care. Moreover, NEAT Center has specialized, doctoral-level clinical neuropsychologists trained and qualified to administer the neuropsychological tests needed to diagnose and accommodate a wide range of educational, cognitive, and mental health issues.
Neuropsychological assessment through the NEAT Center of Austin can provide the following:
Educational assessment (IEP, 504 and special testing accommodations for college, graduate, medical and law school entrance exams)
Attention and concentration (ADHD, ADD, OCD)
Learning disorders such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and language and speech issues
Gifted and advanced placement assessment and recommendation
Asperger’s syndrome and autism diagnosis and treatment
Anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and PTSD diagnosis and treatment ● Executive functioning (problem-solving, reasoning, planning, and organization) ● Memory assessment (frontal lobe degeneration, dementia, and Alzheimer’s) ● Cognitive consequences of epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, and other health impairments ● Concussion syndrome diagnosis and treatment
Is there a type of marketing that has worked amazingly for Neat Center? If so, how did you stumble upon it?
Print publications were the springboard for initial marketing and search engine optimization; the key to success for the Neuropsychological and Evaluation Center of Austin, however, has been professional colleague referrals. By word of mouth and direct patient sharing, medical and mental health professionals are aware of the quality of care that goes into every patient case at the NEAT Center of Austin.
What are the three best pieces of advice that you would give to anyone starting a business? What do they need to know from the very beginning?
If you do not love what you are doing, you will not do it well; you must live and breathe passion for what you do, every minute of every day, and for all of whom you are fortunate enough to help and heal.
Surround yourself with people equally as passionate as you are.
Remember that financial success, although necessary, should never be the power that moves the wheels of motivation. If the devotion is the train--and passion is the engine--money will always fill the tank.