Gwen Beebe doesn’t wear a cape, but she’s identified her superpower: tenacity.
“I simply don’t give up, and my heart and soul is embedded to a holistic mindset that values the perspective of collaborative contribution of each stakeholder to achieve a higher quality of life,” says Beebe, vice president of operations and business development at Phoenix Home Care and Hospice.
She has spent 41 years in health care, almost half of them in home health. “My role in the overall picture of health care in the Ozarks is to improve quality of life through an extension of health care services to those who wish to receive services in the comfort of their home. I strive towards having a lasting impact on improving our systems that impact our communities with resilience, fortitude and mental strength,” Beebe says.
She oversees operations for 19 locations in four states, balancing patient care and employee engagement.
“I am a champion of patient experience,” Beebe says. “As an integral component of health care quality, patient experience includes several aspects of health care delivery that patients value highly when they seek and receive care, such as having a caring, skilled clinician or caregiver, easy access to information and good communication with health care providers.”
The care that Beebe directs at Phoenix affects other aspects of health care. “It serves the economy of the Ozarks well by reducing the number of readmissions, postponing or eliminating the need to move into skilled nursing facilities – where there is a greater cost to the state – and reducing unnecessary visits to their physician, all the while promoting a lifestyle of independence and enhancing quality of life,” she says.
As with many people working in health care during the COVID-19 pandemic, Beebe quickly responded to provide relevant support to employees and patients.
“Right out of the gates, our company developed a COVID-19 Task Force,” she says. “We gathered daily and remotely, sometimes late into the night, weeding through Centers for Disease Control [and Prevention] data and requirements that changed daily. The normal flow of business changed, but we were open for business each and every day. My specific role on the task force was to look at each and every concern my employees were faced with and provide answers and direction.”
She juggled worried employees, nervous patients and the challenge of not being allowed into care facilities due to the virus. And at night, she sewed hundreds of masks – not because she had to but because she wanted to have a variety available for staff.
“Maintaining employee positivity has been essential to consistently maintain exceptional care to our clients,” Beebe says.
She leads Phoenix’s Neighbors Helping Neighbors program that educates people about employment opportunities, and last year she spearheaded the introduction to CareAcademy, a virtual, state-approved training program for senior care that supplements Phoenix’s hands-on curriculum.
“My responsibility is to see that quality services are coordinated,” Beebe says. “My motivator are those who depend on me each and every day, my employees and our patients. I want employees to know that I understand that they need to be recognized and appreciated for what they do."
As Easy Mountain Cannabis Co. closes in on nine months of business, dozens of new patients pass daily through its doors – a trend co-owner Alex Paulson said basically started on day one.
Marc Thornsberry, a Senior Engineer at CJW, says he joined the company after working in the public sphere. He says CJW had a ton of experience working with the community, and putting their customer's and clients.
Sandra Smart, a technology and commercialization specialist, shares helpful advice and cautionary tips about the importance of tracking cash flow for new or established businesses. Smart works with tech entrepreneurs and hosts training workshops through the Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University's efactory.
Michael Smith and Chris Sawyer, COO and CEO of Next Level Solutions respectively, discuss how they keep their remote teams and offices in and out of country on the same page. Next Level Solutions was ranked #1 in the Springfield Business Journal's 2021 Dynamic Dozen.
John Oke-Thomas, architect and co-founder of minorities in business, responds to the accusation that minority businesses are only successful because of the priority they have received in lending. He says that if a business uses a loan well, it shows their worth.
Sandra Smart, a technology and commercialization specialist, shares tips for entrepreneurs who are ready to seek funding. Some of her tips apply broadly; some target technology industry businesses. Smart works with tech entrepreneurs and startups, and hosts training workshops through the Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University's efactory.
Hollie Elliott discusses common misconceptions about locating your business in a small town. She says that there are a lot of benefits that people may not consider.
Drawing on his own experience dynamically evolving his company and business model, Jim Meinsen discusses when and how you might need to draw on new technology. Jim and Debbie Meinsen are co-owners of TCI Graphics in Springfield.
John Oke-Thomas, longtime Springfield architect, discusses his philosophy on architecture. He says that future historians will be focused on the sustainability of our contemporary architecture.
Erin Hedlun, director of marketing and communications at Evangel University, says compassion is an important job skill. Hedlun says it is a component of what makes a leader.
Rachel Barks, owner of Artistree Pottery, talks about the concepting that went behind the aesthetic of the business.