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From left: Amanda Hedgpeth, Dr. Mark Entrup, Max Buetow and Dr. Tim Jones
Rebecca Green | SBJ
From left: Amanda Hedgpeth, Dr. Mark Entrup, Max Buetow and Dr. Tim Jones

2022 Economic Impact Awards 75+ Years in Business Winner: CoxHealth

Healthy Workforce

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CoxHealth is known for being the largest employer in Springfield, and officials with the organization say each team member is important to the grand scope of health care services provided.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, health care institutions became even more critical to the community – as did CoxHealth’s focus on employees.

“When I think back to early in the pandemic, one of the key decisions we made was to keep our workforce employed even as our business was substantially changing,” says Amanda Hedgpeth, president of the health care system’s Springfield hospitals. “We were losing money every day, but we knew long term we would need that workforce when the pandemic eased.”

Those employees were there when CoxHealth installed a multimillion-dollar COVID-19 ward on the fifth floor of Cox South’s tower. That effort drew donations from Springfield trucking company Prime Inc. and The Sunderland Foundation in Kansas City.

Employees, too, are central as CoxHealth builds out millions of dollars worth of “super clinics,” where patients can get multiple types of care in one facility.

“What’s helped us succeed the last couple years is our continued commitment to our employees, our workforce,” Hedgpeth says.

CoxHealth ranked No. 1 on Springfield Business Journal’s 2022 list of the area’s largest employers, with 11,651 employees within a 50-mile radius of the Queen City as of May 16. The company reported $5.7 billion in 2021 revenue, an increase from nearly $5.1 billion in 2020.

With COVID-19 now taking endemic status in the community, Hedgpeth says CoxHealth is seeking to use lessons learned during the pandemic to grow in the future.

Again, employees come into play here, specifically with communication.

“What we learned is how we can be more agile than what we were,” Hedgpeth says. “Those new lines of rapid deployment of communication, we embrace those.”

CoxHealth currently has around 1,000 employees working remotely, something Hedgpeth says is a change from pre-pandemic times. 

With the extremes of the pandemic in the rearview mirror, usual health care services have come back into play.

“We had patients who were putting off surgeries, diagnostic procedures,” Hedgpeth says, noting elective procedures also are making a comeback.

Hedgpeth says CoxHealth employees and administrators have a shared vision for the health care system’s role in the community.

“CoxHealth is one of the largest employers in our region. We view ourselves as being integral to the community,” she says. “We are making (decisions) knowing this is part of the community we live in.”

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