Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
Historically, America’s rural population has been underserved, neglected, and sometimes ignored by healthcare services. As many of our readers will know all too well, medical centers tend to cluster around high-population areas like cities and suburbs, leaving rural folks with few – or no – options. The results of this over time are staggering. Rural populations have suffered from:
These effects are felt even harder within minority communities. In addition, the rural South leads in mortality rates for nearly all of the top ten causes of death today.
While this paints a bleak picture of rural healthcare, the good news is that there are organizations like HealthKeeperz that are working tirelessly to change things. In fact, rural healthcare access – while still not good enough – is improving faster than ever.
But why does HealthKeeperz focus so much of its energy on caring for the rural population? For one, because many of the people within our organization are rural folks. Therefore, we know firsthand how much this group contributes to the greater good. Beyond our healthcare professionals, there are countless other ways that rural people serve. They are our farmers, our entrepreneurs, and sometimes both. They are our carpenters, plumbers, contractors, and teachers. They are smart and hard-working people who help us in a multitude of ways – so perhaps a more apt question would be, why don’t more medical services focus their energy on the rural population? This population certainly deserves just as much medical care as those in our towns and cities.
Secondly, HealthKeeperz focuses on serving rural populations because they need us most. Historical inequalities have led to “healthcare deserts” where the average person is hard-pressed to find a doctor and may have to drive several hours to the closest specialist. While we obviously care just as much about the well-being of city folks, there are already numerous healthcare facilities providing them with care. We are more focused on helping areas that lack these resources.
Our mission, “caring for all people for the glory of God,” guides us in all we do. It motivates us to step up and meet the needs of our society’s most underserved populations. HealthKeeperz has seen what happens when rural folks don’t get adequate healthcare, including long travel times, preventable deaths, and trauma. Accessing healthcare should be an easy and comfortable process, not one that disrupts your everyday life and causes you stress. At HealthKeeperz, we’re committed to turning this dream of convenient rural healthcare into a reality.
At HealthKeeperz, we provide a variety of health services right in your home. Central to our model of providing elite care at the same level you’ll find in leading hospitals, nursing homes, and other clinical facilities is our delivery of skilled nursing services through highly qualified professionals. In celebration of our nursing team for National Nurses Week, we are showcasing skilled nursing at HealthKeeperz.
Let’s take a look at what skilled nursing can do for you, right in your home.
The first step is to create a proactive health plan tailored to your individual needs as a patient. Our skilled nurses take a patient-centered approach to your care. What are you looking to get out of it? Are you seeking to prolong your life, or to maximize quality of life in the time you have left? Or are you just looking to recover from an illness or injury as quickly as possible? Whatever your individual needs may be, our skilled nurses will work with you to deliver the best possible care.
According to Director of Clinical Services Amanda Sampson, skilled nursing in the home is a big job no matter the goals, but Healthkeeperz nurses are up to the task. “The team at HealthKeeperz really stresses confidence, both for the nurse and the patient,” she explained. “We help our staff build confidence through ongoing education, training, and coaching. When you’re confident in your skills, that brings more confidence to your patients and their caregivers.”
Let’s say you are recovering from an illness. Our skilled nurses will help you manage and administer medications; care for yourself with bathing and hygiene assistance; monitor blood pressure, pulse and respiration; and assess your condition at each visit, keeping you informed about your own health and risk of hospitalization.
Another key to success for Sampson is caregiver support. “When a patient has caregiver support, it helps them become more comfortable with the care we are providing in the home,” she said. “Having a support system is key, and sometimes we have to help them identify a neighbor, minister, or someone besides family members. They may have always been independent, not used to asking anyone for help.”
Many of our patients suffer from ongoing health issues and require the care and assistance of skilled nursing but not necessarily any treatment. For those patients, we offer a wide range of services – from fall prevention to orthopedic care to COPD management. Basically, we can help with almost anything you can think of that will help you live a happy and fulfilling life even with enduring health concerns.
