We had the good fortune of connecting with Megan Shull and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Megan, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I have always enjoyed creating and leadership. There is no better way to do that than by owning your own business. In High School and college, I dreamed of opening a private practice serving those that needed support in finding their voice. I spent the first part of my career as a pediatric Speech Language Pathologist working in a variety of settings. In 2013, I was working for a pediatric home health agency and I had a co-worker who had an adult son with Cerebral Palsy. He was in need of speech therapy services to help acquire a new augmentative communication device, but she was unable to locate a therapist that would provide services to an adult with disabilities. Naturally, I said that I would be happy to help. And that is where my journey began. It prompted me to think about what would happen for the pediatric clients that I served as they transitioned to adulthood and community living. Being an autonomous adult is such a significant part of my own journey that I believe every person has the right to their own unique voyage full of joy, enrichment and purpose. I discovered that there was a desperate lack of specialized support services for the population. There is a specialty for pediatrics, for geriatrics, but arguably the largest part of someone’s life has no specialization or name. There is a gap in care and I became determined to help fill that void and thus Building Bridges was born. Our mission is to “bridge” the gap between pediatric and geriatric care for patients with developmental and congenital disabilities. It has been an amazing journey so far and I hope that we only continue to serve our mission by continuously bridging gaps in care and providing support to our clients to achieve their goals!
What should our readers know about your business?
Building Bridges is a one of a kind group by nature of who we serve and how we serve. We are a multidisciplinary agency that promotes a wholistic and interdisciplinary approach to treating adults with disabilities. Our team consists of Speech therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Behavior support and Dietary Intervention. We pride ourselves in providing access to care to an underserved population by integrating care into their daily living activities and bringing our treatment to our clients in their homes, day habilitation facilities or even into the community.
I am most proud of the culture that we have created at Building Bridges. As an agency, we truly place value in being innovative, in being highly specialized and in being highly skilled in our crafts. The passion of each of our therapists is evident in the love and dedication they give every patient. For our team this is not simply a job, but our calling and that is a really special way to spend your work day.
The challenges of owning a business are infinite and only compounded by the complexities of being a private practice in healthcare market. I recently was interviewed for a podcast centered around helping small practices stay private which is increasingly challenging. I think I have overcome each challenge because of the love and support that surrounds me. My faith, family, friends and co-workers provide foundational love and support which continually inspires me to dig deeper, push harder and ultimately overcome whatever challenges lie ahead.
As for what I want the world to know…. I want the world to know about the incredible patient’s we serve. We need increased awareness, funding and resources here in Texas to support adults with disabilities. Did you know that according to the CDC, more than 5 million Texans are living with a disability. This is 26% of our population or 1 in 4 adults. This represents a significant need for our state and yet, there is a significant shortage of funding and providers that specialize in caring for this community.
Our clients are able to access funding for services through Texas Medicaid Waiver Programs. These programs provide funds for long-term home and community-based services for people with disabilities or special health care needs in order to help them live in the community.
Building Bridges is a critical part of the network needed for individuals with disabilities to thrive within the community. And I am so incredibly proud of the innovative treatment strategies and integrated care we provide. We recently partnered with an organization, Ability Connection Texas, to initiate daily small group therapy as a part of their day habilitation programming. The program, Building Connections, centers around providing both frequent and integrated intervention targeting side by side collaboration of day habilitation staff and therapists. The outcomes have been extraordinary. Our clients are meeting goals, improving social skills, and all support staff, training centers and therapists alike, have developed skills and perspectives which enable us to improve our ability to support these clients.
At Building Bridges, we hope to give this population a name and to provide innovative and excellent care to our clients.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I personally love the Dallas World Aquarium, Legacy West and of course, a little retail therapy at NorthPark Mall. This area has so much to offer, it’s difficult to narrow it down to just a few.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shoutout goes to my family for supporting me in this adventure. My incredibly patient husband and my wonderful children have loved and encouraged me every step of the way, even when the road became bumpy. My mother and grandmother have always been incredible sources of inspiration and support. My sisters are both in the medical field and continue to be my biggest resources and mentors. And my amazing in-laws have provided their unwavering support and time to help me build my dream. There are countless others… I truly can’t name all those that have offered their love, encouragement and support along the way. And, of course, I can’t forget to mention my patients… each patient is the why, the fire, the drive and the hope I see that pushes me forward to look for the better tomorrow in my dreams.