Hometown Care is about one thing: allowing our loved ones to live at home as they age. It’s a simple idea, yet it hasn’t been a priority in the health care field for a while.
A pair of therapists wants to take back the business of caring for the aging and return to an “old-school” way of doing it. Tracey Poffenroth and Marvin Stitt became business partners out of mutual frustration with the current state of health care for the elderly.
“Health care today is profit-driven, all about productivity, and the patients and staff are left behind,” said Poffenroth, a speech-language pathologist who met Stitt, a physical therapist, while working in long-term care. “We found we shared a passion for the same thing, and we joined together to change the face of health care from the rehabilitation perspective.”
With a straightforward goal in mind, they set about to partner up with health care professionals around Northern New Mexico to work both at an outpatient clinic and in the patients’ homes. They include:
• Occupational, Speech and Physical Therapists;
• RNs, LPNs and CNAs; and
• Home-Care Providers
Each of them has been hand-picked by Stitt and Poffenroth, and most of them they’ve known from working in the area. Staff members have the opportunity to choose full-time, part-time or as-needed schedules. Their model of changing health care also includes better treatment of staff. “You can’t treat patients well
if you don’t treat employees well,” said Stitt.
“We train our staff how to treat the whole person, and how all disciplines work together,” said Poffenroth. “Our nurses and therapists work together as a team so that they can effectively care for patients. They believe in a “transdisciplinary” approach to health care — that is, an ability to see the big picture of each patient’s needs and treatment.”
Hometown Care looks to employ health care professionals who are committed to providing compassionate and exceptional care. Poffenroth says Hometown Care is an “awakened company” that seeks to elevate patients, staff and community. This is done by creating innovative, meaningful and collaborative relationships with all community health-care providers.
“We are attracting people who want to offer and promote more holistic personalized care,” said Stitt. “So, we are building a place where employees can feel like they’re heard, and utilize their talents to the fullest. Quality patient care is crucial, and so is maintaining a mindfulness about the staffs’ needs.”
Each case begins with a personalized interview with the patient, family members, and/or caregivers. Next, an evaluation of the patient’s situation is conducted. This includes things like family history, home life, medical condition and needs, prior level of function, interests and desires. If care is warranted, an individualized plan of care is tailored to the specific needs of that person.
Then, care is coordinated by the team and the staff goes into action with therapy sessions at the Hometown Care clinic at 1337 Gusdorf, Suite I, the patient’s home — or a combination of both. The same system works out of Hometown Care’s office in Española.
Hometown Care specializes in all conditions common with aging adults. Some of these include dementia (Alzheimer’s and others), arthritic and chronic pain, stroke, movement disorders (Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and others), joint replacement and disorders.
As for the future, Stitt and Poffenroth recognize that the population bubble known as the Baby Boom will continue to “increase the need for innovative care systems” in health care. And that’s exactly what they’re doing. They believe that large corporate health care is not quality or effective care for our community. Smaller, local companies have a better understanding, commitment and ability to care for our community’s health.
“We know in the health-care world that we are going to have a quantity of patients,” said Stitt. “We want to provide quality care for all of them who come
Hometown Care seeks to be sustainable in its ability to provide quality care for everyone who comes to them in the long run, said Stitt. That requires keeping overhead low — partnering with other local providers — and focusing on what they do best, bringing back the “care”
in health care.
“When someone walks through the door of our office, we say, ‘Welcome home,’” Poffenroth said. “That’s what we feel we are creating: a place in your hometown where you can get quality health care from a compassionate staff.”
1337 Gusdorf Rd., Suite I
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