Franchising Today - Summer 2016 - 94
AMERICAN FAMILY CARE
www.americanfamilycare.com / Headquarters: Birmingham, Ala. /
Employees: 1,275 / Specialty: Family and urgent care clinic
American Family Care partnered
with Bon Secours Health System in
South Carolina to benefit its patients.
Taking a Chance
American Family Care offers affordable and quality
healthcare through its franchises. BY JANICE HOPPE
Recognizing a need for urgent
care clinics early on, Dr. Bruce Irwin
became a pioneer in the healthcare
industry in 1982 when he opened the
first American Family Care (AFC) location in Hoover, Ala. "I was probably
one of the first doctors in the United
States to open an urgent care clinic,"
he says. "I've been in this business
longer than anyone that's in urgent
In addition to its well-trained medical professionals, AFC clinics utilize
technology-enabled treatments and
equipment such as digital X-rays, onsite labs, state-of-the-art diagnostics
and electronic medical records. Its
network of family care/urgent care
clinics provide primary care, urgent
care for illness or injuries that are
non-life threatening, family medicine
to patients of all ages and comprehensive occupational medicine to businesses and organizations of all sizes.
Today, AFC clinics are located in 26
states. By the end of 2016, the company expects to be operating more than
200 facilities and plans to have more
than 500 urgent care clinics across the
United States in the next five years.
Because of his business model, Irwin was approached by many companies over the years to sell, merge or
add services to his clinic. He was also
approached to develop a franchise
model for his company, but he never
acted on any of these ideas until a few
"As a physician, I had a little bit of
hesitation to involve non-physicians
because I'm the sole owner and a
physician, so I look at everything as a
physician first," Irwin explains. "Second, I didn't have a good grasp of who
the franchisees would be. I didn't
think it would be sellable to doctors.
And third, we have been very busy
and growing aggressively over the
past 10 years."