Making a lasting impression on anyone in just a matter of hours may seem like a futile and unattainable endeavor. But, when it comes down to the final moments in a person’s life, every second counts more than the last.
BrightStar Care franchisees and two-time Clinical Excellence Award winners Diana and John Hohmann know this better than anyone.
One Friday at 5:00 p.m., as most Americans eagerly rushed home to get a jumpstart on weekend plans, the Hohmanns received a call from a local hospital about a discharged patient. Shef was on her way to hospice care.
Eager to get her back to the comfort of her own home, hospital nurses were scrambling to find at-home caregivers to ease the transition.
As other home care agencies closed their doors for the day, the Hohmanns and their BrightStar Care staff were more than happy to fulfill the last-minute request and ensure the patient would be able to return home the next day.
The Hohmanns and their employees stayed at the office until 10:00 p.m. that night, making sure they had everything in place to provide the woman with a smooth, seamless transition home in fewer than 24 hours.
“The next day, we were with this lovely woman at her home, and after just two hours, she unfortunately passed away,” Diana recalled. “A couple days later, we received an amazing, beautiful note from the woman’s daughter telling us what angels we were, how much she appreciated us and how much it meant that we were there for her mother during her most difficult time.”
“Something as simple as just being there for two hours made such a big difference in someone’s life,” John added.
Meaningful Work That’s More Than Just a Job
With such boundless dedication and compassion for their clients, it’s no surprise the Hohmanns have twice been honored with the Clinical Excellence Award, one of BrightStar Care’s most prestigious awards.
With the annual award, several BrightStar Care franchisees and their staff are recognized for their commitment to providing a higher standard of care for clients – who rely on BrightStar Care every day to have their personal and medical care needs met.
“There aren’t many careers that allow you to connect with and provide care and support for people during some of life’s most important, pivotal and trying times. It makes for incredibly meaningful and fulfilling work,” Diana said.
“Every day, we experience moments where we say, ‘This is why we do this. This is why we went into home care,’” John added. “The work we do is not just a job – it’s someone’s life.”
Before becoming BrightStar Care franchise owners, John and Diana were privy to the importance of providing best-in-class care for clients. John was a pharmacist and Diana worked in occupational therapy.
“We had always really wanted to own our own business, and we especially wanted a business in skilled services, so we looked at home health care pretty closely from the get-go,” John said. “Aside from finding a business that was a sound investment with strong ROI, we wanted to make sure we were able to find meaning in our work and surround ourselves with people who brought the same commitment, passion and focus to their work that we would.”
Aligning Themselves with a Value-Oriented Brand – and Dedicated Team Members
After deciding to pursue a business in home health care, John and Diana acquired an existing BrightStar Care franchise in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, and later acquired a second BrightStar Care franchise in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
“We always talked about our core values – compassion and commitment, going above and beyond, among others – that we would look for in any business opportunities and potential employees,” John said. “And, those core values were the same ones at the center of the BrightStar Care brand, so we knew from the beginning that this was the right choice for us.”
After taking ownership of the Stroudsburg BrightStar Care location three and a half years ago, and the Allentown BrightStar Care in 2018, the Hohmanns have developed strong relationships not only with their clients, but also with their employees and the BrightStar Care corporate team.
“Since the home health care industry truly is a commitment – it’s not something you can just clock in and out of – we knew we really needed a strong office team and qualified, compassionate caregivers,” Diana said. “Our director of nursing is amazing, we have an abundance of driven, value-oriented and selfless caregivers, and we’ve received endless support from the BrightStar Care corporate team.”
The pair emphasized how responsive the BrightStar Care corporate office is. During a recent accreditation survey from the Joint Commission, the Hohmanns received phone calls and texts from multiple corporate team members reminding them they were available if they needed anything. According to John, that kind of attention and support is hard to come by in any franchise system, much less an industry leader like BrightStar Care.
Communication, Cohesion and Compassion: Keys to Success
From the beginning, Diana and John were very clear on their business’ mission and their expectations from employees, fostering the focused, collaborative environment they attribute to their continued success.
“When you join BrightStar Care, you get a handbook that provides you a great model to follow as a new business owner,” Diana said. “It covers everything from goal setting to hiring best practices and getting the right people in the right role. We follow that model, and we’ve found it helps us keep our focus and thrive as a business.”
The Hohmanns worked hard to find and hire the best talent when building their front office staff and team of caregivers. They also make sure they continuously seek input from their employees, while working with them to create a cohesive team-centric environment that always puts their clients’ best interests ahead of everything else.
“For us, communication is key,” Diana said. “We make sure to set clear expectations, and help our staff come up with achievable goals they believe in, in order to provide them with more structure and guidance.”
“As business owners, we know we need to take care of our employees as much as we do our clients,” John added. “We always make sure we encourage our employees to speak up and share their thoughts with us, and we’re very hands on. We really try to help guide them and show them what to do, instead of just telling them what to do.”
But, above all else, the Hohmanns and their staff never lose sight of the value they place on second-to-none patient care – which connects them to the business’ mission, their colleagues and most importantly, their clients.
“The reason we went into this business was to provide the same care for peoples’ loved ones that I would want for my family. We take care of every client the same way that I cared for my mother,” Diana said. “There’s nothing like knowing you’re making this kind of significant, positive impact on people every single day – that’s something that our entire staff understands and values, and it’s what drives us to work so hard for all our patients.”