Christine Ehrich

Christine Ehrich says she needs a “lot of purpose” in her life.

That sincere desire, coupled with an entrepreneurial spirit influenced by her mother, led her into the healthcare industry. In this field, caring for people allows for purposeful service daily. 

The Midwest transplant first started a physical therapy network in Arizona, and it ultimately grew to more than 600 outpatient clinics in three states. After selling that enterprise, she founded Axis of Autism in 2021. The company serves families waiting for professional autism spectrum diagnoses by equipping a network of specialized psychologists with groundbreaking technology to complete evaluations faster. 

“I spent many months listening and learning about the barriers parents experience in gaining access to an overburdened healthcare system,” Ehrich said. “Recognizing that the current system wasn’t working, we began streamlining the intake and evaluation process. The earlier the diagnosis, the better the treatment, which ultimately leads to better short and long-term outcomes for children.”

Ehrich arrived in Phoenix in 1992 after graduating from the University of Dayton. She transferred there after playing center on the Ball State University women’s basketball team. Her competitive spirit as a student-athlete has carried over into her career as she admits, “I’m kind of a do-or-die person.” 

Whether it was the lemonade stand that she profitably managed as a young girl or how she attacks Piestewa Peak on her regular weekend hikes, Christine seems to go at one speed: swiftly and with vigor. 

The mother of two high school boys, Conner and Carson, Ehrich says they represent her proudest moment in life. “Such a miracle they are, and my pride and joy,” she said. After family, she points to her first business and its sale as a personal accomplishment.

“I love to learn, which was instilled in me by a grandfather who felt that education was important,” she remembered. “I also like being with people, hearing their life stories and learning from them.”

She must be a quick start because her emotional intelligence, leadership, and entrepreneurial success have garnered her the “Innovator of the Year Award” from the Arizona Million Dollar Club and recognition from the Phoenix Business Journal as a “Top 25 Dynamic Women in Business.”

When she isn’t leading her company and its team of two dozen employees or speaking at industry conferences as a subject matter expert, Ehrich likes to hang out with her sons in the neighborhood.

“Arcadia is such a wonderful community, and it reminds me of where I grew up in Indiana. The neighbors know one another and are so friendly. Riding bikes with my boys is a simple pleasure,” she said. 

Books and movies are also a personal indulgence, and she cites “The Potentialist” and “King Richard” among her recent favorites. 

“When all is said and done, I feel like I’m on earth for a reason: to help others,” she said. 

Little wonder she labels a would-be autobiography “A Path with Purpose.”