Sampson noted that one of the greatest strengths of HealthKeeperz nurses is their versatility: “We take care of all manner of conditions. We help elderly patients achieve a better quality fo life, and we even work with families with babies on their growth and development—and we work with all kinds of people in-between, with wound care, IV medications, and much more. It takes special people to be able to pivot among all the types of cases our nurses see on a weekly basis.”
Hospice care is another area where we apply the expertise of skilled nurses. We understand that hospice care is not one-size-fits-all, and we’re committed to creating the end-of-life experience that makes you happiest. For instance, maybe you need help administering medications that provide pain relief – or maybe you just need someone to help you wash up so that you can feel fresh and pampered as you catch up and reminisce with friends and family. Either way, our skilled nurses have you covered.
For our home health and hospice nurses, Sampson sees the HealthKeeperz difference as sustaining them in what can often be difficult work. “I’ve been here for 18 years, spending six years providing direct patient care and spending the last 12 in a supervisory capacity,” she said. “Our mission, caring for all for the glory of God, is evident in everything we do. Our weekly meetings in home health and daily calls in hospice give our teams not only the chance to discuss their patients, but also each other. We share our praises and our concerns and really try to care for each other in the process. We pray for each other and make sure, even if it’s just a phone call or text, to look out for each other during the week.”
Just as important as the company’s culture, Sampson noted, is its enduring commitment to improvement: “I’ve seen us evolve a lot in the time I’ve been here. There’s been a huge commitment to quality and improving patient outcomes. We’ve seen the rewards of these commitments with our recent rating as a four-star agency by CMS. We are proud of what we’ve achieved, and our people want to keep getting better.”
No matter the type of care you require, rest assured that it will be administered with the utmost care and compassion in the comfort of your own home. Our mission—caring for all for the glory of God—is something we take seriously and to heart each day, and it’s this missional approach that sets HealthKeeperz skilled nurses apart. We are honored to serve each and every one of our patients, and we hope that you’ll choose us for all your skilled nursing needs. Please contact HealthKeeperz at 800-309-3784 to get started.
The mission of HealthKeeperz is, "Caring for all people for the glory of God." And as is the case for the success of any mission, there must be a plan for how it will be accomplished. At HealthKeeperz, that's where our "Vision statement" comes into play. It reads this way:
“HealthKeeperz will be a community of caregivers who deliver value as measured by:
In the few moments that I have with you this month, and in a few following months, I want us to consider how the Bible shapes these four ideas. So, for now, let’s focus on the concept of "Wise Stewardship."
In his book, Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis writes, "Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service, you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already."
This notion that God owns it all does not originate with Lewis. Psalm 24:1 says, "The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live it." (NIV) With this being true, where does this leave us? We are stewards. Just as in the beginning when Adam was placed in a garden that was not his and instructed to care for it that the garden might flourish, we too have been placed in a spot on the earth and at a time in history that we might do the works of God as His managers.
You see, the idea of stewardship communicates an expectation of someone who is to manage the owners' possessions in a way that pleases them and advances their purposes. Then no wonder HealthKeeperz has said that part of our vision is that we would exercise wise stewardship! To accomplish God's purposes, we will need wisdom from above, heavenly wisdom.
Deuteronomy 8:17 warns of the temptation to think that “. . . my power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." But God in His grace reminds us in the next verse, to “. . . remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth." So then, the strength of body and keenness of mind that contributes to our success in the mission is given by God. And since this is true of our own personal abilities, that is, they belong to God, then it is certainly true of the other resources that we are afforded in the pursuit of His purposes. Our time, supplies, and skill belong to God.
Here's some good news lest we begin to view God as some possessive, demanding tyrant. Daily, He graciously pours out wisdom, strength, and resources so that we are amply supplied to not only fulfill the mission but flourish and be happy as we do it. Remember, we are created in His likeness, and when God looked over all that His wisdom, strength, and resources produced at the creation of the world, He smiled and said, "this is very good."
