Chance Becnel picks his business attire with care. And no, the president and CEO of Axiom Healthcare Services is not looking for the sharpest suit.
“In health care, if you’re in a facility and you say the words ‘the suits are coming,’ people run and hide,” Becnel said. “The people in the field do not like ‘corporate’ in general. In this organization, there is no corporate and there are no suits.”
Axiom provides back-office support such as accounting, human resources, training and IT to 10 health care facilities started by a trio of Wichita businessmen. Axiom is a finalist for the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce 2019 Small Business Awards in Tier 3– companies with 21 to 100 full-time employees – along with Choose Networks and McCurdy Auction.
Axiom’s roots go back to 2008, when architect Fred Hermes, real estate developer Matt Lillie and physician Greg Lakin built Family Health and Rehab, a skilled nursing facility on Wichita’s west side.
Becnel said the market “really responded” to the “cutting edge” design of the facility, which featured four smaller homes instead of one large “institutional” structure.
“There’s carpet, beautiful furnishings. It’s really high end. It became a home.”
With other investors, the trio opened a second facility, Derby Health & Rehabilitation Center, in 2010 and created Axiom Healthcare Management to run them, then continued to respond to what Becnel called a “huge demand.” To date, Hermes, Lillie and Lakin have developed five nursing and rehabilitation facilities, two assisted living/memory facilities, two senior behavior health hospitals and one Home Plus. All are located in Kansas except for one near Denver.
Becnel was hired in 2012. “They gave me the operational keys to the kingdom to do my thing.” One of the first things was changing the “culture” of the company, starting with replacing “Management” in the title with “Services.”
“Axiom now is very anti-corporate,” said Becnel, a Louisiana native who owns a minority share in Axiom. “Our facilities are managed and run by each of their own executive management teams.”
Becnel said the difference “cannot be more profound. Facilities welcome us, encourage us to come.”
By providing consulting to the individual facilities, Axiom helps reinforce what Becnel called the company’s core principle — “trustworthiness” — and mission statement: “Improving lives, exceeding expectations,” which Axiom employees refer to as “ILEE.”
“The best way to summarize it is, we’re all on this journey of love,” Becnel said. “We’re trying to love people from a medical perspective, from a clinical perspective, from a therapeutic perspective.”
And suits have nothing to do with that, he said.
“Only for photo ops, or when it’s politically correct for me to put a suit on. Day to day, it’s business casual all day long.”
Axiom Healthcare Services
Address: 10300 Maple St.
Owners: Fred Hermes, Matt Lillie, Dr. Greg Lakin, Chance Becnel