Dr. Chris Low is usually a man of few words and is all action, when he set goals he never misses the mark, EVER.
Who is this Dr. Chris Low that no one seems to know about?
Dr. Chris Low is a humble disciple of Sun Tzu, which means, you will never see him coming until it is too late.
After graduating high school at age 15, Chris immigrated to the United State to start his university life. From a rather young age, Chris became a volunteer firefighter with DTFD to help pay his way through Old Dominion University. Being a poor/broke immigrant (no money) Chris needed a job while being a full-time student so he could send money back home to take care of his mom, brother, and sister. Luckily Chris managed to secure a position as a software engineer (1990) with a company called 1Darsystem which was a black box operation at the time. In pursuit of his academic path with ODU, Chris graduated with his BS in Accounting, BS in Computer Science, Master of Business Administration, and Ph.D. in Computer Science and Mathematics.
At the same time, he was also climbing the fire department ranks from firefighter to Sergeant (1992), to lieutenant (1994), and finally captain (1995). Dr. Low was also working his way up the corporate ladder of 1Darsystems, during that same time he was promoted from software engineer (1990-1992) to, project manager (1992-1994), to director of operations (1994-1996), and finally, he was anointed as Chief Executive Officer of 1Darsystems (1996-2002) by Dr. Ellane Howard the Chairman/Co-Owner of the parent company (Howard Enterprises) of 1Darsystems.
1Darsystems at that time (1996) was one of the worst performing companies owned by Howard Enterprises, with annual revenues of about $5-$10 million and about 100 employees. After his promotion to CEO of 1Darsystems, Dr. Low implemented a heavy change management strategy while moving the company away from being just a black box operations organization to developing advanced robotics and military applications working under a GSA contract. He rebranded the company from 1Darsystems to 1Dar Robotics and Software Systems.
By the end of the first quarter of 2002 1Dar Robotics and Software Systems had annual revenues of over $250 million and was the best performing company of Howard Enterprises. Not being one to argue with such results Dr. Ellane Howard (Chairman of the Board of Howard Enterprises) insisted that Dr. Low take over as the CEO of, then Howard Health Care an absolute failing health care company under the Howard Enterprises umbrella. Howard Health Care (2002) was then comprised of a small hospital (70 beds), 5 urgent care clinics, and about 300 employees with profit margins in the negative.
In the years that followed, Dr. Low threw himself into learning all things healthcare, both academically and learning from those with hands-on healthcare management experience. From an academic position, Dr. Low first secured an MBA in Health Care Management from UCLA and later his PH.D. in Health Care Management from Harvard Business School.
His approach to Howard Health Care was all hands-on. Dr. Low started by throwing himself into the medical billing department and learning medical billing inside and out. Next, he rebranded the company from Howard Health Care to St. Thomas Health Care. He then rebuilt the business model from the ground up by mitigating risk and setting the vision, and mission for the company in place. Next, he created an organizational structure, while building the culture and hiring and developing the management team.
He then created budget forecasting systems and later secured investment funding for expansion and growth, he also developed the company policies, while adding to the financial multiples. Next, he built the technologies to aid in driving St. Thomas’s efficiency. He developed the KPIs and Metrics to monitor overall business health. And yes Dr. Low (being a software engineer to his core) actually wrote the source codes for the EMR (LowEMR 2003) and later he also wrote the source code for the EHR (LowEHR 2012) which included an automated medical billing system. Dr. Low also built the patient feedback platform which had proven instrumental in addressing quality control issues. He also developed all of the marketing strategies himself.
In the end, after 20 years as the CEO of St. Thomas Health Care and Urgent Care Extra, the organization grew to 3 hospitals (1500 beds plus), 207 urgent care clinics, 3 assisted living facilities, 3 hospice care facilities, 1 adult day care facility, 50 plus BuyMeMeds Pharmacies located in the larger Urgent Care clinics, Carero home health care services, Ascend behavioral health care, and Vdoc Virtual TeleMed. Altogether employing over 25,000 individuals and generating an annual revenue of over $3.4 Billion. This was the pinnacle of Dr. Low’s career success.
In 2020 St. Thomas Health Care and its Urgent Care clinics were sold to Banner Health and a private equity group, sending Dr. Low into retirement after 30 years with his employers (The Howards). It is now 2022 and Dr. Low is back and ready to do it all again this time serving as the CEO of BHG a new start-up with visions beyond the stars.
Running parallel to Dr. Low’s career path, Dr. Low also had his strict private non-profit organization called the Low Schools of Jujitsu and Judo. The schools are steeped in Japanese jujutsu fighting traditions, drive heavy discipline, and teach respect for others, the teachings include an altruistic approach to life, humbling the soul, and preparing you for all the tough life challenges ahead. The main goal of Dr. Low’s schools was to bring positive change to at-risk kids or anyone seeking a positive change in their life. The schools are 100% non-profit and they’re no fees to attend his schools. To date, the Low Schools of Jujitsu and Judo work with over 3,000 plus at-risk children. Plus the schools have classes designed for helping women recovering from mental, physical, and sexual abuse, with his women’s ONLY Jujitsu classes which incorporate heavy close-quarters combat training. To quote Dr. Low “The women in our Women ONLY jujitsu classes are a serious force to be reckoned with”. The Low school of Jujitsu was founded in the summer of 2000 by Dr. Chris Low (Low Sensei). From the age of six, Low Sensei has been a student of traditional Japanese Jujutsu and Judo under Master Makoto Toyama. Sensei Low holds an eight-degree black belt (Hachi-dan) in Toyama Jujitsu Ryu and is now one of the heads of the Toyama Jujutsu Ryu system. Master Makoto Toyama spent most of his life developing his own jutsu and the history of Tamayo Jujutsu Ryu is about 225 years old, but we are under the impression that it could be much older.
Sensei Low holds an eight-degree black belt (Hachi-dan) in Toyama Jujitsu Ryu and is now one of the heads of the Toyama Jujutsu Ryu system. Master Makoto Toyama spent most of his life developing his own jutsu and the history of Tamayo Jujutsu Ryu is about 225 years old, but we are under the impression that it could be much older.
Dr. Chris Low also holds a black belt in Gracie Jiujtsu under Master Reylson Gracie.
To again quote Dr. Low, “I am a student first in all things, teach me, teach me, teach me”.