Our very own COO and co-founder Marc Halpert was interviewed by Boss Magazine, a publication that focuses on best-practice companies. Read the full article below or view the article as it was published here.
Monarch Healthcare Management is changing the way rehabilitation and long-term healthcare is delivered.
“Every day we have an opportunity to change people’s lives.” That’s the ethic at the heart of Monarch Healthcare Management, a Mankato, Minn.-based provider of senior care. COO and co-founder Marc Halpert added, “You never know how small things can mean so much to residents and families, and how they can make life so much better.”
Monarch’s business is no small thing whatsoever, with 40 facilities in Minnesota and Wisconsin that cover the spectrum of care for seniors. From independent and assisted living to long- and short-term rehabilitation and skilled nursing, Monarch’s mission is to change the way those services are delivered by putting residents and families first. “We’re sharing the love of healthcare with those that we serve,” Halpert noted.
Halpert, a former skilled nursing facility administrator, founded Monarch with business partner Josh Legum in 2015 with an objective to provide better care and customer service for Minnesota’s aging population. Today, the organization has a combined capacity of approximately 3,000 beds and employs 4,500 people.
“At the beginning, all we really wanted to bring smiles to the faces in an everchanging environment,” he told BOSS. “It’s a stressful environment. Nobody wakes up in the morning and says, ‘I can’t wait to move into a nursing home when I’m older.’ We wanted to make it a pleasant environment for all of the residents and their families. We want families to be able to sleep at night when their loved ones are in our care. It’s a super important part of what we do to ensure that everyone is completely satisfied at all times, and we do that with five-star customer service.”
With the acquisition of four nursing homes and three assisted living facilities in 2015, Monarch began its journey with a small corporate office staffed by a crew of 19. Just four years later, the organization is supported by 77 corporate employees, and has built a robust operating structure that includes four regional directors, six nurse consultants, and a host of departmental vice presidents. “All these different pieces that we’ve been able to build did not exist,” Halpert said. “To support our growth, we’ve obviously had to hire people in different positions and programs, and we’ve been successful doing that. Not every idea works out, but we’ve been able to find new ideas and come up with beneficial programs that have allowed us to succeed.”
Halpert is a huge supporter of Care Providers of Minnesota, a consortium of nonprofit and for-profit organizations providing services along the full spectrum of post-acute care and long-term services and support. “We have education and training summits numerous times a year, with two large ones twice a year, one for assisted living and one for senior housing, and we couldn’t do it without them,” he enthused.
The company’s dedication to its employees is critical to maintaining excellence in service provision. “We’ve made a lot of investments in our benefits to make sure our employees are taken care of. We make sure that not only are we competitive, but setting the standard so people will want to work for Monarch before going elsewhere. We stay well-staffed, and we stay one step above and ahead of the competition.”
As a former nursing home administrator, Halpert knows all too well how attitude can influence care delivery and move the needle on customer experience. In fact, he insists that employees wear a smile at all times. “There’s always going to be tough conversations that you have to have, there are always going to be issues that you need to deal with, but there’s always time for a smile,” he said.
Unconvinced that such a small thing makes a difference? We’ll leave you with a story from Halpert that will change your mind.
The wife of a new resident sat down with him during the admissions process, and explained that her husband had taken care of her throughout their life together, and this was the first time she had to care for him. “We talked about the usual things, therapy, the gym, but then she said, ‘I need to know that you’re going to take care of him.’ I gave her my word that I’d check on him first thing in the morning and before I left at night. It was a big commitment, but I’m a man of my word,” Halpert recalled. “Every day for about nine months, I’d stop in and see him first thing in the morning, throughout the day and on my way home. Eventually he went to hospice and passed. I remember going to offer my condolences. I was already emotional, and his wife looked at me with a dead straight face and asked, ‘Why aren’t you smiling?’ And I said, ‘Well, it’s not the time to smile.’
“She said, ‘You made those nine months happy for him. He smiled because you came into his room and you were always smiling. You told him stories and made him smile and got him through a tough time, and that’s the part you should be smiling about. He would want you to smile every day.’”