Stewardship is nothing to dread. It's what we were made for, and it's how we flourish. Amen.
Yours in Christ,
Chaplain James Chavis
The connection between mind and body is a powerful one. It requires us to look out not only for our physical health, but for our emotional and spiritual health as well. In order to live life as a healthy, fulfilled individual, we must look at our health inside and out.
This is of particular resonance during the final days of life. At this point, many patients experience a dramatic shift in perspective. They stop asking, “How much time do I have?” and begin to wonder, “How can I make the most of the time I have left?” That’s where HealthKeeperz focuses its hospice services. We take a holistic approach, providing physical, emotional, and spiritual care to the patient. This care includes:
Choosing from these services, HealthKeeperz works with the patient and his or her family to assemble the right hospice team. Our expert healthcare professionals help strike the balance between reducing pain, making the patient feel as comfortable as possible physically, and ensuring that his/her mind is at ease.
Skilled nursing refers to the type of care that can only be done by licensed, skilled nurses. HealthKeeperz’ team of highly qualified nursing professionals can assist with every healthcare need in the book, from wound dressings to fall prevention to monitoring vital signs. They are fully equipped to care for your every medical need within the home and to monitor your health status, even if it is changing rapidly. In-home aides complete the tasks that aren’t covered by skilled nursing, but still contribute to the patient’s overall health and well-being – like bathing, dressing, and meals.
Pastoral care means emotional and spiritual support in the midst of pain, loss, and anxiety. HealthKeeperz’ chaplains—trained pastoral care providers—are there to hold your hand every step of the way. Our team includes not only our own chaplains, but also some of the most compassionate volunteers you’ll ever meet. Pastoral care providers are trained to have a calm, comforting presence, which patients and their families find helpful during hard times.
Medical social workers assist patients and their families in dealing with the strains of healthcare. In a hospice situation, emotions tend to run high, and stress as well as family issues are common. Thus, it’s important to have a medical social worker on hand who can help navigate the situation in a way that’s helpful to everyone. Medical social workers act as a safety net for patients – someone they can always rely on to deal with the hardships of hospice care.
Choosing hospice care is a tough decision to make, but with HealthKeeperz’ team of experienced hospice providers, it can be an easy and comfortable experience for patient and family. Please contact us at 800-309-3784 to begin a conversation.
These days, it seems like nearly every industry goes through a period of change as things are digitized and made available on-demand. The latest industry to experience such a shift is one of the biggest and most important: healthcare. It is increasingly easy to seek medical advice, monitoring, and even treatment from your doctor in the comfort of your home using technology. Healthcare professionals have coined the term “telehealth” to refer to the administration of health services remotely via technology, such as the internet or a mobile device.
Telehealth currently has many applications and engineers are working on developing even more. For one, it makes life easier for patients living with chronic disease, who must check in often with a medical professional. Instead of making frequent trips to the doctor, these patients can now use their mobile phones to upload medication logs, dosage, blood sugar levels, and more. This allows patients more freedom to go about everyday life – in particular, those who live in rural or isolated areas. No more lengthy trips back-and-forth from the doctor.
Additionally, telehealth eliminates the need to travel to your doctor for minor concerns. Patients can use online videoconferencing to speak with a doctor or nurse practitioner about minor illnesses, prescription refills, or routine test results. This is great news for the folks who try to avoid the doctor’s office at all costs. Physicians can now monitor your health from a distance with a surprising degree of sophistication – measuring everything from your posture to tremors. Wearable devices, home monitoring systems, and mobile apps power much of the technology behind remote telehealth.
