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First Call

Joe Wolfe on his quality-centered home healthcare company

Article by Kacie Brown

Photography by Provided

Originally published in Tulsa Lifestyle

Even if you call First Call’s offices after hours, you won’t get sent to voicemail. That commitment - to keep phones staffed with informed employees - is just one way Joe Wolfe carries out his pledge to give customers quality service and care when they need it most. 

He’s in an industry that’s especially important right now. “We have an aging population,” Wolfe says, “there are more and more people needing healthcare services, especially while their families are working during the day, trying to make a living.” Wolfe meets their needs through a company that quickly emerged as a leader in the growing industry in the Tulsa area and beyond.

Wolfe, an army veteran, went to nursing school through the military. But after working as a nurse, he realized it wasn’t the job for him. He transitioned into medical staffing, rising through the ranks of a large corporation over the course of 12 years. Wolfe founded First Call in Tulsa in 1997 with former co-worker and healthcare executive Chris Sanders. Though they’d achieved impressive growth in their respective positions, they left hoping to diverge from the cattle-call hiring practices they were used to seeing in medical staffing companies. Just a few years after their start, First Call expanded, opening offices in Oklahoma City in 2001, Springfield in 2002 and Dallas in 2010. Now, they employ more than 400 people. 

Wolfe credits the company’s success in part to their focus on building relationships with other companies and clients rather than competing for business. 

“I really enjoy going out, meeting clients and getting to know them and understand them,” Wolfe says.

And for some clients, First Call’s staff provide more than just health care. He says sometimes home health staff serve as vital companions, especially when clients don’t have family in the area. There aren’t hourly limits on First Call’s services; some clients receive care around the clock. 

Wolfe also says they’ve built a reputation for excellence through a highly selective employment process. First Call hires home health aides, certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, and registered nurses. Only experienced applicants get interviews, and they go through extensive vetting to determine whether they meet First Call’s standards. The staff also go through 3 ½ hours of tests assessing their skills. They’re loyal, too. Some of Wolfe’s office staff members have celebrated decades with the company.

Outside of in-home healthcare, First Call also provides staff relief. Short-staffed hospitals and assisted living facilities can call the company to receive temporary workers. First Call even has longstanding contracts with industrial companies who keep nurses on staff. 

While Wolfe leads a multi-state operation with hundreds of staff, it’s clear in talking to him that he’s passionate about his business and the people whose care he’s so steadfastly committed to. “We’re their family,” Wolfe says. 

Visit my-firstcall.com to find out more about First Call. 

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