Dr. Gill performing ceremonial puck drop with the Charlotte Checkers

#TeamCEENTA came out to cheer on the Charlotte Checkers when they faced the Toronto Marlies on Sunday, January 21, 2024. CEENTA CEO Jag Gill, ScD, took a moment to discuss the game and CEENTA's history with the Checkers during the second period intermission.

Transcript of the Interview:

TJ Chillot: Welcome back inside the Tar Heel Linen Service Center Intermission Report. Charlotte Checkers and the Toronto Marlies. 3-to-1 is your score in favor of the Marlies. We'll go ahead and get you the recap here in just a second. But before we do, welcoming inside the booth once again Dr. Gill from Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates. Dr. Gill, thanks again for coming up here yet again.

Dr. Jag Gill: Thank you, TJ. It's been my pleasure being here.

TJ: Every year. I look forward to this a lot. I really do. I really do.

Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, one of the best partners that the Charlotte Checkers have. We're so thankful to be paired with you guys every single year and all the work that you guys do, not only for us in the community. But I want to just – for those who might not know if they're new to the Charlotte area or new to just the Carolina area in general, because I know you guys have so many locations. Let's talk a little bit about who y'all are and what you offer and what services you offer.

Dr. Gill: Sure. So Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates is a mouthful. So, we refer to ourselves as CEENTA. We just celebrated our 100th anniversary. And we provide any kind of eye, ear, nose and throat services. Any kind of subspecialty you need within those two services, we can actually provide here in Charlotte. You don't have to travel to an academic center to get those services. Having said that, we're also expanding into other areas, like facial plastics and estheticians, other services that we're now expanding into. We've always provided audiology services. We've provided hearing aid services. But now we're trying to expand into some other areas as well.

TJ: Can you tell us a little bit about the history? I know you just mentioned that you guys celebrated your 100th year, so obviously this is a company that has a wealth of history.

Dr. Gill: Sure. So, we started in 1923 with a small hospital up on Third Street. And have now grown to have about 160 providers, almost 90 MDs.

TJ: Wow.

Dr. Gill: Our claim to fame is that one of our physicians actually invented the ear tube for kids. So when kids have ear infections and things like that, Dr. Armstrong, I believe, is the one that invented that. And that has been extremely handy, especially for moms when kids can't sleep at night.

TJ: Yeah, for sure. I mean, that's something that's changed parenting. It's changed the way you grow up if you have ear problems. I mean, it changed medicine in general.

Dr. Gill: Yeah.

TJ: So, the hundredth year, that wrapped up last year. And you also won the Top Workplaces award, not only in Charlotte but nationwide. So what makes CEENTA just something that stands out and a place that you want to not only get services, but for those who are working in the field, want to work for you?

Dr. Gill: Well, I think it really starts with our physicians. We have top-notch physicians. So if we can provide that clinical care to our patients, that's where it starts. So, our employees understand the level of services that our physicians are providing. So when I welcome employees for our new employee orientations, one of the things I talk to them is to treat our patients as if they're family members. That makes life easier for them. It makes life easier for us as well. And that is the culture that we've been able to bring up within CEENTA for the last 100 years. I've only been there for about eleven years now, but that's the culture that we bring up, is we want to welcome you into our clinic. We want to make sure that we have aesthetically-pleasing clinics. We have great physicians, we have great employees, and we're here to take care of you. Most people don't get up in the morning and say, “I'm going to go, have to go see a doctor,” unless it's preventative in nature.

So we want to make sure that when you come visit us that it's a welcoming place. So when that happens, you notice that our employees are happy as well. So you notice the employees are smiling, they're talking to each other. So that's the culture that we've built up and that's why we end up winning these awards. And by the way, these awards are won by a survey of our employees.

TJ: Oh, wow. Okay.

Dr. Gill: So this is not an award that arbitrary or somebody thinks we're good. You have to meet certain standards, and that is a certain number of employees have to answer the survey, and then we have to score at a certain level. The last couple of years, we've been blessed to have scored very well to where we got nominated for Best Places to Work USA.

TJ: It's fantastic.

Dr. Gill: And so we were able to win those as well. And I believe this year we're going to be named Best Places to Work by USA Today, the newspaper that's out there as well.

TJ: That's incredible, because when you talk about that culture, I can tell you as a patient, there's a level of anxiety going to the doctor. Even if it's for something that you feel might be minor. The last thing you want to do is feel uncomfortable when you go in there because you want to make sure you're getting the right care. And if you're uncomfortable, you might hold back in saying what's bothering you, or you might just clam up a little bit, that anxiety. So if everybody's happy, if it's a great place to work and all the physicians and all the doctors are just nice and welcoming, all the patients are happier, everybody's going to get taken care of, and it just kind of becomes its own self-fulfilling prophecy. Right? Everybody's happy. Everybody's getting what they need.

Dr. Gill: It sure does. It sure does. And I have to thank our employees for that, because if we do bring in a new employee that doesn't fit in that culture, the other employees let them know that this is not how we do things. So, it's a lot easier now to keep that culture going.

TJ: So let's talk a little bit about the partnership then between the Charlotte Checkers and CEENTA and talk a little bit about why y'all enjoy coming to Bojangles and why this is the third year we've had the opportunity to do that. I know community involvement and getting out there in the community is very big.

Dr. Gill: So what's not to like about the Checkers? We love partnering with Checkers. I believe this is our 10th year, maybe even 11th year that we've partnered with the Checkers. So a lot of the things that folks need to enjoy hockey, the players need to be able to see very well. So, we provide ophthalmic care. As a matter of fact, we provide the team doctor, Dr. Schotthoefer, who's an ophthalmologist, to take care of them. So there's a fit right there for sure. For all of the fans that are out here, they want to be able to hear well. And that's where we have a fit as well with our audiology services and our ENT services. And it's really the people at the Checkers that makes it really special. I've enjoyed talking to you now the third time, I love what you do. But Mary Graham, who's here somewhere as well, is the real reason why this partnership continues. She does great community work with ALS and other things, and we like to partner with folks like that in the community. We do a lot of that type of work as well. And this year, one of our charities is going to be one of the ALS arms in Charlotte as well.

TJ: Fantastic.

Dr. Gill: So it's the people, it's the atmosphere. What's not to like? I mean today. Look at all the kids that are here. I am absolutely loving it. It's great that you guys are growing this small generation of fans that are going to come here for decades and decades.

TJ: We can certainly hope, right?

Dr. Gill: Yep, yep.

TJ: We certainly thank you for your partnership and everything that you've done for the last 10 or11 years, however it might be. I have one more question for you before you go. If you had to predict the score, what do you think the final score might be?

Dr. Gill: So I probably shouldn't predict because I'm two out of two and I don't know how this is going to turn out, but I love to see the score be 4-3 us.

TJ: I love it. I love it. A big third period. Well, Dr. Gill, thank you again for coming up here so much.

Dr. Gill: Thank you, TJ.

TJ: That was Dr. Gill from Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates. Actually, one more thing. If I wanted to find out more, where would I go to get that done?

Dr. Gill: So you would go to CEENTA.com. So c-e-en-t-a.com is our website. Please go there. All the information is there. You can even make appointments from our website as long as you are an established patient.

TJ: Awesome. Well, thanks again, Dr. Gill, from Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates. c-e-e-n-t-a.com. CEENTA.com. Checkers trail in this one 3-1. We got the recap coming up after this. This is Charlotte Checkers Hockey on the Checkers Media Network.


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