Finally, telehealth is an invaluable communication tool for healthcare professionals. Telehealth makes it possible for doctors anywhere to consult with one another virtually. Your physician could send your exam notes, test results, and X-rays to a specialist in seconds. Not only does this enhance the quality of your care, but also the convenience: Consulting a specialist online means less time spent there in person. Specialists can be few and far between, depending on where you live and your condition, making telehealth a big plus for many.
As far as it has come already, telehealth has a bright future – and patients and their doctors are only beginning to see how these technologies will shape up. Industry experts predict that even more specializations will soon be made available via telehealth, including neurology. There are already some telehealth providers who work remotely in the fields of stroke care and dermatology.
Experts also predict Medicare to expand telehealth reimbursement in coming years. There is already a list of telehealth services that Medicare will reimburse, and that list continues to grow each year. This is making it easier and easier to incorporate telehealth into your healthcare plan without breaking the bank.
Working with your physician, HealthKeeperz provides a range of healthcare services in the comfort of your own home. Our experienced team of healthcare professionals can reduce your need for in-person treatment as well as ease the burdens of daily life. Please contact us at 800-309-3784 to begin a conversation.
At HealthKeeperz, we serve our clients in a number of different ways depending on their individual goals, age, and state of illness/injury. Our home health professionals provide traditional healthcare services as well as palliative care and hospice. Understanding the difference between these types of care is important, both when making decisions about your own health and when making decisions on behalf of a loved one.
Traditional healthcare is what most people think of when they think “healthcare.” It includes the skilled nurses that help you recover from a serious fall, and the speech therapists who aid their patients in re-learning certain language abilities after a stroke. Following the customary disease-model of medical treatment, traditional healthcare encompasses everything from wound care, to physical therapy, to leading the patient toward a more active lifestyle.
Although palliative care and hospice may incorporate one or more of these elements, they are intended to achieve completely different goals for the patient.
Palliative care focuses on providing relief from the pain, stress, and symptoms of life-limiting illnesses. This type of care is frequently given to cancer patients or people with chronic illnesses like COPD and renal disease. First and foremost, palliative care strives to relieve suffering and improve quality of life.
Often, this means striking the right balance of medications; for example, many cancer patients feel a renewed sense of energy after finding the right regimen of anti-nausea medications and pain reducers. But it can also mean taking a holistic approach with the aid of a mental health professional, medical social worker, and/or chaplain. HealthKeeperz’ licensed home health specialists work in tandem with your doctor to bring happiness and comfort to your life in any stage of illness.
Patients and their families call on hospice care when curative treatments are no longer desired, and healthcare goals have shifted from quantity of days to quality of days. Hospice care provides immense spiritual comfort and companionship during the end-of-life period; thus, chaplains play a key role on the hospice team, often ministering tirelessly as the end approaches. HealthKeeperz’ professionals are highly trained in a number of areas related to hospice: skilled nursing, pastoral care, medical social work, and in-home aide care.
It’s not an easy decision to move into the hospice stage, but the vast majority of patients are surprised at the sense of freedom and peace that it brings to themselves and their families.
HealthKeeperz delivers a full range of services in tandem with traditional care, palliative care, and hospice. They are always delivered with warmth and compassion, providing comfort and spiritual support to the client. Working with your physician, HealthKeeperz can help you realize your healthcare goals in the comfort of your home. Please contact us at 800-309-3784 to begin a conversation.
When a close relative is diagnosed with dementia, it can send a wave of fear, uncertainty, and sadness throughout the whole family. While these feelings are unavoidable in such a difficult situation, you’re not at the mercy of them; there are many actions you can take that will ease the pain and anxiety of a dementia diagnosis. Once you’ve gotten the chance to collect your thoughts, it’s time to be proactive in a way that will help you and the patient.
What Is Dementia?
