Every day another 10,000 baby boomers join the ocean of retirees in America and Integrity Home Care Inc. is riding the wave to prosperity.
The in-home personal care and nursing company Greg Horton founded in 1999 was a small blip on the radar, but has since grown to be a regional industry leader with $58 million in revenue last year.
As the population continues to age, Integrity is running on all cylinders to keep up with increased demand. One of its biggest challenges is finding and vetting enough people to work in the field, says President Cliff Stepp.
The company constantly is advertising openings and its stringent screening process attempts to go beyond an applicant’s resume to the heart and drive of the individual.
“Of course they need to be able to pass a background test and a drug test, but more than that, we want that person who really has a heart and passion for caring for others. And not everyone is wired that way,” he says.
The organization now employs 2,900 people in Springfield, Joplin and Independence – including more than 1,000 in the local area. That adds up payroll of $52 million statewide, including $20 million in Springfield.
“Sometimes we need to expose that person to what it’s actually like in the field,” he adds, “because that will either confirm that’s what they want to do or it might confirm that’s not right for them.”
As a Christian-based business, Stepp says employees are not required to share the founder’s faith, but are expected to treat clients and each other with values such as honesty and integrity.
“We further explain that to people by saying, ‘Do the right thing even when no one is watching.’ And then to take full accountability for your actions,” says Stepp.
This growing workforce enables Integrity to help 2,000 clients in the Queen City each year – and 5,500 across Missouri – by maintaining more comfort and dignity doing what Stepp calls aging in place.
Patients are seen for as little as 30 minutes a day to 24 hours per day, based on their needs.
“We provide service from just basic personal care or light house keeping, all the way up to very intense nursing care,” he says.
The agency employs registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physical therapists and speech therapists, as well as provides employment for many nonmedical staff trained in-house. This wide range of skills allows patients to stay with the same care team for long periods of time, Stepp says.
Integrity also provides some care to the elderly in assisted-living facilities and nursing homes, but the vast majority of its services are done in patients’ homes.
“No matter your age, when you’re not feeling well, and you’re sick, [you] want to go home,” he says. “We want to go to the place where we’re most comfortable.”
Outside the office, Integrity’s leadership still has helping people on the brain, supporting numerous charities financially and in person.
Horton is on the Federation of Christian Athletes board; Paul Reinert, who became an Integrity partner shortly after its founding, is on the Camp Barnabas board; and Stepp is on the board for Springfield Victory Mission.
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