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Irish healthcare company announces Arkansas expansion

Daniel Breen
Veronica Soultz, U.S. Contact Center Director for RelateCare, shows a mural displaying the company's key values at their facility in Sherwood Thursday.

Hundreds more jobs are coming to central Arkansas as an Irish healthcare services company plans an expansion.

Officials with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the Waterford, Ireland-based company RelateCare were on hand for the announcement in Sherwood Thursday. Chief Operating Officer Eibhlín Payne said the company is planning to more than triple their workforce in the Natural State.

“We actually already have over 100 mainly remote workers here in Arkansas, so today we’re really delighted to announce the official opening and the launch of our fourth patient coordination center here in the Wildwood Centre in Sherwood, and our intention to bring another 255 jobs to the area over the next three years,” she said.

Payne said the Sherwood-based staff will help support contracts with hospitals and healthcare providers around the country. The company primarily handles clinical scheduling and insurance billing calls on behalf of hospitals and healthcare providers, as well as providing triage and post-discharge support to patients from on-staff nurses.

Payne said RelateCare is seeking to grow their workforce to support their numerous contracts with American hospitals and healthcare systems, such as the Cleveland Clinic, Texas Children’s Hospital and the Duke University Health System.

“And so we made that decision to establish a physical operation here. That’s going to give us the opportunity to build what we want to become a center of excellence here in Sherwood, where we will employ patient services coordinators, registered nurses, and of course management and support staff including things like HR and IT roles,” Payne said.

Newly-elected Sherwood Mayor Mary Jo Heye-Townsell welcomed the news, citing the city’s suburban location as a key asset for attracting new economic development projects.

“This speaks to Sherwood’s wonderful demographics, the incredible workforce of central Arkansas, and to show its close provincial location near the core of the region,” she said. “When you’re close to the action but far from the noise, you have such great opportunities to recruit employees from around the region.”

While not present for Thursday’s announcement, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders thanked the company in a statement.

“My administration is working to make Arkansas the best state in the country to live, work, and raise a family – and that starts by creating an economy where jobs are abundant, and paychecks are rising. Through their landmark investment in our state, RelateCare is helping us build the economy we need to take Arkansas to the top,” Sanders said. “I thank the RelateCare team for choosing our state and look forward to working with them to pursue policies that make Arkansas an even more favorable candidate for business expansion.”

The company currently employs over 1,400 people working remotely and at facilities in Sherwood, Cleveland, Ohio and Ireland.

Daniel Breen is a Little Rock-based reporter, anchor and producer for KUAR.