2017 Nominees Section
Position: Executive Director
Organization: Right At Home
What role does your nominee have in senior care and senior care issues?
Jan became attached to the senior community in 1983, when she and a group of other women completed a grass-roots startup of the first non-profit hospice company in our home town, of Victoria, Texas. She fell in love with the concept and worked with this group until we moved in 1985. Since then, she has worked with several hospice agencies across the country as we have moved around for my career. This experience has given her the knowledge and strength to lead, train and develop others in this care program that has significant benefits to the patient and family alike.
This love for seniors and patients who were in need of hospice care led her to get an advanced degree in the field. Our two children and I got to watch her graduate from the University of Kentucky with a Master’s Degree in Social Work, which enabled her to extend her reach in the senior care community.
In 1996, she moved positions and went to work for a public agency that case managed care for home bound seniors in the greater Cleveland, Ohio area. She was able to work with public agencies such as Adult Protective Services to ensure the safety and wellbeing of her clients, as well as Meals-On-Wheels to ensure adequate nutrition for those in need.
Upon our move to California in 2009, we decided to become California business owners, and in September 2010, we became the owners of a Right at Home franchise territory in Orange County, a world-wide, non-medical home care agency.
Why should this person be nominated
Our business has grown steadily, because of the passion and sincerity Jan brings to the business, and because of the credibility she exhibits every day. She not only exceeds the standards of performance measurements, she sets the standards. While many Hero award recipients can state that they work well with others, and that they motivate others, and that they are looked to as a leader, I can go on and on with specific examples of areas where Jan’s love for people, her advocacy for her clients, and her passion for the business has made believers out of caregivers, clients and family members alike. She has been able to give family members an everlasting peace of knowing that clients have professed their love for God. She has experienced the deep emotional bond of helping clients with lifesaving efforts and she has worked tirelessly on clients whose life depended on the care we provided.
Let me cite a case where Jan’s consultation began when she visited an oncologist with a client. The client was told “that there was nothing more that could be done.” A simple response would be to recommend the client to hospice, which Jan naturally did. Because a part of the process always involves a person’s faith, Jan went above and beyond to discuss with the client and his wife their faith and confession to God. She found out about the wife’s concern that while he behaved like a Christian, she did not believe he had confessed his faith. Later that afternoon, a former priest came in to our office to hire on as a caregiver. Jan grabbed him, and she and he drove to the client’s home where the client professed his desire to be baptized and a baptism was performed. As we were de-briefing in the kitchen our caregiver came out of the bedroom and indicated that our client was interested in learning more about Jesus, and the former priest went in to counsel him for the next several hours. He died peacefully several months later, and his wife was strengthened in the knowledge that he was with God and she would be with him again. Her strong support was reaffirmed almost a year later when she needed caregiving support, and Jan was her first call.
Jan doesn’t just take care of our clients, she advocates for her caregivers, and will pull caregivers off of a case immediately if there is any danger to their security or wellbeing. A recent client was declining noticeably, and the husband was not taking it well. His behavior was changing and becoming conspicuously erratic. When Jan found out that there was a gun in the home, she contacted the sheriff’s department to get support as she went to the home to address the husband and assure the safety of her team. After some tense minutes consulting with the husband, the situation settled down, and a solution was reached. There were smiles and hugs that assured the husband of Jan’s support and advocacy and we continue service with that client.
I appreciate the opportunity to support Jan’s nomination. I have been proud to be her husband for 42 years, and I could offer specific, appealing achievements from every decade of our life together. Her position is that there is no gray. You know what the rules and expectations are, and you uphold them. She doesn’t demand perfection, but she does demand that you meet your promises. She earns and maintains the respect of all who work for her, and the respect of all clients that we take on. You don’t generalize about her and her achievements. Her individual accomplishments stick in your mind because of the impact that they have on people’s lives and more importantly the quality of their lives. She is unselfish to a fault. For these and other reasons, she is most deserving of your consideration, and to me, she is my HERO.