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Frogpreneur Wendy Fletcher, DNPWendy Tackett Fletcher’s ’12, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, FAANP, journey into health care began during her first year of college when her mother received a devastating diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer, marking the beginning of her immersion into what she describes as “the other side of health care.”

Initially pursuing a pre-med track, Fletcher’s trajectory shifted late into her junior year as she witnessed firsthand the unwavering efforts of health care providers, particularly nurses, who tirelessly cared for her mother and family. This experience deeply impacted her, leading her to change her major to nursing.

Unfortunately, just five days before her final year of nursing school began, Fletcher’s mother passed away. This loss solidified a commitment to honoring her mother’s legacy by dedicating her career to providing compassionate and skilled care to others, just as her mother had received.

As a first-generation college graduate, Fletcher has spent twenty-four years shaping her career as a family nurse practitioner, entrepreneur, author, speaker and health care consultant. Her nurse entrepreneurship journey began in 2005 when she established her first clinic, Health Plus, PSC, in Morehead, KY.

Empowering Change, Her Own Way

Driven by a desire to address “care gaps” in her community, Fletcher’s clinic experienced rapid growth, expanding from seven patients on opening day to a client base of over 5,000 in just six years. Building on this success, she opened Main Street Medical Associates, LLC, during the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to combat the opioid abuse crisis in Eastern Kentucky.

“Main Street Medical Associates is unique because we literally pioneered (in our region) the concept of integrated primary care including whole-person, whole-body care for patients with opioid use disorder,” said Fletcher.

Through Main Street Medical Associates, Fletcher not only provided crucial health care services, but has also become a mentor and leader in her region, training health care professionals from 16 counties in managing opioid use disorder in primary care settings.

“Our patients are successful in breaking the cycles of addiction and are recovering their lives and their health. It’s a beautiful thing.”

A Nurse Entrepreneurship Journey

Reflecting on her nurse entrepreneurship journey, Fletcher credits the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at TCU for deepening her understanding of clinical evidence and systems thinking, empowering her to advocate for her patients and be a leader in her profession.

Frogpreneur Wendy Fletcher, DNP

“I wanted to learn more, to do more, to be more for my patients,” Fletcher explained. “TCU taught me to bring clinical evidence from the research bench to the bedside, to become a true systems thinker, a voice for my patients and a leader for my profession. I was mentored at TCU by some of the greatest humans on the planet, and I am forever loyal, forever grateful for the experience.”

In a health care landscape dominated by hospitals and managed care plans, where provider burnout has reached unprecedented levels, Fletcher cherishes the freedom and adaptability that owning her own practice provides. This path has empowered her to navigate the intricate dynamics of health care on her own terms, granting her the freedom to prioritize quality care while upholding a crucial work-life balance.

Fletcher’s self-termed “12 Prescriptions for Success” serve as her compass in managing the challenges of her career, encompassing everything from daily gratitude to accountability and compassionate communication. She hopes that her journey inspires others in the health care field to pursue their passions and create meaningful impacts in the lives of those they care for.

“I am in the business of caring for others, sometimes on their best days, some days on their worst,” Fletcher explained. “It requires intellectual and technical skill, emotional intelligence and compassion beyond reason, but above all, it takes the desire to not just want to, but to do.”