Moriel McClerklin, Southland Care Coordination Partners.

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Member Spotlight: Moriel McClerklin

President & COO, Southland Care Coordination Partners

Company Website: SouthlandCCP.com

Southland Care Coordination Partners (SCCP) provides population health management services including social service needs and healthcare to the State of Illinois. In partnership with health plans, physicians, hospitals and other healthcare providers, their team delivers a holistic, patient-focused service to their community.

Moriel McClerklin participated in the FastPath program and SCCP recently made the Inc. 5000 list for 2022.

Welcome, Moriel to the Member Spotlight Interview section. If you want to go ahead and just tell us who you are and give us an update on your business.

I’m Moriel Mclarklin, President and COO of Southland Care Coordination Partners or SCCP. We’re a population health management company that was established in 2012, primarily to address the gaps in service that resulted from the passing of the Affordable Care Act, which shifted health care from a FIFA volume based service to a value-based service. 

We are part of the teams of people who work with health care providers who work with health insurance insurers and who work with members, health plan members to create the value which is improving health outcomes and reducing health care costs. That’s the role we play, primarily in Illinois, even though now we are starting to develop plans to expand beyond the borders together.

Fantastic, right on. When did you guys get your start, and what inspired you to get into that field?

We started because a group of us who were always forward thinkers, and who had been in the healthcare setting from various perspectives, either as a physician or as a nurse or as a community health worker, or in the nonprofit sector addressing health literacy in healthcare access, or whether in the hospital setting, we all recognized the need for greater coordination and proactive health care. And so, when we heard that the State of Illinois was expanding its medicaid program as a part of the affordable care, medicaid expansion, and as a part of that expansion, they were looking to engage in what was considered coordinated care, proactive care or person-centric care.

We thought that we wanted to be a part of that dialogue, and to be a part of that action. And so we came together as a think tank in 2011. It was about forty people, including people in the financial sector, that led to a model of what we referred to as this smart care, less cost model, which was again to be a population health management company that would fill the gaps in care, in coordinated care, and from there we were able to get a contract with the State of Illinois, addressing care coordination within his medicated services, Medicaid programs. Then we branched out to begin to partner directly with managed care organizations and play a central role as an outsourced provider of health care, management, services, or health management services. And so that’s where we started.

Since completing the Founders First accelerator program, what impact did your participation in the accelerator program have for you? 

I think that the key element, for when we got into the Founders First accelerator program was that we were supposed to make a large grasshopper leap in our growth. I mean we were ready for accelerated growth. And it was very timely for us to be part of the Founders First program, because it allowed us to reflect on what we wanted that growth to look like. What would be the key performance indicators that we would need to be clear about in order to drive that growth. 

It was a lot of strategic thinking that the Founders First program helped me to engage in as the President COO of the company, and then to have those conversations with the key team, the board, then the shareholders, the staff which allowed us to then be able to be very concisely strategic about what the growth would look like, and how we arrived at that drove. From there we took off. 

During the accelerator program we were doing about 1.6M to 1.8M in revenue, I think. Now we’re well at what I projected, we would be at about 5-6M dollars in revenue and still growing. So. It was a very key program at a very key moment in our growth.

Did anything specifically impact your company over the last couple of years, especially during the Covid time period? How were you able to maneuver through that period of time?

We were able to be really proactive, especially during COVID. We saw where things were moving, and we realized that we needed to pivot. Because we knew that at some point we would all have to be at home. So we created a remote workforce before there was any demand to shut down. I gave all of our team the technological capacity to work remotely, put in the security parameters to make sure they can work remotely, and yet to maintain the security quality that we have to maintain dealing with so much health information. We trained the team. Then we were sitting at home before any governor ordered us to be at home. We were able to continue our critical services to our partners, to our customers at a time where even some of our health care customers were not able to provide some of the services that they were providing in terms of engagement of their members, because they had not prepared themselves for a remote experience like we have. We didn’t have any reduction in revenue. As a matter of fact, we continue to grow.

Did you see expansion as well during that period?

When I was participating in the Founders First program, we had about twenty to twenty four employees. Now we have close to about forty eight employees, with about twenty contractors added to that also. We’ve doubled in that time frame. And then we also purchased a building, so we will be moving out of our rental space. We had at least about twelve thousand square feet of office space that we were leasing. And now we are in a building that’s about thirty thousand square feet. It was already a medical office facility, and so it will allow us to continue to grow our whole concept of wellness. We will have a primary care building as well as dental practices. Some of them won’t be owned by us, but we will have other kinds of wellness services, massage services, manicurists, stylists, and we’ll have our own offices there, too. So we’ve been on a significantly upward spiral.

Well, that’s excellent news and congratulations on the new building and doubling your growth. Are there any fond memories that you had, or anything that you remember from participating in the program?

I liked the team aspect of it. We had moments where, as a team, we had to compete with other teams around strategizing critical decisions to grow a particular company that was given to us. We made decisions around staffing, core services, and then we watched how that one thing affected the other thing. Where do you expand? Do you offer anything outside of the country? I thought that was a great exercise, and it was good to team up with other business owners who were part of that exercise. So that’s one thing that I felt very comfortable about. You know, I think the sessions were very demanding. I remember spending all day Fridays and a good portion of some Saturdays too, but it was good to hear how other aspiring, growing business leaders thought, and some of the issues that they were wrestling with, and see where we fit on that spectrum.

What advice would you give the up and coming entrepreneurs?

The opportunity to understand the critical issues that you have to think through is very important. If you are a new business owner, I think it’s important to be in a program like this to be able to go through the exercises that allow you to plan and to think about various things. The key performance indicators, collaborations and partnership, knowing your critical numbers as it relates to accounting, human resource types of issues. To be able to think those things through with some competent consultants, advisors, mentors and teachers is significant. I would certainly, in that regard, recommend this to any new aspiring business owner or entrepreneur. 

For people who are in business and want to accelerate their business, the programs that Founders First offers for those types of owners are important, too, because it helps you to again understand what are the critical elements to a sustainable growth of a business? I mean It’s easy to go up and come back down that kind of cycle, but to sustain growth that’s important to have again that kind of mentoring, consulting, learning that program support.

Ah, well, thank you so much for taking the time out today and giving us some of your insight, and also just updating us on how things have been. This has been fantastic. Thank you so much.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity. Yes, sir, take care.

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