Spokane Journal of Business

Home Care merges with West Side provider

Combined company employs 750, plans aggressive growth

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Jeff Wiberg

Liberty Lake-based in-home care provider Family Home Care LLC has merged with Seattle-based Family Resource Home Care. 

The larger, combined entity will retain the Family Resource Home Care name, but it will be headquartered in Liberty Lake.

Jeff Wiberg, CEO of the merged company, says Family Resource Home Care now has a total of about 750 employees in eight offices across Washington and Idaho that collectively serve more than 1,000 clients and their families.

Wiberg and his family acquired Family Home Care in 2013, and he served as CEO of the company, which had about 350 employees prior to the merger.

“With demand outpacing supply, we anticipate aggressive growth over the next several years,” he says. “I’d estimate that by the end of 2019, we’ll employ over 1,000 people companywide, many of those being based here in the Spokane area.”

Wiberg declines to disclose any terms of the merger.

He also declines to speculate on projected annual revenues for the newly combined company, saying it has yet to finalize its new budget, which will ultimately determine its revenue goals. Last year, well before the merger, Wiberg told the Journal that Family Home Care alone expected to reach annual revenues of more than $10 million for 2017.  

Wiberg asserts the merged company is the largest independent provider of home care services in Washington, and one of the largest in the U.S.

“Family Resource Home Care has been a market leader in the Puget Sound region for some time now, and Family Home Care has been the same for the Inland Northwest,” he says. “This merger puts us in the top 1 percent in the nation for home care agencies in terms of size.”

Wiberg says discussions of a merger have been ongoing since last year.

“I’ve known David Lawrence (owner of Family Resource Home Care) for years, and we’ve worked together in the past,” he says. “We came to recognize this as an opportunity to combine our resources and serve more people.”

He says the two companies have spent the last several months working to combine common functions, including management, branding, sales and marketing, accounting and finance, human resources, and training programs.

Although the two companies have similar names, Wiberg says it was decided to move forward with Family Resource Home Care as the combined entity’s name.

“It made more sense to us to keep ‘resource’ in the name as it’s our mission to continue to be a resource to the communities we serve,” he says. “Adopting this name honors our past histories and reflects our culture going forward as one.”

Wiberg says the main purpose behind the merger was to combine the collective resources of both companies. 

“This allows us to help a larger number of people continue to live at home as they age and begin to scale our business to meet the industry’s growing demand for quality home care,” he says.

Family Resource Home Care provides home care services that include personal care such as bathing, dressing and help with medications; meal planning and preparation; light housekeeping; and companion care. The company also provides care for clients facing dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, as well as end-of-life, transitional, and respite care.

Wiberg says shared resources and a larger staff also should enable the new company to stay up to date on health care and employment regulations.

“In this industry there’s a lot of regulations to abide by,” he says. “Keeping up with those regulations takes time and effort, so in bringing together our resources we’re better able to maintain best practices for both our employees and our clients.”

Wiberg says this also enables the company to be more selective in the employees it chooses to hire.

“The larger you are the more buying power you have in terms of benefits you’re able to offer potential new hires,” he says. “This also allows us to attract more qualified, talented employees who are best capable of providing high-quality care.”

While Wiberg is the merged company’s CEO, he says former Family Resource Home Care president and CEO David Lawrence will now serve as director of special projects.

“The vision is for him (Lawrence) to be able to focus more on some of the future trends in our space, particularly how technology can help families to navigate the aging process,” he says. “The goal is to be able to position ourselves as leaders in the industry both statewide and nationally.”

Wiberg says combining resources is expected to further enable the company to launch new and innovative approaches to care, using technology capable of customizing and tracking care.

“Some examples might be things like smart home technology, or data predictive analytics,” he says. “Home care is unique in that we’re able to use technology to help manage illnesses, as well as prevent injury and mistakes.”

Wiberg says Family Resource Home Care is in touch with several technology companies that might be interested in beta testing their products within its home care populations.

“We’re still working through what that would look like,” he says. “It’s probably going to take time to figure out just how we’d adopt these tools, while also ensuring privacy and positive outcomes.”

Wiberg says the company plans to continue to grow through strategic acquisitions of existing home care businesses that align with its business model and values and are located in western U.S., states including Oregon, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada.

“Going forward, it’s important to us to become more geopolitically diversified,” he says. “Some states have extensive health care and labor regulations that can sometimes make it more challenging to do business there. Diversifying our footprint to include more markets allows us to continue to thrive rather than struggle in just one or two more highly regulated areas.”

Family Home Care was founded in 1966 as a part of what was Empire Health Services. In 2001, EHS sold Family Home Care to Michael Nowling, who helped grow the company to include services for North Idaho and the Palouse region. In March 2013, Nowling sold Family Home Care to the Wiberg family, which owned and operated it up until it merged with Family Resource Home Care this month.

Lawrence founded Family Resource Home Care is a Seattle-based company founded by David Lawrence in 1996. The company provided home care for clients in Seattle, Tacoma, and Bellevue, and employed nearly 400 caregivers and administrative personnel, prior to this month’s merger.

LeAnn Bjerken
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Reporter LeAnn Bjerken covers health care at the Journal of Business. A Minnesota native and cat lover, she enjoys beachside vacations and writing poetry. LeAnn has worked for the Journal since 2015.

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