Formativ Health began looking in November for a city where it would open a 500-job patient access service center.
A visit during the Notre Dame-Navy football game that month sold the company on Jacksonville.
“You can’t beat personality and this city has personality,” Formativ Health CEO Dennis Dowling said at a news conference Tuesday announcing the company’s venture. “It has enthusiasm. It has excitement.”
Formativ Health will provide practice management services for physicians around the country. It will begin hiring immediately so employees can begin training in February to be ready for an April launch.
The company will lease four floors of an office complex at 4875 Belfort Road, which formerly housed Deutsche Bank.
Dowling said he found everyone he met impressively accommodating. He even offered a job on the spot to a female employee at the hotel where he was staying, who personally oversaw the resolution of an issue there.
He also credited JAX Chamber for his positive impression. They “put this place over the top for us,” he said.
Formativ was founded by Northwell Health as a for-profit joint venture with Pamplona Capital Management, a private equity firm, Dowling said.
Northwell Health is the state of New York’s largest health care provider and will be a customer of Formativ, which will provide comprehensive management services to physician practices, including tailored revenue cycle management solutions, patient access services, physician practice management and advisory services.
“We will hire a whole bunch of people here,” Dowling said, and “hopefully that will be the tip of the iceberg.”
Jacksonville native June Scarlett will serve as chief patient access officer. She left Jacksonville in the early 1980s and said she is excited to return.
Scarlett will oversee operations and said the company will be hiring for the 500 positions over the next 18 months. “And that is just the beginning,” she said.
They will be looking for people with customer service experience and experience in health care, including medical office assistants. For more information, interested applicants can visit formativhealth.com.
Chief Administrative Officer Nick Stefanizzi said the first floor of the 6,500 square feet of office space will be used for education and training and the three other floors will be used for operations.
Formativ liked the building because it is “relatively new and in good shape,” he said.
It also was wired for technology, which he said was “absolutely critical” and “helps with our aggressive timeline.”
The company will be doing aesthetic renovations, he added, because “we want people to feel they are in a work place with an engaging culture.”
JAXUSA Partnership, an economic development division of the chamber, helped bring the company to the city.
Cathy Chambers, senior vice president of strategy and business development, said when she met with Dowling in November they went on a commercial real estate tour to look for a location.
“Because they were forming a brand new company, it allowed them to move more quickly than most companies,” she said.
“When our chamber decides to go after a company, we are hard to beat,” Mayor Lenny Curry said at the news conference. “We are always going to be chasing companies.”