What most of us want in 2021 is a fresh start. Local respiratory therapists Kelly Maycumber and Amrit Kaur are no exception, though these courageous entrepreneurs were not content to wait for a new year. Instead, they began planning the launch of their new respiratory care business in mid-2020, despite the global epidemic ravaging the very system they work to protect.
For both women, respiratory care has always been personal. For Kaur it began with watching her grandmother suffer from severe, undiagnosed COPD while living in central California. Maycumber’s commitment to quality patient care started with her own son, who suffered from childhood asthma while growing up in Fort Riley, Kansas.
Maycumber moved to the Bellingham area in 2003, after being recruited by a local company to start a sleep equipment division. She met Kaur several years later, and the two quickly became friends, connected by a passion for patient care and a frustration with corporate health care models.
“(Over the years) I had countless patients call or walk-in on the verge of tears over the issues they were dealing with,” Kaur says.
Those issues included things like outsourced billing and a low priority for follow-up care. Maycumber also observed the growing emphasis on numbers, not patients.
Though Maycumber and Kaur have a combined work experience of over 40 years, the two women never imagined they would go into business together. It took an exodus from Maycumber’s corporate job, and the offer of big money to work with COVID-19 patients in New York City, for her to ponder her professional calling. She discussed it all with Kaur.
“I told Amrit, I think I’ll start a company fresh, one that will listen to the patient and be able to impact our community regardless of the crisis that comes our way,” says Maycumber.
Kaur’s response was immediate and enthusiastic. Soon after, AFresh Respiratory Therapy Services & Equipment was born.
There is nothing easy about launching a medical business, but both Kaur and Maycumber are committed to their fledgling company and its mission statement: “Providing compassion and hope, with unmatched respiratory care, to each and every patient.”
Both respiratory therapists specialize in sleep and non-invasive therapies and prioritize relationship-building with patients, ensuring everyone receives the best equipment and follow-up care possible. The company provides many types of sleep therapy machines, nebulizers and offers services such as in-home/office education and instruction on mask fitting with the latest technology for COVID-19 prevention.
While they are prepared and trained to help all ages, both have an affinity for seniors.
“I dearly love helping the elderly, and I have a heart for this population,” says Maycumber. “We will all be there one day.” 1501 Fraser St., Bldg. M, Ste. 106, Bellingham, 360.946.2828, afreshcares.com
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