This portfolio originally appeared in Jump Point 9.7.
Famous for their high quality of care, Brentworth Care Centers frequently rank among the top healthcare providers in the UEE for both patient health, customer happiness, and cost. Many swear by their services, which include standard medical care, cosmetic surgery, and cybernetic replacements, yet some insurance companies have complained of the care center’s inflated prices and accused them of artificially raising the cost of service. Some insurers have even recently threatened to refuse claims for the expensive hospital. However, it seems unlikely that there will be a change anytime soon as those steep prices align with Dr. Jaleel Brentworth’s vision for the care centers that carry his name. In an interview with the Terra Gazette, Dr. Brentworth defended the premium cost by saying, “My philosophy is that treating the primary medical issue is only part of the process. Rehabilitation is a full-body experience, so I built my Care Centers around exactly that, providing the mind and body the comfort and care it needs to heal itself. And that additional care comes at a cost.”
QUALITY OF CARE
Jaleel Brentworth was born on Earth in 2829. He led a happy and privileged childhood until his older brother, Sajit, was diagnosed with a rare liver disease. Jaleel watched Sajit suffer through several experimental treatments before receiving an artificial liver. The implant restored Sajit to the energetic and intellectually curious older brother that Jaleel adored, but over time Sajit’s body slowly rejected the new liver. Doctors attempted to correct Sajit’s condition with several courses of suppression therapy and nerve reconstruction but it proved to be too much of a strain for Sajit who died a few weeks later in the hospital. The loss devastated Jaleel but inspired him to study medicine.
He attended the University of Earth at Australia (UEA) where he developed a keen interest in the nervous system. He became particularly fascinated with axons, nerve fibers that conduct electrical impulses, and wrote several research papers on ways to potentially improve how cybernetic implants and artificial organs connect and communicate with the body. This work drew the attention of UEA researcher, Dr. Ariel Roux, who was studying ways to reverse nerve degeneration, a leading cause of implant failure. The two joined forces and began conducting simulated trials of the new surgery methods Brentworth proposed in his papers.
Their initial experiments showed promise, so after receiving his doctorate, Brentworth decided against opening a medical practice. Instead, he joined the UEA as part of Dr. Roux’s research team as a surgical specialist. After years of experimental procedures, Dr. Brentworth became dismayed with their progress. In most cases, there was no measurable difference between the implant performance in their participants compared to current medical standards. The exception being several groups whose surgeries were done aboard a ship stationed in low gravity.
Professor Roux became convinced that low gravity somehow helped the nervous system form a stronger graft to the implants but Dr. Brentworth wasn’t convinced. He noted participants’ biometric data also showed lower heart rates and blood pressure that indicated they were more relaxed before and after the procedures. A difference he attributed to the participants relaxing in the luxury accommodations aboard the ship while traveling to and from the location. Remembering how stressed his brother had been during his extended time in the hospital, Dr. Brentworth wanted to perform the next set of surgeries in standard gravity conditions with the patients given resort-quality rooms to relax in pre- and post-op, but Professor Roux rebuffed the proposal to focus on more low-gravity experiments. A rift grew between the two and they amicably separated not long after.
Dr. Brentworth moved to New York City where his partner had landed a job advising a senator. In 2862, he received a substantial investment from his parents to open the first Brentworth Care Center. Built around the core tenet that the level of comfort and care received throughout the treatment was equally as important as the procedure itself, Dr. Brentworth brought in award-winning architect and design firm Lobi-Ross to make the treatment center equal to the finest resort. Business was slow to begin, until his partner, Darren, convinced a Senate security officer to get her malfunctioning cybernetic leg looked at by Dr. Brentworth. Other doctors had told her a new leg was the only fix but Dr. Brentworth was convinced a small procedure could strengthen the current graft. He was right and word quickly spread among the Senate security staffers that not only could Dr. Brentworth perform miracles but that a stay at his facilities was better than some hotels. This notoriety grew and eventually landed him his biggest patient Senator Linda Beckley, who suffered horrific burns on half her body following a freak ship accident. The skin grafts were so good that only those in her inner circle knew she had them. Still, once word spread to politicians, power brokers, and celebrities that Dr. Brentworth did outstanding work and prioritized privacy, business boomed. Even after the Care Center tripled in size, demand was so strong that appointments were scheduled months in advance. Soon powerful investors were scheduling appointments to get work done just for the opportunity to convince Dr. Brentworth to let them help him grow the brand.
Dr. Brentworth initially rejected expansion due to concerns over controlling the quality of care. He’d become a notorious micromanager, and even though he didn’t perform all procedures, he could oversee and advise at a moment’s notice. After fielding numerous investment offers, Dr. Brentworth saw the potential and decided to do it himself. He started small by opening additional Brentworth Care Centers on Earth. This allowed him to personally pick each location, oversee their design, personally interview and hire staff, and once open, be but a comm call away. These new locations were quickly booked months in advance and a decision was made to expand to more locations in the Sol system.
To expedite the expansion, Dr. Brentworth worked with advisors to establish exacting standards for his Care Centers. No detail was too small. From ensuring the right plants were selected for the lobby to specifying the color temperature of lighting in recovery rooms, all future Brentworth Care Centers would be built to these high standards. Dr. Brentworth established similarly strict criteria regarding medical procedures, specifically calling out certain biometric benchmarks patients needed to reach prior to a procedure and before being released. Additionally, the center’s profits were reinvested into seeking out the latest medical advances and training his staff in how to use them. Notoriously, Dr. Brentworth spent billions upgrading all the medical scanners twice in the same year after a newer, slightly more accurate, model was released. He claimed that nothing relaxed patients more and helped them heal than knowing they were getting the best care.
Before long, there were Brentworth Care Centers in systems across the Empire. By the early 2900s, many other practices tried to replicate the care center’s brand of luxury medicine, but none would ever match Brentworth in prestige and popularity. In 2917, Dr. Jaleel Brentworth retired and died shortly thereafter at the relatively young age of 87. His partner revealed posthumously that Jaleel had suffered from chronic kidney disease and had decided against receiving artificial replacements, joking that the only person he’d ever trust the procedure with was himself. While the man may have slowly faded from public consciousness over the years, Brentworth Care Centers will continue to carry his name far into the future, and stand as a testament to the high quality of care and meticulous dedication to detail that makes them some of the best medical facilities around.