West Virginia Executive Summer 2014 - Page 105

early operations for PracticeLink.com was a compelling economic decision as much as it was a sentimental one. In my mind, West Virginia was a better place to take a risk.” PracticeLink established its call center in Hinton in 1999, which primarily interviewed and supported physicians seeking their next career move. The initial employees were all from West Virginia, and they helped grow the business quickly to establish itself as a leader in the industry. After overcoming several typical startup difficulties, including bankruptcy early on, the firm now has more than 40 employees in West Virginia, Louisville and St. Louis, the majority of which are in Hinton. Today, more than 5,000 of the nation’s health care facilities use PracticeLink for physician recruiting, and its self-titled PracticeLink Magazine won the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors top award, Publication of the Year. A Community Ready for Innovative Growth As the company grew, it wasn’t long before Hinton’s low-cost, small town environment, which was such an advantage in PracticeLink’s early days, began to offer its own challenges. Like many small towns, some of the amenities required to attract and retain quality employees were lacking. “We literally didn’t have adequate lodging for business guests or vendors to stay when they came to visit us,” says Tom Acosta paints a mural in downtown Hinton. Hinton’s restored, circa 1929 Ritz Theatre Cinema & Performing Arts shows movies and serves as a meeting space for businesses. www.wvexecutive.com summer 2014 105