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Owner Dave Price talks about path to and joys of running home care franchise

Author: BrightStar

The Worcester Business Journal selected multi-unit owner Dave Price (BrightStar Care of Worcestester and BrightStar Care of Milford) as one of their Top 10 area business owners to Watch. The piece, which includes a video (below), profiles how Dave came to be a BrightStar owner (“to be part of a business that made a difference in people’s lives”), what he’s doing to differentiate himself in his community (developing and maintaining a caregiver training facility and pursuing Joint Commission Accreditation), and his participation on various area boards and non-profits, like the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

David Price: President and Owner, BrightStar Care, Milford
By: Emily Micucci

When it was time for David Price to make a career change a little over three years ago, the chemical engineer debated whether he should venture into the health care industry.

Price, 50, had spent much of his career managing high-tech electronics manufacturing operations, but had seen those facilities move to Mexico and China.

Price, a Mendon resident, said he liked the idea of being part of a business that made a difference in people’s lives, but the complexity of the industry gave him pause. In the end, he decided that complexity would create opportunities for innovation.

“There’s something fun about creating things, which is why I’ve tried to bring an innovative and creative bent to what we do here,” Price said, referring to the BrightStar Care franchise he opened in Milford in the summer of 2010.

One of 250 BrightStar franchise locations nationwide, Price’s Milford business provides in-home care to about 130 patients in Central Massachusetts, as well as on-site job training for certified nurses’ assistants (CNAs) and home health aides (HHAs). There are four other BrightStar locations in Massachusetts with different owners.

As a franchisee, Price said he has differentiated his business by including job training in his operation. He said it’s a challenge to find enough CNAs and HHAs to serve the growing demand for in-home care required by an aging population, and offering training in house meant he’d be churning out as many qualified workers to serve his clients as he could.

Rising Above The Competition

Quality is important in the home care industry, Price said. There’s plenty of competition with new agencies opening all the time, but he said quality varies. For example, Price said some agencies don’t provide clinical oversight of home care staff, which BrightStar does through a team of nurses.

“There are varying levels of quality in this industry, and everyone’s heard bad stories about things that may have happened,” Price said. “Part of what I wanted to do is be a high-road company.”

Part of the process was Price’s decision to pursue accreditation from The Joint Commission, an independent, non-profit organization based in Illinois that accredits health care agencies for meeting certain performance standards.

Price thinks his attention to quality is paying off. He said his business grew quickly in 2010 and 2011 before leveling off a bit in 2012. Today, he employs 75 people.

Price could work with BrightStar to open another franchise in the future, but he said he for now, his hands are full.

After Hours Activity

Price keeps busy in other ways: He plays the guitar and is a member of a number of area nonprofits.

In Milford, Price is vice chairman of the Milford Area Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors, as well as board member for Milford Regional Medical Center’s Healthcare Foundation — which is in a major fundraising effort to support renovations at the medical center.

Price is also a member of the Milford Regional’s patient-centered transitions team, which is focused on reducing hospital readmissions.

In Worcester, Price serves as co-chair of both the Worcester County Walk to End Alzheimer’s and the Worcester Area Geriatric Social Workers.

Martin Richman, Milford Regional Medical Center’s vice president of philanthropy, said Price is a “nice guy” with true enthusiasm for improving the health of the community, plus he has the keen business sense required to help lead fundraising efforts for hospital renovations.

“He definitely has a very strategic outlook and perspective that I think helps us,” Richman said.

Community involvement is demanding, but a worthwhile pursuit, according to Price.

“It’s really helped me get the full picture of being a small business owner in the Central Massachusetts healthcare community,” Price said.

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