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Shaun Francis took the family business and lifted it to new heights.

In the past six years, first as president and then as chairman, he has reorganized Medcan Health Management Inc. of Toronto, sold off two divisions and turned the remaining unit into the largest private health care management clinic in North America.

Medcan's Toronto clinic now employs 210 people, including 45 physicians, all focused on pay-as-you-go medical care for corporate executives and individuals with deep enough pockets to pay for their own health care.

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For the past six years revenues have grown 30 per cent a year and earnings before taxes, depreciation and amortization have shot up at a dizzying 67 per cent a year.

"I can see growth continuing at a similar rate into the future," he says. "Demand for private health care continues very strong. A recent report from Mercer, the consulting company, says 80 per cent of top executives now have private health care as part of their employment contract. At the same time the baby boomer generation has become much more concerned about health; they don't want to put up with the running around to get scans and tests that even the simplest annual physical involves."

Mr. Francis' father, Dr. Robert Francis, founded Medcan in 1987. In its early years the company had three divisions: One that managed disability claims for third parties, one that provided nurses to corporate clinics, and the Toronto centre, which was the smallest.

Shaun Francis chose a roundabout way to enter the business. He became the only Canadian since the Second World War to graduate from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. After graduation he signed on with Morgan Stanley as an investment banker trainee for two years before returning to Canada to become chief financial officer at Medcan.

Then it was off to the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania for an MBA. While there he wrote a business plan for Medcan. The plan saw Medcan selling off the two divisions and focusing on growing the clinic. When he returned to Canada to succeed his father in 2002 he put that plan into action.

Married and with three young sons, Mr. Francis continues his love for the military. He recently organized the True Patriot Love Foundation, which provides support for military families. This spring he is organizing a dinner, which he hopes will raise $1.5-million for that cause.

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