- change ups
Generation Care earns Top Women Owned Business award
Editor’s note: Each issue of the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a profile of one of the Business Journal’s reigning Top Women Owned Businesses finalists. The profile first appeared in the event program.
Holly Lookabaugh-Deur isn’t necessarily in business to make friends, but she certainly knows how to survive.
Lookabaugh-Deur is the president of Generation Care, a Muskegon-based health care company that provides land-based and aquatic rehabilitation therapy programs and services. Generation Care earned the Top Women Owned Business award in the $4 million to $6.99 million category.
“My most significant business achievement occurred in 2009, following a three-year investment in securing property and building a second 25,000-square-foot clinic in Grand Haven that we opened in 2008 in response to a progressively monopolistic health care environment,” she said. “I made the decision to expand to a new community and be more competitive, and expand specialty services such as pediatric therapy, women’s health and Parkinson’s programs.”
The bank financing the construction was purchased mid-project, and she was forced to seek alternative funding. “The new location opened in the worst economic environment possible, in August 2008, so I took it one more step and sought a major contract with North Ottawa Health Systems, which is also independently owned. We began the contract in April 2009 and doubled our company size.”
She learned quite a bit about doing business in a region where large health care systems dominate.
“We have had tremendous impacts on both the Muskegon and Grand Haven communities, despite large hospital systems’ efforts to direct referrals to their own rehabilitation services.”
Lookabaugh-Deur is trying to even the playing field, working with the Michigan Physical Therapy Association on legislation that would allow direct consumer access to PT and rehabilitation services.
The judges lauded Lookabaugh-Deur’s strong growth and noted her “strong values,” evident in the manner in which she leads and staffs her business.