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From left: Kristen Lantz, Melanie Stinnett and Allyson Beary
McKenzie Robinson | SBJ
From left: Kristen Lantz, Melanie Stinnett and Allyson Beary

2021 Economic Impact Awards 1-7 Years in Business Honoree: TheraCare Outpatient Services LLC

Environment of Care

Posted online

To say TheraCare Outpatient Services LLC had humble beginnings might be an understatement.

Melanie Stinnett founded the for-profit business seven years ago and worked as its sole employee and speech therapist for eight months before making her first hire.

TheraCare, which primarily focuses on pediatrics for its health care services, such as speech, occupational and physical therapy, has grown revenue annually to become a $1 million company in 2020.

TheraCare’s staff has kept pace. Today, nine speech-language pathologists, five occupational therapists, three speech-language pathology assistants, three occupational therapy assistants, one physical therapist and five office staff members work at the clinic.

“If you told me when I was dreaming up TheraCare seven years ago that we would be where we are, I would have probably laughed,” Stinnett says.

Although TheraCare decided to suspend on-site clinic visits last year for two months amid the coronavirus pandemic, Stinnett says it provided an opportunity to almost immediately pivot to teletherapy. The move resulted in 40% of the children TheraCare serves having no interruption in care.

“Our occupational and physical therapists had to quickly get up to speed with what teletherapy looks like for a profession that is more hands on and doing more physical mobility things, and getting families on board with that,” she says.

Clients weren’t the only ones helped last year. TheraCare received around $160,000 in Paycheck Protection Program loans, which allowed the staff to get paid even during the period the clinic was closed to visitors.

“It was a huge, huge blessing for our business because initially our people were concerned about keeping their jobs, and we were able to continue all of our employment,” she says. “We didn’t have to lay anyone off.”

Stinnett’s impact with TheraCare extends beyond the Springfield area, as she travels several times a year to Jefferson City to advocate in legislative hearings for the company’s clients.

Aside from its clinic and teletherapy work, TheraCare also provides services in nine public school districts or cooperatives – a number Stinnett says they want to increase. Those served include Tri-Lakes Cooperative, comprising 17 rural school districts that combine their special education services.

Stinnett says she’s most proud of how her employees responded over the past year amid workplace environment challenges.

“Our mission statement says we want to provide services in a safe and caring environment,” she says.

“Everybody was on board with that, and all decisions were filtered through that mission statement.”

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