The Private Duty Home Care Advisory Board is made of some of the most experienced and talented leaders in the private duty community. Each of our Advisory board members is committed to the mission and vision of the organization and ensuring our members are well represented and receive the tools, support, and resources you need to provide the highest quality and caliber care and services to your clients and families.
In our reccurring Advisory Board Profile series we invite you to get to know our advisory board members better through a short Q&A interview, and learn more about why they choose to dedicate their professional lives to the private duty home care community.
This week, we have the pleasure of sharing a little more with you about C. Sam Smith, CEO Better Residential Care.
Sam, tell me about how you would describe what you do to someone you just met.
I own and operate a small private duty personal care services agency known as Better Residential Care (BRC) in the Chicagoland area. We generally provide “in home personal care services to people who need attendant care yet prefer to stay in their residence rather than an institutional setting”.
Tell me about how you ended up working in private duty home care. How did your professional journey bring you to where you are today?
I have been involved in home health care and home care since 2008…I began in the IT area as a CIO of a 5-agency Texas based group in the DFW area. I transitioned to a BD role with a home health EMR named Axxess in 2011, growing that SaaS provider’s footprint from 100 to over 2000 clients until I departed in 2018.
Why choose private duty home care? Why not something else, or some other part of home care?
It is a serendipity. I had the inside opportunity due to my long- term friendship and business partnership with a prominent Chicagoland HH operator, gained through my experience with Axxess. A personal care services agency was the perfect complement to the HH/Medicare business he was/is involved in. (His agency is no longer a client of Axxess, having departed as a client a month after my departure.) He serves on my board and I advise his agency. We enjoy working together.
What do you find to be the most rewarding about your job?
Through operating our agency, I have the opportunity to actively participate in the provision of services so that people can continue in living their best life and maintaining a positive attitude even though they may be aged and in need to assistance with the activities of daily living.
Conversely, what do you find to be most challenging?
Developing the relationships which lead to finding the right patient/clients for our agency’s services. I am fortunate to have become involved in an agency which has an active network of caregivers.
What Is your favorite memory working in Private duty home care? Why?
It has been an ongoing thing. I have had the opportunity of experiencing the joy of the active schedule of one of our clients (Ms. Loretta) who is now a 101 year old lady who leads “Great Texts” teaching modules at the ILF where she resides. Loretta has taken our agency and our caregivers into her extended family, which contains 2 sons and wives and their children—such a wonderful local family. She started her teaching group with a group of 3 residents. That group grew over a matter of months into a combined class of over 70 folks, causing a need to expand into larger and larger spaces with more need for technology to provide the lessons digitally. Her life is such a “positive energy force” and just two weeks ago had her 101st birthday.
She is an example for me in maintaining a lifelong learning posture and a love of life that I want to emulate myself.
What is the one thing that keeps you up at night professionally?
Attracting new clients. I have found that our caregiver community is a network which bring new clients to us…Sometimes making sure the right CG is matched with the right client. (As for matters that keep me up at night, I generally sleep ok.)
What made you first get involved with private duty home care at NAHC?
I had been involved with NAHC as a BD leadership person with Axxess and was familiar with what NAHC was all about. I respected the mission and vision for both NAHC and the state associations, many of whose executive directors and active members I had come to know personally.
I acquired the agency in Chicago and was asked to serve as a private duty home care advisor. Of course, I wanted to add my assistance in any way I could.
What would you say to someone considering becoming a Private Duty Home Care at NAHC member?
Add your voice to the thousands of voices who effectively share the mission, vision and message of home care to the statehouses in each state and the Congress in Washington, DC. There is work to be done, and we need your help to keep the message being spread to the halls of Congress.
What would you say to someone who was considering a career in private duty home care?
Be a part of helping others live their best life. Find a role and pitch in.
On behalf of everyone at the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, we thank Sam for his detailed and candid responses. We are honored to have him as a distinguished member of the PD Advisory Board and thank him for her dedication, commitment, and passion to the Private Duty home care community.