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At Phoenix Home Care & Hospice, Tara Bielinski was part of the team that raised annual revenue during the year of the pandemic – by double-digit percentages no less. Revenue was up 12% to $97.3 million in 2020.
As Phoenix’s vice president of strategic initiatives and population health, Bielinski seeks to lead by example.
“I remain open to my staff at all times, and they know and recognize that I will always work beside the employees of Phoenix and embrace every opportunity to coach and understand the needs of my teams,” she says. “My thought has always been you cannot lead what you do not know and understand. While it is very important that I can see and understand the big picture needs, I also have to embrace and understand the details.”
Bielinski is responsible for leading research opportunities and identifying community needs as well as ensuring that the marketing and sales staff is educated in value-based services in order to best serve the medical professionals with whom Phoenix works.
“We have the state service contracts in every region we serve,” Bielinski says. “The insurance industry is difficult to penetrate and establish trust and build relationships with. It takes time. We have been successful in obtaining contracts that our competitors have not, thus increasing the market share of referrals.”
Bielinski has developed a best-practice strategy for Phoenix’s client services team, and she educates all leadership team members on how to link service opportunities with people who need them.
Part of her job is brand awareness.
“We realize that brand is not just a logo or a slogan,” Bielinski says. “It is the totality of thoughts, images, feelings, senses and emotions that people attach to our name. So, we spend a lot of energy and effort thinking about how to develop true emotional linkage with those we serve. … We use real clients and employees to articulate their experience and differentiate Phoenix.”
Bielinski is one of 15 members on Phoenix’s COVID-19 task force charged with proactively responding to challenges created by the pandemic.
“Everyone knew what couldn’t be done. Phoenix found the ‘yes we can’ moments,” she says, noting the team served some 5,500 individuals on a weekly basis during the pandemic. “My marketing teams found ways to make significant contributions. Marketers made hundreds of phone calls to homebound clients to check in – encouraging them to keep well and care well.”
Bielinski created Phoenix’s Keep Well Accountable Care Organization, a program that works with physicians and care coordinators to ensure patients’ preventive care stays on track. She says the Keep Well ACO now serves nearly 10,000 people.
“To add another service line for our community is one of my proudest moments,” she says. “Being a trendsetter in our community and identifying a gap in care motivated me to put forth all efforts into making this vision a reality.”
The first downtown Springfield branch for Arvest Bank opened; a longtime licensed massage therapist became a first-time business owner; and 7 Brew Coffee opened its fourth shop in Springfield.