The Private Duty Home Care Advisory Council is made of some of the most experienced and talented leaders in the private duty community. Each of our Advisory Council 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 reoccurring Advisory Council 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 home care community.
This week we have the pleasure of sharing a little more with you Neal Kursban, CEO, Family & Nursing Care, and one of the newest members of the Private Duty Home Care Advisory Council.
Neal, tell me about how you would describe what you do to someone you just met.
I’m so proud that for 53 years and counting that we have assisted older adults to maintain their independence and quality of life as they age by referring them amazing Caregivers who provide companionship, ADLs, and peace of mind to their loved ones. We service the Maryland and Washington D.C. region.
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 am so fortunate to have literally “grown up” in this business. My mother, Sandy Kursban, is a pioneer of this industry having started Family & Nursing Care in 1968 out of her deep respect for, and sensitivity toward, older adults. She brought her work home with her in the sense that she instilled the values of help and service to others, in me and my siblings from the earliest age. As I set out on my own professional path, my mother’s tutelage brought me back to the family business – Family & Nursing Care – where I’ve now worked for over 25 years. I’ve worked in every job in the company including receptionist, care coordinator, Caregiver recruiter, intake specialist, overseeing IT, VP Sales/Marketing, VP Operations, and VP Finance. These roles helped me understand all the important details of running the company and set me up for success in the role of CEO.
Why choose private duty home care? Why not something else, or some other part of home care?
I am fortunate enough to be in a family business that exclusively services the private duty segment of the older adult population. Having grown the business during my time from the $4M business it was when I arrived 25 years ago to the $40M business it is today, we’ve learned a lot about what works, what doesn’t, and the need to always be innovating and improving. I’ve considered expanding into other lines of business in the home care arena but keep coming back to focusing exclusively on being the best of the best in every market we service.
What do you find to be the most rewarding about your job?
I have two answers. One of the most rewarding part of my job is the letters and emails we receive on a daily basis (no exaggeration) from clients and their families about the incredible impact Family & Nursing Care has had on them. These letters express the gratitude clients’ and their families have for helping them. You can really tell that we have succeeded in lifting a tremendous weight off of their shoulders. The second most rewarding part of my job is knowing we are making such a positive difference in the lives of our over 1,300 Caregivers who often tell us we “spoil” them. Yet, I always feel what we’re doing for this lower income population is never enough.
Conversely, what do you find to be most challenging?
I wish that more potential clients and family members would know that getting home care services does not have to be a lifetime decision. Despite our efforts to educate the market, many agonize over what they think there is a long-term contract they’re committing to for their loved ones and become reticent to even call to find out more about services.
What is your favorite memory working in Private duty home care? Why?
Two times a year, we throw a huge party and celebrate with our wonderful Caregivers. We rent out a huge ballroom, hire a DJ, cater native foods, dancing, massage chairs, photo booth, giveaway prizes like iPads, TVs, Cash, etc. It’s so uplifting spending time in such a fun, relaxing atmosphere while getting to know the Caregivers on a more personal level.
What is the one thing that keeps you up at night professionally?
Thinking about our remarkable caregivers who are calling in for work and not having the right client with the right hours for them to care for. Caregivers often live hand to mouth and every day they aren’t working is putting them as risk of being behind on their bills, paying rent, etc. Additionally, this past year with the underlying stress of COVID and despite the tremendous investment we made in PPE, COVID testing, etc., ensuring the safety and well-being of our Caregivers. I’m always thinking about what more we can do to help keep both our Caregivers and clients as safe as possible.
What made you first get involved with private duty home care at NAHC?
As CEO of a successful private duty home care company, I am well aware of the importance of service to others. This extends far beyond the Caregiver and client relationship. For our business to be a true success, we need to also give back in other ways. One of those ways is to lend some of the expertise that I’ve gained over the years and work with my peers to pool our knowledge and resources to advocate for necessary changes that can have a positive effect on our entire industry.
What would you say to someone considering becoming a Private Duty Home Care at NAHC member?
Come aboard! We are so happy to have you join the organization and contribute to its mission.
What would you say to someone who was considering a career in private duty home care?
If they have the combination of a big heart and solid business mind, then as Nike says: “Just Do It.” Not only do you develop a keen business acumen, but day in and day out, you are secure in the knowledge that the work you do is meaningful, rewarding and fulfilling.
On behalf of everyone at the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, we thank Neal for sharing so candidly his personal experience and passion for the industry. We are honored to have him as a distinguished member of the PD Advisory Council and thank him for his dedication, commitment, and passion to the Private Duty home care community.