I love the mission statement of HealthKeeperz, “Caring for all people for the glory of God.” It is at the same time simple and complex. Seemingly easily accomplished and yet seemingly too lofty to attain. In the New Testament glorifying God is demonstrated by highly esteeming or honoring God. Sometimes it is an individual glorifying Him by offering praise for who God is or what He has done. But among the many ways to glorify God, there is one way that moves beyond a single individual's response to God and involves a third party.
Listen to Jesus explain it in the Gospel of Matthew 5:13-16.
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Did you catch that? God is glorified when someone sees your actions and responds in some way which glorifies Him. Perhaps they give thanks for how God demonstrated His love and faithfulness to them through you. Or perhaps their faith is strengthened or they are encouraged by an interaction with you. Notice the two illustrations that Jesus uses. He says that his followers are salt and light. For now, we will consider salt.
Salt was and still is, used to preserve from spoiling or corruption. In a time without modern refrigeration, salt was the most likely option for preventing bacteria from spoiling food. Salt could make the difference between life and death when fresh food was not available. What does this say about us? Through Jesus, we can keep back unhealthy attitudes and actions in the world around us. I bet you have seen it happen when you have encountered someone who was grumpy or cantankerous and you resolved to meet them with kindness and grace. At least for the moment, their grumpiness subsided and they were a little more pleasant to be around.
While we are thankful when this happens the passage in Matthew has in mind the effect of preventing such "rotten" attitudes from ever colonizing. It is not always easy to keep the frustrations, disappointments, and trials of life from spoiling our day or the day of those around us. Therefore, we need each other.
I need someone else's perspective and loving input when my perspective is in danger of being spoiled by a "stinky" attitude. I am very thankful for the people who are salt in my life. Sometimes I can feel the spoiling begin and then one of these “salt of the earth” people show up and like great medicine fighting spreading bacteria, the nastiness is gone. Yes, we should thank God for putting these folks in our lives and when we encourage them by thanking them for their preserving effect we join them in being the “salt of the earth.” And best of all, God is glorified.
May God help us in our grand and very attainable mission of “Caring for all people the glory of God.”
For the glory of God alone,
Chaplain James Chavis, Healthkeeperz
In an annual survey of caregivers, HealthKeeperz was awarded as a Superior Performer among hospice agencies.
Healthcare data and analytics firm Strategic Healthcare Programs (SHP) has created the annual SHPBest awards program to acknowledge hospice providers that consistently provide high quality service to families and caregivers of patients receiving hospice care. SHP conducts studies known as CAHPS (Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems). According to SHP, the company has one of the largest CAHPS Hospice benchmarks in the nation, leaving it in a unique position to identify and recognize organizations that have made family and caregiver satisfaction a priority and have been rewarded for this focus with high marks on the CAHPS Hospice survey. The annual survey includes both Medicare and Medicaid patients.
SHPBest award recipients are determined by ranking the overall score for all SHP CAHPS Hospice clients. HealthKeeperz earned the Superior Performer award, given to providers that rank in the top 20 percent of all ranked agencies.
According to Tasha Brooks, Hospice Director at HealthKeeperz, the SHPBest award reflects the efforts of the entire hospice services team. “Our hospice team is specifically trained to handle the special needs of our families guiding their loved ones during the last weeks and months of their lives,” said Brooks. “As patients transition to pain management and comfort care, it’s important that the HealthKeeperz team works to minimize the toll of the situation with each family, enabling them to enjoy their loved ones and allow them to pass with the dignity and honor they deserve. This recognition of our team by family caregivers is humbling, and it’s emblematic of how fulfilling our work can be, even in hospice.”
“I am so proud of our hospice team, especially for their commitment to each other,” said HealthKeeperz President Tim Brooks. “Hospice care can be very demanding, for obvious reasons, and our people hold themselves as individuals and each other to very high standards. We care very deeply about our patients and their families, and to have their caregivers recognize our team in this way makes us profoundly grateful. Thanks to our hospice care team for living our Barnabas Culture day-in, day-out.”
For more information about hospice services at HealthKeeperz, contact us today.
By Tim Brooks
It is the honor of my life to lead the company my father, Howard Brooks, founded in the mid-1960s. He built HealthKeeperz from his own keen instinct to always do the right thing by people. My dad has always looked for new and inventive ways to help folks, based on what they need for care. With his ultimate servant’s heart, he always ran this company with humility and a willingness to help the poorest among us.
With my father’s legacy of care inspiring the work of all of us at HealthKeeperz, I’ve made it my priority to focus inward on building a culture that resonates across the company. In the last few years, I’ve been motivated to collaborate with my colleagues at the company to create what we call the Barnabas Culture.
In late 2014, I had the pleasure of hearing a gentleman speak at a conference for Christian business leaders called the C12 Group. As part of this group, I had committed—just as my father before me—to build a great company with a great purpose. At this particular gathering, the speaker outlined for us that there are two reasons people work: first, they want their work to have value (as opposed to just pushing widgets), and second, they want to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
I thought about the attributes that we most cherish in our teammates at HealthKeeperz: encouragement, selflessness, humility, and caring. Our team realized that we had a Biblical reference point, a shining example for us to measure our own behavior by—Barnabas. In the Bible, Barnabas is the Apostle Paul’s close friend and missionary companion. Throughout the stories of their missions, we see Barnabas caring for Paul, helping him, and giving him credibility in his work caring for others.
In creating our Barnabas Culture, we sought to build a culture of encouragement for everyone who works here. We want HealthKeeperz to be the kind of place where people openly care for their HealthKeeperz teammates, where commitment to each other sustains us daily. Caring for others is hard work—we put our blood, sweat, and a lot of tears into caring for our home health patients, hospice patients, case management patients, and medical supply patients—and you need somebody to have your back, lift you when you’re down, and spur you on each day to do your best by each person in need.
We live the Barnabas Culture every day, and we celebrate it every quarter and annually. On a regular basis, you’ll hear a HealthKeeperz employees call out, “I need a Barnabas!” And sure enough, they get that reinforcement they need, right away. In our leadership team meetings, we always focus on two areas: first, we work on preserving the core, and second, we stimulate the progress of our company through vision and execution. On that first part, we inject a daily dose of Barnabas to our proceedings, asking questions like, “What can we do better for our people?” “Who needs extra help?” and “What more can we do to live our values?”
Perhaps my favorite aspect of our Barnabas Culture comes in the form of our quarterly Barnabas Awards and our annual Barnabas Award (informally known as the Super Barnabas). At the close of each quarter—and we’ve done this every three months since the first quarter of 2015—we survey all of our employees. Each employee has a say in nominating his or her peers for a quarterly recognition. Thus, each year, we have four winners, recognized for caring, humility, selflessness, and encouragement. Then, at the end of the year, we vote on an annual winner among the four to receive a special award at our annual Barnabas Banquet.
When it comes to corporate culture, there is no passive approach. We’ve been intentional at HealthKeeperz about declaring who we are and what we stand for, and that’s caring for each other so that we can care for our patients.
I am so proud of where we are going as a company, how we continue to grow our business by growing in the ways we can serve others, just as my dad built this company to do. I am most proud that we do all of these things with purpose, lifting each other along the way. To care for others for the glory of God requires us to follow examples set before us, and the life of Barnabas is our template for achieving this level of commitment.