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Stevens expands Reliable Medical’s mission

Stevens expands Reliable Medical’s mission

Katie StevensMINNEAPOLIS – The experiences that led Katie Stevens to become the CEO of Reliable Medical last year in her mid-30s have everything to do with her leadership style at the company. 

Stevens got her start in the complex rehab industry more than 15 years ago as a customer service representative for a national complex rehab company, in what was meant to be a pit stop between her master’s dissertation and the Peace Corps. 

“I just fell in love with the industry,” said Stevens, who was based in California at the time. 

Stevens was promoted into roles with increasing responsibility in the subsequent 15 years, culminating in a regional vice president role, overseeing 15 states in the West. 

Stevens, however, was struggling with work-life balance, with a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old at home, so when she met Debbie Kalk, then CEO of Reliable Medical, and Matthew Pettit, the founder of Seven Hills Capital, an investor of the company’s, she was all ears. 

“It was a great company that needed a fresh pair of eyes – someone with a different business experience to help them grow,” she said. “So, I picked up and moved my family to Minnesota.” 

Stevens worked alongside Kalk until she replaced her as CEO in 2020. Stevens then began filling the seats around her with people like herself, with years of experience in an industry they’re passionate about. 

“Our vice president of respiratory care started as an RT in a hospital,” she said. “Our CFO, Deborah Wade, started out as an entry level analyst for another complex rehab company. Some of our regional vice presidents are ATPs by background and have had many years of industry experience and connection in the field. It’s resulted in a really strong and rooted culture.” 

So, while Stevens has been tasked with growing Reliable Medical, she’s also tasked herself with making the company a more “progressive employer,” not only when it comes to pay but also when it comes to flexibility, education opportunities and other benefits. 

“We’re going through a process of evolution where we’re expanding our mission beyond a focus on the customer to include our people,” she said. 


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