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From left: Kim Melugin, Tara Bielinski, Phil Melugin and Brandi Bartell
Tawnie Wilson | SBJ
From left: Kim Melugin, Tara Bielinski, Phil Melugin and Brandi Bartell

2023 Economic Impact Awards 11-20 Years in Business: Phoenix Home Care & Hospice

Personalized Care

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When Phoenix Home Care & Hospice was founded in 2011, the company only employed a handful of people.

Now, Phoenix has almost 3,700 employees across Missouri, Kansas and Illinois – and annual revenue of nearly $120 million.

Like many other health care organizations, Phoenix saw a dip in employees during the pandemic. But in 2022, the company came back and rose above pre-pandemic numbers, hiring 1,494 caregivers, 493 nurses, and 77 therapists and social workers, plus adding a location in Hutchinson, Kansas, says Phil Melugin, Phoenix president and CEO.

“Despite recruitment challenges in the industry, it’s very rare that we have to turn away a patient or client for care, or to attract quality caregivers,” Melugin says, attributing it to the “magnetism created by the amazing people that run our branches day in and day out.”

As the company continues to grow, maintaining excellence is a top priority for Melugin. He says a key is prioritizing staff and workforce.

“It’s amazing how people come into this industry because they have compassion and want to make a difference,” he says.

Creating strategic initiatives for staff helps fulfill Phoenix Home Care & Hospice’s mission and target goals, officials say. In 2023, the theme is It’s Up to Me in ’23, which encourages staff members to care about the end goal, be motivated and believe they can complete tasks and that they will reach their goals, according to Melugin.

“Reaching every employee is not always an easy task, but in 2021 we also launched a new and unique retention and training initiative that has offered continued growth for staff in the field, called PHC U-Too,” Melugin says. “Since the start of PHC U-Too, the engagement of each initiative within the program has continued to steadily increase month over month. As the engagement climbs, turnover has decreased, which is the ultimate goal.”

In addition to employee growth, Melugin says Phoenix has an economic impact on each community it serves, by decreasing the cost of health care in a number of ways, including reducing the number of hospital admissions, postponing and sometimes eliminating the need for moving into an assisted living facility and offering preventative health care to clients.

In addition to being honored by Springfield Business Journal in 2022 with an Economic Impact Award, Melugin is also proud that the company was nominated into the Top 5 of the Readers’ Choice Favorite Home Health of the 4 States recognized by the Joplin Globe, as well as the Best of the Best-Laclede County, and voted Missouri’s Best Home Care & Hospice and In-Home Elder Care for the sixth year in a row.

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