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Two-Way Benefits For Affiliate Members

Laura Williams (right) and Megan Hokanson are among staff members and residents at New Mark Care Center who enjoyed recent holiday decorations with one of four cats that welcome visitors and comfort residents. The center, a 30-year Northland business, is a good example of an organization that enjoys a mutually beneficial relationship with the EDC.

(The strength of MSBF affiliate, the Clay County Economic Development Council,is in its members. As a “thank you” for their invaluable service and to share their stories, we will present member profiles in our newsletter.)  

New Mark Care Center was established to care for an aging population and help those with injury or recent hospitalization. But while its work focuses on older residents, New Mark is also involved in several area efforts involving young people. A big reason is the EDC and its resources for networking – networking that really makes a real difference.

Workforce Solutions

Admissions and Marketing Director Laura Williams said one example involves a chronic challenge for nursing centers everywhere: quality healthcare workers. Although New Mark boasts remarkably high staff longevity in administration and other key positions, the business is not immune to the nation’s chronic shortage of healthcare workers. With its Strategic Initiative focus on areas like healthcare and links to training programs, the EDC has proven invaluable.

“The EDC has really been invaluable to us,” Laura explained. “They’re really helped us.”

The Northland Center for Advancement Professional Studies (Northland CAPS) is a good example. “We have three interns starting in January,” she noted. “The director of nursing already came in and said, ‘I want all of them!’ It’s been a great connection for us.”

Overcoming Hurdles

Other examples include the nearly endless array of regulations and inspections faced by all nursing centers. In one case, a rating excluded not just New Mark but all Northland centers from an important regional provider network. Fortunately, several contacts that Laura met through the EDC showed how to improve communications and pursue a solution.

“You would never meet these people outside of the EDC,” Laura said. “They have contacts who listen and it can make so much difference.”

Like hundreds of EDC members, the advantages are mutual. Laura serves on two EDC committees and frequently participates in special events for the EDC, its affiliates and related organizations. A big reason involves New Mark’s philosophy, which Laura credits to owners Doug and Brenda Adams.

“They also own centers in Phoenix and Topeka, but they think of them as family businesses,” she explained. “They began in the industry working from the ground up and they really focus on how we serve our residents.”

Reinvesting in the Future

New Mark’s owners don’t hesitate to invest, either. Although New Mark Care Center was built in 1987 and its adjacent NorthCourt Rehab Suites in 2003, they look and feel new. A construction project with new flooring, trim and other features is just wrapping up, ensuring the center stays that way.

New Mark also invests in what’s needed for quality care, including 16 therapists for physical, occupational and speech therapy. An intangible benefit involves the longevity of key staff, including Laura’s 10 years of service. Less formal – but important – are four cats that roam the center and help ensure a homey atmosphere.

“It’s a wonderful facility,” Laura concluded.


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Midwest Small Busness Finance | 7001 N Locust St. | Gladstone, MO 64118 | Phone: 816-468-4989