Wake Forest Had Her at Hello
Andrea Malik Roe (BS '99)
Andrea Malik Roe (BS ’99) is always on-call for her urgent care startup, Atlanta’s CRH Healthcare. As she works to grow her four-year-old company, she and her husband are also raising two young children.
Apart from the few moments of personal time, she devotes what remains to the alma mater she adores, and this summer she will begin a term serving on the School of Business Board of Visitors.
She credits a little two-letter word for what ultimately convinced her to attend Wake Forest:
She was offered excellent scholarship packages from both Wake Forest and Duke. To help make her decision, she visited each campus with her best friend. Sitting on the Quad, the pair decided to gauge the friendliness of the University by saying, “Hi,” to anyone who walked by.
At Wake Forest, folks replied, stopped to talk, and even asked if she needed help finding something. She chose the school where she felt most comfortable and at home.
But she nearly had to leave Wake Forest. Malik Roe’s qualification for financial assistance changed. That is when the School of Business stepped in and created a financial aid package that included the John Belk Stevens Scholarship. That was a kindness she will never forget.
The idea for CRH Healthcare, which operates dozens of urgent care centers in Georgia and Alabama, came from her work as the healthcare deal partner in a private equity firm. Her time sitting on boards and learning the risks of the healthcare industry led her and a colleague to invest their own money in an urgent care business.
Entrepreneurship runs in her family, so it’s not surprising she launched her own company. Her brother and technology entrepreneur Stephen Malik is the founder of Medfusion, a multimillion-dollar Intuit acquisition; her sister is a lawyer and successful healthcare entrepreneur; and her father was an Iraqi immigrant and an engineer whose name appears on numerous patents.
"I like problem solving and building ideas from the ground up. It’s just innate."
She most enjoys the time she spends in the urgent care centers, addressing challenges and engaging with her team. It’s how she started the business, and how she intends to ensure its continued success.
“You need to be able to go into the weeds and up into the clouds,” she said. “Otherwise, you’re going to miss something.”
And Wake Forest prepared her for that challenge.
“Wake Forest is a great, safe learning ground to test out your ideas without thinking that people are going to criticize you or slap you on the way down if you fail."
Malik Roe keeps a bit of Wake Forest with her always. She carries her old gold and black Tervis tumbler to the office every day and a hand-drawn picture of campus adorns her office. “There are so many fond memories, and you can’t say that about everything in your life.”