Dementia refers to a group of symptoms without a definitive diagnosis. These symptoms include forgetfulness, confusion, difficulty recognizing people, and a poor sense of time, among many others. Different people exhibit dementia in completely different ways – one patient’s demeanor might be happy as a clam 24/7, while another patient may act irritable and even aggressive. Regardless of how your loved one exhibits the disease, rest assured that you are not alone: According to the World Health Organization, nearly 50 million people are currently living with dementia.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disease that causes many of the same symptoms, indicating an overall decline in memory and cognitive function. It falls under the umbrella of dementia, but not all cases of dementia indicate Alzheimer’s disease. There are many other types of dementia.
Where to Seek Help and Find Support
With so many people suffering from dementia worldwide, there are now more resources for navigating the disease than ever before. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – it will go a long way in helping you feel calmer about the diagnosis.
Are you struggling to cope with a dementia diagnosis in the family? HealthKeeperz’ expert team of in-home healthcare professionals can help take some of the weight off your shoulders. Please contact us at 800-309-3784 to start the conversation.
The mission of HealthKeeperz is to care for all people for the glory of God. Once a year, we take an evening to appreciate those who most embody this ideal at our company.
This year we had the pleasure of hosting the celebration at the beautiful Cape Fear Botanical Garden in Fayetteville on Friday, March 1. Kicked off by chaplain James Chavis, it was a joyful evening that saw some impressive team members take recognized as quarterly Barnabas Awards: Kayla Poston (Q1), hospice social worker; Chelsea Thomas (Q2), physical therapist; Kimberly Pecora (Q3), home health and occupational therapist; and Shelia Woods (Q4), billing coordinator.
Woods took home the 2019 Super Barnabas Award as announced by President Tim Brooks and last year’s winner, Hortensia Hayes. Woods has been a part of the HealthKeeperz family since 2002, when she first joined the billing department. Her love and dedication toward HealthKeeperz teammates perfectly embodies the spirit of Barnabas, and her many years of great service can’t be adequately appreciated in just one night. When she’s not at work, Woods is just as much of a rockstar, spending as much time as possible with her husband, daughter, and beloved granddaughter, Alexandra.
The evening also featured remarks from guest speaker Jim Doherty, chairman with the C12 Group, which strives to “build great businesses for a greater purpose.” Doherty has led multiple worldwide manufacturing companies, helping them cultivate company cultures that emphasize biblical and Christ-centered values. He was joined on the speaking card by Timmie Stultz (a former Barnabas Award winner himself) and Janie Hunt, members of the Barnabas Caring Team, set up recently to offer special, ad hoc care to teammates in need.
HealthKeeperz has a number of people to thank for making the night possible. James and Melissa Chavis of CrossWay of Pembroke Church provided the perfect music for the evening, while Howard Brooks, company founder, reminded the audience of the values that HealthKeeperz was founded on during his closing remarks. In addition, the 2019 Barnabas Awards Banquet would not have been possible without the help of our sponsors and 2018-2019 Caring Team.
“We’re thrilled to have wrapped up another successful banquet this year, but I have to admit I’m sad we’ll have to wait another year for the next one,” said President Tim Brooks. “The Barnabas Awards Banquet is not only a celebration of our company values – like compassion, excellence, and family – but also a night to relax, laugh, and just have a ball.”
Congratulations to each and every one of our 2019 Barnabas Awards Banquet winners! While we appreciate their hard work every day, it’s nice to shout it to the world once a year. Until 2020!
Have you ever asked the question, “What it is my purpose in life?” If you’re like me, the answer to that question depends greatly upon your job and the activities that you’re involved in outside of work, such as church, community service, civic work, and more. But is that where we should begin thinking when we want to answer the question of ‘my purpose’ in life. Who gets to decide what our purpose is anyway?
I want to suggest that before we head out the door today, or any day, that we pause and acknowledge ‘the One’ who defines our purpose in straightforward terms. In the Gospel of John, chapter 9, we read about an encounter that Jesus and his disciples had with a man who was born blind. Naturally speaking, this man had limitations, things that hindered him in living a purposeful life—at least we can be tempted to think so. But Jesus helps us see beyond our own natural limitations demonstrated by our “limiting thinking.”
