Baha Zeidan

Baha Zeidan: Innovator in Health Information Technology

While working in a clinical laboratory, Valdosta State University alumni Baha Zeidan, Douglas Swords and Dan Henry began discussing a better way to deliver health care information technology and business solutions to help streamline and improve the quality of patient care.

In 2008, the young entrepreneurs co-founded Azalea Health in a small office in downtown Valdosta. Today, they have more than 40 employees in Valdosta, Macon and Savannah. 

“When we developed Azalea Health we found that especially in health information technology there was a lack of simple, affordable, cloud-based solutions for billing and maintaining electronic medical records,” said Zeidan, who serves as chief executive officer.

The company’s success has focused on recruiting and hiring the best employees possible.

“Our company’s philosophy, or any successful company’s philosophy, focuses on people, processes and products,” said Zeidan, who graduated from VSU in 2002 with a degree in computer science. “If we want to have the processes and products, then we have to have the right people.”

Azalea Health partners with VSU in providing valuable learning opportunities to college students and recruiting an experienced pool of talented employees for the growing business.

Currently, Azalea Health has five VSU interns working in the Valdosta office and plans to expand internship opportunities within the areas of computer science, finance, marketing and public relations.

Not only are the co-founders of Azalea Health VSU alumni, but a large percentage of the company’s workforce are graduates.

“Being headquartered in Valdosta, we depend on the university to cultivate and provide us with talent, and then it is our responsibility to try and keep that talent local,” said Zeidan. 

In April, Azalea Health joined forces with VSU and signed the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Employer-Educator Compact to provide students with more hands-on learning opportunities to connect their campus learning with real-world contexts and problems. 

The rapid success of Azalea Health has shined statewide and national attention on the company. In 2012, Azalea Health received the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Blue Ribbon Small Business Award for its innovative business practices. Azalea Health was one of 75 companies nationwide to receive the award.

Recently the Valdosta-based company was honored with the Small Business Rock Stars Award from the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Georgia Economic Developers Association.

In addition, Inc. magazine listed Azalea Health number 1,365 on its seventh annual 500/5000.