VERO BEACH - Champion Home Health Care in Vero Beach has been chosen several times by Hometown News readers as Best Home Health Care Provider. After spending some time with owners Tom and Anne Michaels and the rest of the staff, it became apparent that readers like them because they work so hard to understand what the client wants. And they smile.
“With people who haven’t had home health care before, they are often hesitant because they feel someone coming into their home is going to dictate to them, and take away their freedom,” Mr. Michaels said. “They don’t want someone else in their home telling them what to do. At Champion, it’s quite the opposite. Our aides know that the client is the boss. Anything the client needs, our aide should be able to provide them. Excellence is not a one-time act, it’s a habit.”
This year is the 25th anniversary of Champion Home Health Care, which started in Boca Raton in 1993. Tom and Anne Michaels have run the Vero Beach office for 12 years.
Champion Home Health Care helps Indian River County seniors with many needs, including wake up and/or tuck in; bathing/dressing; assistance with walking; physical therapy; shopping; errands; doctor appointments; medication reminders; low vision services; meal preparation; light housework; in-facility assistance; skilled nursing services; Alzheimer specialist.
Most important for many new clients, they respect seniors’ independence.
“Put yourself in your parents’ situation,” Mr. Michaels explained. “They’ve lived independently for so many years. They want to remain independent as much as they can. And they’re adults. They may be having difficulty with certain activities like bathing, dressing, making meals, but they’re not children. They usually know what needs to be done, they’re just having trouble doing it. So they want someone to assist them with what needs to be done, and that’s where we come in. We will do whatever they need to keep them safe and happy in their own home.”
“That’s our motto, keeping our clients safe and happy and making sure we do it with excellence.”
In order to deliver that level of service consistently, Champion has built a highly qualified team.
Amie Wilson, RN, is Champion’s Director of Nursing. Ms. Wilson’s nursing background and expertise includes home care and acute care cardiac nursing. She was previously a Director of Nursing for Corizon Health.
“What attracted me to Champion was all the awards,” Ms. Wilson said. “I’ve heard so many good things about Champion. I got lucky when I got hired here.” Ms. Wilson is responsible for many aspects of the service including managing client and caregiver satisfaction, managing nursing care, and matching the right caregiver with the client.
As I spoke with the employees, each discussed the importance of that proper match of caregiver and client.
“It’s never a guess as to whether a person has the right skill set for a job,” said Jennifer Bono, Champion’s Human Resource Manager. Ms. Bono makes sure she knows each employee’s exact skills, so she can help the team meet the needs and desires of each client.
“We make sure we have the best people,” said Ms. Bono. “When we send someone into a home, it’s my job to make sure they are qualified for what we are sending them to do. We want very friendly, kind, caring, well-trained caregivers.” Ms. Bono checks each employee’s references, background, and credentials to make sure they are perfect for the job.
When Billing and Payroll Manager Kathy Hirsch needed care for an immediate family member, she chose Champion, based on what she’s learned in her four years with the company.
“We have caregivers with 20 or more years experience,” Ms. Hirsch said. “My husband had a hip operation and I had one of the LPNs come to my home and check on him.”
Like the other employees, Ms. Hirsch discussed the importance of matching the client with exactly the right person. Making sure every client gets exactly who and what they want is key to their business model.
“You don’t want to let just anyone in your home,” Ms. Hirsch said. “A lot of our clients are from out of state, arranging services for parents who live in Florida. They rely on us to make sure their parents are being taken care of. We want them to feel confident that we can take care of their parents.”
“Some people have had home health care before with other providers and had a bad experience,” said Mr. Michaels. “We tell them don’t give up on it, give us a try. We match the client with the proper caregiver. We make sure we know the type of person the client wants. Some want someone who’s very energetic and talkative, others want someone who’s quiet and waits for direction. We find out what the client wants and assign the right person. And they can always switch to a different caregiver and we can change them out. You get the person you want.”
“Everybody here makes sure that all the clients are happy,” added scheduler Renee Smith. “I’ve always worked in the health care industry, and I like taking care of clients and helping them with their needs. Everybody here is caring.”
Champion is holding an open house on Nov. 13, from10 a.m.-2 p.m., for home health aides who want to join the team. The job fair is for RNs, LPNs, home health aides, companions, and other caregivers who have skills that meet client needs.
On Nov. 27, 1-4 p.m., Champion will hold an open house for potential new clients considering Champion’s services. The open house is perfect for people who have never had home health care before. They’ll have a chance to meet the staff and ask questions.
Champion is a preferred provider for the Veterans Administration. No hourly minimums required, and long term care insurance is accepted. Call for a complimentary assessment by an experienced client services specialist.
Champion Home Health Care is located at 840 19th St., Vero Beach. For more information, call (772) 257-0442 or visit championvero.com.