2007 Existing Business of the Year

Sunflower Home Health Care, Inc

  • Owner: Christa McKinney
  • Nature of Business: Home Health Care
  • City: Garden City
  • County: Finney County
  • Phone: 620-275-4440
  • Business Structure: “S” Corporation
  • Business Began: 2001
  • Employees: 55
  • KSBDC Consultant: Patricia Veesart

For years as a registered nurse, Chris McKinney witnessed the health care needs of rural Kansans grow faster than the resources to meet those needs. As the population aged and as funds for community based services to special needs populations expanded, she recognized the growth potential for health care and support service providers. Sunflower Home Health, Inc (initially an LLC) started as a home health care company, but their focus now goes beyond the classic home health care services to the elderly, frail, and physically disabled. It now includes specialized services to people with traumatic brain injuries and to infants and children requiring technological and nursing support. Additionally, the original company has grown to either spin off, or spawn, four other companies and a not-for-profit organization.

The affiliated Sunflower companies are located in Garden City, Kansas and have a service area that covers several counties in southwest Kansas. Sunflower Home Health, Inc was established in early 2001 and has grown from that initial one person business to fifty-five full time employees providing round-the- clock services.

Chris came to the Garden City Community College KSBDC as she began making plans to open the business. She knew the state laws and requirements but did not have experience in opening a business. She worked with the consultant to develop a business plan, make financial projections and learn what records would be needed to run her business. They discussed marketing the business and also completed an employee handbook. “By working through the financial aspects of my business, I was able to see that I could fund it myself and not have to carry the debt load of a loan,” Chris explained. “This allowed me to cash flow my business immediately. The Kansas Small Business Development Center was very instrumental in my becoming a successful business. I recommend them to other people starting or even maintaining a business.”

“We believe in making a difference, one life at a time. We will achieve our vision by doing that. We can leave it to others to be the biggest. We intend to be the best at whatever we do.”

“I saw the potential because I was looking with my heart and my eyes. I knew it would work because the SBDC helped me run the numbers and write my business plan.”