The Ethos Mantra
Empowering medical professionals so they’re best equipped to ensure patient well-being
Ethos Medical Staffing was founded by former travel nurse Jeff Stoner, who set out to create a staffing firm by travel nurses, for travel nurses. Founded in 2015 as Heartland Health Care Providers, the company — located in the Kansas City metropolitan area — changed its name to Ethos in 2019 to strengthen its brand and pursue new growth initiatives. The idea was to align with the organization’s mission to empower medical professionals — and “[we’ve been] rocking and rolling ever since,” says Director of Operations Zach Cochran.
Ethos has a nationwide footprint, placing medical professionals in all 50 US states as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands. Focused on the communities it serves, the family-oriented firm strives to advocate for its healthcare professionals, making them a priority so they’re best-equipped to care for their patients.
But Ethos knows that top-quality care begins with investing in its own people. The company-wide sense of belonging and leadership’s genuine interest in its employees’ well-being set Ethos apart from its peers.
We’re All in This Together
Cristina Berry joined Ethos as a human resources coordinator less than a year ago, but she already feels like she’s part of something special. Having come from a career in retail and restaurant management, she explains, the structure of working in an office is vastly different. As she learns the ins and outs of her new role, her colleagues are always there for her. “We are like family,” she says. “If there are ever any issues, or I just need help with something, there’s a plethora of people that are willing to jump in and help me and support me, which I believe makes Ethos stand out from a lot of companies.”
And that supportive sense of camaraderie is present throughout the organization, all the way to the top. Senior Team Lead Tifani Pressly notes that the entire leadership team is easy to talk to, and they are very open and collaborative with everyone on staff. “We try to have round tables about once a month with all the departments and leadership to discuss what’s working and what’s not,” she shares. “Leadership is very open to hearing our thoughts.”
That level of communication was especially important for Ethos during the initial phases of the pandemic while the company adjusted to quarantines and lockdowns. Technology was a main factor in keeping employees engaged and connected. “We would have [virtual] huddles in the morning and the afternoon,” Pressly recalls. “We couldn’t do a lot of activities because of lockdowns, but leadership was always communicating with us. They also made sure that no one was left hanging.”
But it wasn’t all work — Cochran shares that while they would have daily Teams meetings, they would start those meetings joking with each other and catching up instead of jumping right into business. That sense of camaraderie, so intrinsic to Ethos’ culture, helped the staff stay connected during such an isolating time.
Flexibility Makes Us Better
Even before the pandemic, Ethos understood that flexibility with remote work is important to bring the right people onto its team regardless of their location. Pressly already had six years of travel nurse staffing experience under her belt when Stoner himself invited her to apply to Ethos — even though she wasn’t located in the Kansas City area at the time. “I had just moved to New Orleans [when] I was approached about the job, and I wasn’t ready to move again,” she says. But Ethos wasn’t willing to miss out on Pressly’s talents just because of her location. She joined Ethos in 2019 as a senior recruiter and account manager, working remotely.
And while a majority of Ethos’ staff does work in the office, they have also enjoyed the same flexibility to ensure they can maintain a healthy work-life balance. “They give you the option to work at home if you have an appointment or anything, because they don’t want you to use your [PTO] for that,” Berry states. “They want you to use it for vacation, not for errands or if your kid is sick.”
Cochran feels that Ethos’s size helps them be flexible and adaptable. “We have the resources of a large company, and yet we have that personal connection of a small company, so we are able to pivot at a moment’s notice. An employee can call me and say [they] need this day off, and there’s always someone to step in,” he explains. “In bigger corporations that I belonged to, that doesn’t happen. You’re just a number. It’s not like that at Ethos.”
Your Growth Is Our Growth
Cochran also appreciates the avenues for professional growth and advancement that the organization provides. Previously a behavioral health tech in a hospital psychiatric unit, Cochran began his career with Ethos in December 2020 as an associate recruiter. However, Ethos fostered and encouraged his creativity as he found ways to improve operations in various departments. “That’s really what I strive to do,” he says. “I refer to myself as the fixer. I look at processes and try to make us more efficient.” Leadership took note of this skill and tapped him for his current role as Director of Operations.
Meanwhile, Pressly, who now serves as senior team lead, is excited about what other opportunities may be at Ethos for her. “Being promoted has kept me here,” she says. “The leadership positions that are opening up over the next couple of years have kept me here.”
Ethos itself is growing, too, and it has big plans for the next few years, including deepening its connections within the Kansas City medical community. “We want to continue making strong connections with local hospitals and begin developing and engaging in more philanthropy,” Cochran shares. Ethos plans to partner with hospitals for different charitable donations, such as Toys for Tots and other similar organizations. Cochran adds, “We really want to solidify our success and partnership in the Metro.”
And this community partnership is possible thanks in no small part to the dedication of Ethos’ internal employees. By building a supportive culture, respecting the staff’s personal lives and fostering growth, the organization a huge impact on its employees and ensured they are happy and engaged. Berry says it best when she states, “I’m so thankful that I’ve been hired into this company so I can have a good work-life balance. And then when I’m in the office, I’m happy, and I feel [it’s] like my second home.”
The name Ethos itself speaks to the heart of the company — the distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature or guiding beliefs of a person, group or institution. And Ethos leadership has been extremely intentional about creating and maintaining the right culture. “Culture was one thing that we really wanted to focus on,” Cochran shares. “Are the employees being taken care of? Are they respected? Is leadership transparent? Are we ethical? Are we moral? Do we have fun?”
By having earned a place on SIAs Best Staffing Firms to Work For list, employees have overwhelmingly confirmed that Ethos is delivering on those goals.