Some thought this man’s blindness was due to his or his parents' sin. Jesus, however, dismisses these theories, telling everyone present that this man’s blindness has happened “…so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” What we call a limitation or handicap, God’s calls an opportunity for glory. Most of us will not experience human frailties such as blindness in our lives, but we do create in our minds and by our actions limitations that hinder us from embracing the work of God that He is doing.
Every day we experience joys and sorrows, as well as times of peace and trial. All of these experiences are here to serve a grand purpose—and it’s not our purpose, nor our family’s nor our employer’s. Our lives serve God’s purpose. It is the works of God that should be on display in our life each day. Suddenly, when everything is brought into this perspective, we see that there are no pointless happenings in life. Nothing is left to chance, nor karma.
God is actively at work for His glory and our good. Sometimes we are spiritually blind, even if for a moment, and we can’t see what God is doing now, and neither can we perceive His plans for the future. This is where faith helps us. “Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) So then the questions are “am I going to trust God to will and to work, for His good pleasure, through my life? Will I see the limitless opportunities for His glory and my that reveal themselves in the ordinary course of a day?”
So then, how should we begin our day? I suggest not by asking God to work through our lives but by asking Him to make and keep us aware of how He plans to put His works on display in through us today. May we see His glory every day!
Yours in Christ,
Chaplain James Chavis
Rural populations face special challenges when it comes to health care. Being a rural patient can mean driving at length for appointments, having trouble finding the right clinic for you, and relying on friends and family for assistance.
Fortunately, recent health care trends show that more services are beginning to cater to rural areas. From opening new facilities to dedicating special resources, health care service providers are reaching out to rural people more than ever before.
Home Health Care
As more and more rural Americans turn to home health care because of the additional ease and comfort it provides, companies are stepping up to meet the rising demand. HealthKeeperz is one of the health care providers dedicating more resources to rural care.
Home health care attracts many rural folks because it lessens some of the burdens that they otherwise face in getting medical treatment: transportation, logistical difficulties, disruption of day-to-day life. Working with your doctor, companies such as HealthKeeperz send medical professionals, like registered nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and medical social workers, directly to rural homes. This makes life easier for the people who normally struggle to find care that’s convenient, nearby, and accessible.
Rural home health brings that care right to your door.
The term “telehealth,” which is relatively new to the healthcare scene, refers to the use of technology for long-distance clinical health care. It may involve consultation, diagnosis, and/or administration of treatment. Telehealth can be conducted via videoconferencing, web chat, mobile devices, and remote patient monitoring tools. It may be provided in conjunction with home health or hospital care, or by itself.
Telehealth has become an increasingly popular choice for rural populations due to its convenience; it significantly reduces or eliminates the need to travel to a clinical provider, and telehealth interactions provide real-time support and feedback to the patient. In addition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has improved coverage of this service in recent months, making telehealth more viable than ever for many rural Americans.
Beyond just telehealth, CMS has expanded the scope of its services in general of late. Federal assistance and expanded eligibility have extended Medicaid coverage to thousands of people – many of them living in rural areas – who didn’t previously think it was possible. Some people have a misconception that for older adults, Medicaid covers only nursing home placement, but coverage is much broader than that: Medicaid can help pay for inpatient services, home health care, telehealth, and more.
Programs like the Community Alternatives Program (CAP)—which we help administer at HealthKeeperz—provide elderly and disabled adults with home health support services.
In conclusion, high-quality and convenient healthcare is no longer out-of-reach for rural populations. Rural access has expanded across different categories – like home health, telehealth and Medicaid – giving folks plenty of options to meet their healthcare needs. In many cases, a combination of these services is the best way to manage your health. HealthKeeperz, working with your doctor, can reduce the need for physician’s visits and help you enjoy a better quality of life.
Please contact us at 800-309-3784 to begin a conversation.