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Alumni News Kevin Storr August 12, 2020

Derrick L. Miles, MSHA Class 34, was a wunderkind in the acute care world. At age 29, he led the Turnaround Action Plan for 33 departments at University of Florida Health Jacksonville (formerly Shands Jacksonville). By age 31, he was CEO in the Pavilion at Northwest Texas Healthcare System.

Miles had it all by most everyone’s standards, but he wanted more including quality time with his family. He also wanted the opportunity to create generational wealth through entrepreneurship. He began reading about astute businessmen such as Robert F. Smith, David Steward, Kneeland Youngblood and David Grain. Feedback during meetings with some of them and everything he read stated “you have to own”!

His passion for his family, his drive for new opportunities and the unexpected loss of his cousin to sickle cell propelled Miles to pursue his dreams. Changing careers after being at the top sounded crazy to others. But for Miles, it made perfect sense. So he became an entrepreneur to innovate the healthcare industry.

“My role on earth is to provide the best opportunities for my family and for me that is through owning businesses, properties etc.,” said Miles. “My oldest son is now 19 and he works with us. We are together in meetings and at fundraisers. I am grooming him to take over a business in the future. I could not do that working for a hospital or a health system.”

Innovative Healthcare Solutions

Miles has always been driven by an internal desire to do more and to impact people. It is what still drives him each and every day. He is the founder and CEO of CourMed, a technology company featuring ingenious enterprise software and doorstep delivery service of healthcare items. In other words, CourMed is the Uber Eats/GrubHub of healthcare delivery.

For example, instead of delivering food and people to different places, CourMed utilizes a network of thousands of independent pharmacies across the U.S. to deliver prescriptions, vitamins, supplements, and personal protective equipment (PPE) directly to homes and businesses. A patient can visit CourMed’s website and enter their home address that morning and they do the rest. They locate the closest pharmacy to the customer’s home and a driver delivers their medication to their door that afternoon. It is truly a solution that benefits patients, pharmacies and health systems.

Today, their unique platform is available in select cities including Dallas-Fort Worth, Scottsdale and Tampa. The company recently announced service in Birmingham (see their new PSA with Rickey Smiley above) and they have sights on expanding to Los Angeles as well.

“A pain point for all hospitals is that once a patient is discharged, they go into a black hole. They have no vision into the patient’s recovery,” said Miles. “CourMed gives hospitals real-time information such as when their patient receives their medication. When you consider 30 percent of all readmissions – around $8 billion annually – are related to lack of medication adherence, then you understand how much money CourMed’s service will save health systems.”

Scholarship in Honor of his ‘Brother’

Part of Miles’ unending drive comes from the one person he could not fully help – his cousin Timothy L. Miles.

“Timmy was majoring in finance at the University of Florida with plans to be an investment banker before he passed away from sickle cell anemia at 21,” said Miles. “He was like a brother to me. In fact, I named my company TMB Equity, which stands for Tim Miles is my Brother, to honor him and to accomplish Timmy’s goals. His desire to work in the world of high-finance is being fulfilled as I achieve my goals in health care through seed-stage venture capital.”

More than a decade after creating TMB Equity, Miles has found another way to pay tribute to Timmy. This year, he created the TMB Equity Partners Endowed Scholarship in Health Administration to support students in the UAB MSHA program.

The preference is to help a student from Florida who has an undergraduate degree in finance, just like Timmy. However, the main objective is to increase access to educational opportunities for students from underserved communities. Something that Miles feels was not a focus when he was a student.

Othell Raven MSHA Class 34Othell Raven, UAB MSHA Class 34“I am impressed by the diversity at UAB today. It was not very diverse when I was there 20 years ago,” said Miles. “Seeing a photo of today’s MSHA class really encouraged me. UAB has done a great job increasing representation from all areas and promoting an atmosphere of equality. I definitely want to support advancing diversity.”

He also wants to support students who view health care through a big and broad lens. Miles has seen the UAB Department of Health Services Administration grow widely in this aspect with more offerings in research, simulation, quality and safety and other specialty education.

He hopes to inspire students’ with an entrepreneurial spirit to begin to look beyond the hospital or even the city they live in and see healthcare without limitations. Miles believes this is why UAB remains number one.

“They look at all aspects that impact care,” said Miles. “My goal with the TMB Equity Partners scholarship is to make sure the UAB MSHA program remains number one in the nation.”

Hands-On Learning Outside of the Classroom

Miles will be “very hands-on” with the student that is awarded the TMB Equity Partners scholarship each year. He is excited to work closely with the next generation of healthcare leaders because the UAB MSHA program has a proven track record in matching students with positions and mentors. Some of the practical opportunities afforded to students are a year-long administrative residency program that places third-year students in healthcare industry roles and the UAB Health System Student Workforce Program that connects MSHA students to jobs with UAB Medicine executive leadership.

Miles admits he had “great mentors” and that made all the difference in the world for him and his career. Prior to joining Class 34, he learned from leadership at UAB and UAB Hospital. His mentors included former CEO Kevin Lofton and the former associate executive director Chris Mosley. Another mentor was Sabrina Shannon who was the senior vice president. It was Elizabeth Means who recommended that Miles manage the 33 turnaround action plans. He also worked alongside fellow UAB MSHA alumnus Otis Story (Class 13) at what was then known as Shands Jacksonville Medical Center.

It is their leadership, their dedication and their selflessness that he wishes to emulate for the next generation of healthcare leaders and those who earn his scholarship.

“I want to be intricately involved when it comes to being a mentor for our scholarship recipients,” said Miles. “I plan to play a role in helping them craft their career in acute care or otherwise. I will work with them to make the right connections that can help them succeed. I am excited to create a scholarship in honor of my cousin Timmy and I am proud to support my UAB MSHA family with this gift.”

Click here to learn more about Miles and CourMed.

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