Compass Medical Provider Helps Keep our Military Healthy and Ready

Kimberly Coad was a dental assistant instructor for Salina Technical College’s dental assistant program for ten years. In 2007, she supplemented her income with a part time job for a company that provided dental services for military personnel. “I noticed the way the company that was managing their dental process was not very efficient. Some service stations had lines of people, while others were vacant,” said Coad.  There were other issues she noticed related to patient care and documentation, and thought to herself she could do it better.

Coad’s experience in the dental field and teaching, as well as her belief that all of our National Guard and active duty military Service Members deserve better care, led to her starting her own company.

Taking Action

In 2010, Coad founded Compass Medical Provider, LLC with a mission to effectively and efficiently provide on-demand medical, dental, audiology, and other services for the National Guard and those on active duty. “I knew what I wanted to do, but I didn’t know the first thing about running my own business,” said Coad.

Coad’s first step involved reaching out to the SBA and the Kansas SBDC about creating a business plan, and learning everything she could about starting and growing a sustainable business. She enrolled in some Kansas SBDC workshops, including “Meeting the Three M’s: Marketing, Management and Money”, and worked on putting her plans together.

“I created a pretty solid business plan and took it to my bank for financing, but they didn’t understand how government contracting process worked," said Coad.  When the bank turned her proposal down, Coad decided to work another side job to save money to build up her capacity to handle a contract. After Coad managed to obtain her first contract with the Kansas National Guard, things changed. Sequestration hit and other vendors were not following the contracting rules.  When Coad started reaching out to future customers about their current readiness status, it was eye opening.  “I had to expand to stay in business and more importantly provide better care for our Soldiers”, Coad stated.  This is when it became very real to Coad.  The company was expanding and Coad needed assistance to do so.

In 2012, Coad attended multiple workshops about government contracting presented by the Kansas PTAC (Procurement Technical Assistance Center). Scott Knapp at the Kansas PTAC helped Coad restructure her contract proposals and provided her research. Scott also connected Coad to Teri Taylor, Business Opportunity Specialist at the SBA’s Wichita District Office, who helped her learn more about the SBA’s Woman Owned Small Business Program and the 8(a) Business Development Program

Boot Strapping and Hard Work Pays Off

The technical assistance offered by Kansas PTAC and the SBA helped Coad refine her government contract proposals that led to some being awarded to her. After successfully completing a few small contracts, Coad was able to demonstrate how the business would work on paper. “At that point, I took my plan and financial performance documentation to The Bank of Tescott in Salina. The loan officer there knew me from my work in the community and my 'never give up' attitude,” laughed Coad. “He had faith that once I dedicated myself to something, I would follow through and get it done,” Coad continued.

Coad used the funds from her loan to buy equipment and her current building on East Iron Avenue in Salina. Coad and her family and friends promptly updated the interior of the former office building with the dental equipment so it could be utilized right away. The facility has the capacity to process and serve groups of National Guard and active duty personnel that often number 150 patients a weekend. While this worked for Kansas, Coad knew she would need to add mobile units  in order to expand. She was fortunate enough to have two mechanically savvy sons, Devin Coad and Drew Coad and her father Lloyd Cochran (who served in Vietnam as a Medic), to help her build her fleet of mobile medical, dental, and audiology clinics.  “My family has an in-depth back ground in construction trades and a deep respect for our men and women who serve”, said Coad. 

Today, Compass Medical Provider, LLC is a SBA 8(a) Certified 100% woman owned small business that is dedicated to providing various healthcare services for the military, as well as private and public entities. Coad contracts allied health services from licensed and certified medical, audiology, behavioral health, nurse case managers, medical records administration, data entry, and dental professionals on a temporary, mission-needed (PRN), or full time basis.

Compass Medical Provider provides mobile medical, dental, behavioral health, case management, and audiology services for U.S. Military Service Members to meet the Soldier deployment requirements.  Specifically, the company provides Periodic Health Assessments (PHA), Individual Medical Readiness (IMR), and Soldier Readiness Processing (SRP) for the National Guard.

Coad’s team has served over 40,000 National Guard and Air Force Service Members since 2011. The company also provides allied OSHA complaint healthcare services for local commercial companies, such as Scoular Elevator, to satisfy their OSHA compliance requirements.  Her team has provided PHA services to more than 2,800 Soldiers in one weekend at nine locations with less than 20 days to coordinate it.  “I really think our biggest challenge has been providing these types of services while working with the lowest technically acceptable pricing.  Medical and dental care is expensive. When you add mobility to the equation it increases the cost of doing business,” said Coad.

Over the last year, Coad has focused on marketing Compass Medical Provider as an independent prime contractor offering its diverse allied health services. The company has deployed its mobile units coast to coast to serve the U.S. military, and Coad is looking to expand the number of soldiers they serve by adding more mobile medical and dental units to her current fleet.  

When asked what advice she would give an entrepreneur looking to grow their business, Coad said “You need to hire professionals that are subject matter experts in their field, such as an accountant and lawyer to keep your growth on track, and to help you avoid setbacks or crises.” Coad also stated that being a prime federal contractor adds a layer of work and responsibility. “You need to be opportunistic, tenacious, and willing to invest time and effort into your business if you want to transition and grow as a federal contractor.  I also feel it is vital to build a team you know will more than get the job done.” Coad concluded.

Company Name: 
Compass Medical Provider, LLC
Location: 
Salina, Kansas