How Vibrant Began

Kit and Amanda had worked together at another Medicaid agency for a brief period of time in 2016. Medicaid had just become privatized in the State, with Amerihealth, United Healthcare and Amerigroup being the original Managed Care Organizations (MCOs). Kit had previously been a Case Manager for Elderly Waiver Medicaid Members and Amanda had worked in a variety of in home long term care operations including private pay homecare, skilled nursing home care and hospice. Shortly after Kit came to the Agency, Amanda left to work for another. They had known each other a short couple of months, but had worked well together, liked each other’s work ethic and principles, and stayed in contact as friends in the industry.

Amanda had begun exploring starting her own company, but ended up backing out after starting the business plan. She felt it was a lot to take on individually when she knew she would be starting a family in the near future. She put the Vibrant Homecare logo she had created away and moved forward with pursuing other jobs – until Kit called to catch up one day.

Kit, started her phone call with – “You might think I’m crazy, but I think I want to start a CDAC Agency!” The industry at this time had a lot of unknowns. Privatization was a huge change and Iowa transitioned to this model more quickly than a lot of other states, creating problems with authorizations and payments. Providers and members were unhappy with all the new changes and regulations. Many companies had decided to not do Medicaid at all and shift their focus to only private pay. Some were “testing the waters” by only contracting with one MCO. Amanda didn’t think Kit was crazy on that phone call and explained that she had been thinking about it too. While there were new regulations and unknowns, both agreed that there was an IMMENSE need for quality agencies and that the need is not going away. Soon after that, they got together over a few cold beers and the start of Vibrant Homecare began!

Founded March 2017

Vibrant Homecare was officially founded in March of 2017 in West Des Moines, IA. In June 2017, Vibrant received its Medicaid certification, contracted with the MCO’s and took it’s first clients, providing Respite, Consumer Directed Attendant Care (CDAC), Supported Community Living (SCL), Personal Emergency Response Service (PERS) and Private Pay services. Since then Vibrant has expanded rapidly across the state, and added an Eastern IA support center in North Liberty, IA. In 2020 leadership made the decision to split SCL services out into its separate company to better allocate resources and focus on that service type. Today Vibrant Homecare provides Respite, CDAC, PERS and Private Pay services and Vibrant SCL focuses on providing SCL. Visit the Home Care and Supported Community Living Pages for more information.’

Serving Today

Vibrant Homecare and Vibrant SCL are approved to provide services in all 99 counties of IA. Staffing is challenging for all agencies, but Vibrant companies are continually trying to hire in many communities, recognizing that there is a shortage of providers in nearly all areas. Both companies also work with members and clients to identify if they have family or friends that might be good candidates for employment or contract, so that they can help provide services. Vibrant Homecare and Vibrant SCL are continually refining hiring processes, benefits and day to day operations to try to remain competitive and great places to work.

Any Medicaid provider in the industry can probably tell you about hardships and challenges of privatization and a heavily regulated industry. Leadership started Vibrant Homecare and Vibrant SCL knowing these things would need navigated and overcome. Lengthy and complicated prior authorization processes, low reimbursement rates, changing MCOs, and industry wide turnover and caregiver shortages can slow down service delivery and complicate communication. Vibrant companies strive to see opportunity within the market and provide solutions and staffing with a sense of urgency for Medicaid members, focusing on the things we can control and trying to lead our teams with these foundations. While the landscape of Medicaid continues to change, the need for quality in home care services is greater than ever before and Vibrant Homecare and Vibrant SCL look forward to serving Iowan’s for many more years.

Ownership and Management

Kit Baloun

Co-founder/CEO, Vibrant Homecare and Vibrant SCL

Amanda Marean MPH, MHA

Co-founder/CEO, Vibrant Homecare and Vibrant SCL

Tory Beaver

Director of Quality Assurance, Vibrant Homecare and Vibrant SCL

Alyssa Wittenburg

Director of Operations for Eastern IA, Vibrant Homecare and Vibrant SCL

Open (Tory Beaver – Interim)

Director of SCL for Western IA, Vibrant SCL

Other Administrative Leadership

Debra Clayton

Lead Service Coordinator
Vibrant Homecare (Central & Western IA)

Felipe Palomera

Service Coordinator
Vibrant Homecare (Central & Western IA)

Kaitlyn Damerval

Service Coordinator
Vibrant SCL (Central & Western IA)

Erin Koenig

Lead Service Coordinator
Vibrant Homecare & Vibrant SCL (Eastern IA)

Melissa Hauf

Melissa Hauf

Staffing Coordinator
Vibrant Homecare (Central & Western IA)

Gordon Ploeger

Intake and Family Caregiver Coordinator
Vibrant Homecare (Western IA)

Jennifer Hiracheta

Loas, Taidam, Vietnamese, Chinese & Thai Supporter
Vibrant Homecare (Western, IA)

Arriel Stafford

Administrative Assistant
Vibrant Homecare & Vibrant SCL

Karen Sobaski

Administrative Scheduling Assistant
Vibrant Homecare & Vibrant SCL (East)

Jamie Charlier

Staffing Coordinator (East)
Vibrant Homecare & Vibrant SCL (East)