We had the good fortune of connecting with Shahla Ali and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shahla, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I believe our practice is successful because we truly keep the care of our patients and the focus of offering help to our community as our top priority. Every member of my staff keeps our “patient first” motto in their mind at every task; from the first phone call a person makes into our office to schedule, to the actual evaluation with our providers and making sure the treatment plan is carried out. We want to give them the best treatment options and advocate for them with their insurance company.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
At Allen Psychiatry, we use our success to do more for our patients. This journey, which started almost 7 years ago with just medication management in a small executive office has now become a small company with over 15 employees and multiple treatment modalities including med management, Suboxone induction and maintenance, transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment, and esketamine treatment for treatment resistant depression. What sets us apart is our dedicated team, which not only makes a treatment recommendation, but also holds our patient’s hands through the process of getting the treatment approved by their insurance companies so that the financial burden is taken care of, offering them flexible discounted affordable treatment plans, and fighting the battles of depression, addiction and various psychiatric disorders side by side with them. With the recent pandemic, many people lost their jobs and all of sudden could not afford the medications they were stable on for years. Our staff worked around the clock with various pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies to find patient assistance programs and filled out paperwork to enroll them into those programs. The opioid crisis, which was already serious, has now intensified with COVID 19. The rate of depression, anxiety, mood disorders, alcohol and drug use has also spiked. Allen Psychiatry has remained open and dedicated to maintaining patient care from day 1 of this pandemic. Our providers started evaluating patients over an extensive telemedicine network, our admin staff started using IP Phones to receive calls from home, and our Esketamine and TMS team stayed on the ground to help patients in person, using the appropriate PPE. Allen Psychiatry is the very first Neurostar TMS center in Allen and no doubt the biggest Esketamine Center in Collin County. Giving hope in dark times is never easy, but our team overcame this challenge by practicing what we preach. We greet our patients every day with full enthusiasm and dedication no matter how tired and exhausted we are at the end of day because we all share a common goal of making a difference in our community. I am proud of our practice for providing more options to our patients. Most people only know about conventional antidepressants and are unaware of the options interventional psychiatry provides them. TMS has been FDA approved since 2008 but every few people are aware of it and they often regret not doing it earlier on after their diagnosis. Esketamine has been FDA approved since March 2019, but it is offered at very few practices and patients are often surprised that there is an antidepressant in the form of a nasal spray. We offer the most innovative treatments to our patients so that they don’t have to go to 4 different places to get their care.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First of all, I would tell my friend to keep their mask on at all times and not to come to my home if they’ve tested positive for COVID-19. With that taken care of, I would have to start with a trip to the Dallas Arboretum. Nothing can quite surpass a day spent strolling through mazes of gardens and hills (yes hills, even in Texas!). After that, we could always make a quick shopping trip to Legacy West and take in the white-marble storefronts and blue-white lights, a bit of metropolitan bliss amidst suburban Plano. For sunset, maybe we could drive back to the city and make it to Reunion Tower for a rooftop dinner amongst the city skyline.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Our patients deserve the credit for the success of Allen Psychiatry. Their trust and faith in our care has made us move forward leaps and bounds. I often hear from them: “I had many choices for a health care provider, but a voice in my heart was telling me that your practice will serve me right” Their patience, their love, their kindness, and their faith in our team made us work even harder to come up to their expectations. At this time, when a lot of practices consider their patients a liability, we consider them our strength and our reason to get up every morning and do what we love to do the most. Most of our patients seek our care through word of mouth, referred to us by their neighbor or uncle or a friend who urged them to see our providers. It was amazing how different members of our team from all different backgrounds chose to work for Allen Psychiatry and now each and everyone of them is a dedicated member of very well trained professionals who recognize the importance of customer service and understand the difference between sympathy and empathy.