Springfield, MO

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Standing: Dr. Luke Van Kirk, founder/CEO, and Corinne Griffin, office managerSeated: Erin Horst, receptionist, and Brock Frazier, physician assistant
Tawnie Wilson | SBJ
Standing: Dr. Luke Van Kirk, founder/CEO, and Corinne Griffin, office manager

Seated: Erin Horst, receptionist, and Brock Frazier, physician assistant

2024 Dynamic Dozen No. 7: Command Family Medicine PC

Posted online

SBJ: What has been key to your recent growth?
Dr. Luke Van Kirk: We partnered with Paul Mueller to offer health care to their employees. That’s been huge and we have a contract with them, where it’s part of the benefits package where the employer pays for our health membership instead of the employee. We’ve also had a contract with Sight & Sound Theatres since 2021. The amount of patients we’ve had from them has steadily grown since then.

SBJ: What are your main issues when it comes to managing growth?
Van Kirk: The biggest potential issue is having enough providers with enough space on their panels to be able to take on the growth. Fortunately, in 2022, we were blessed when two physicians joined us, leading up to the Paul Mueller contract. We hired them before we knew anything about it, so that worked out great. But that has been tough to manage in the past, especially earlier on when it was just a nurse practitioner and myself. There was a point we had to turn off all our advertising, because we were growing a bit faster than we could manage just between the two of us.

SBJ: What has your growth enabled you to do as a company?
Van Kirk: We’ve been able to focus on our Branson location. We haven’t had the time and resources to really try and help get that going or grow better. Now, with the growth that we’ve had the last couple of years, we’ve been able to expand it. We were subleasing a location from a doctor there, who was letting us see patients out of his clinics. But now we have our own location, right next door. Then we hired a full-time nurse practitioner so we can bring in more patients from the community, which we didn’t have the capacity to do before.

SBJ: Isn’t Command starting a second clinic in Springfield as well?
Van Kirk: As of April 1, I took over the on-site clinic at Prime Trucking. That will be under the Command Family Medicine umbrella, and we’re going to call it Command Health. We will offer our membership there, but Prime also wants their employees to be able to use their insurance, so it will be a little different model there.

SBJ: With that added clinic, do you expect to continue to see growth like you’ve had the last few years?

Van Kirk: Hopefully. A lot of their drivers are independent contractors, many of which don’t have insurance or they don’t have company insurance, so they are ideal membership plan patients. Hopefully, we will see a big growth from that.

SBJ: How have your goals changed as the business has taken off?
Van Kirk: My goals have become more conservative and realistic. I wanted to open locations in St. Louis, Bentonville, wherever. Now as we’ve grown, and I see what it takes to grow, I am a bit more comfortable with growing locally and not spreading myself too thin.

SBJ: What is the best business advice you have received?
Van Kirk: I had a cousin who was a mentor to me. He started a similar clinic in Wichita 14 years ago. He told me, “Keep it Simple, Stupid” or “Keep it Stupid Simple,” however you want to say it. There were times I didn’t keep it simple and that’s where I went wrong. I tried starting a medical spa, and it didn’t go well. I didn’t enjoy it, and it cost me a lot of money. Then I’ve had push from staff to add tiers to membership levels, which sounds good, but then it gets too complicated. The more complicated our model, the less likely people are to sign up.


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