The owner of Home Health Care Plus, Inc., and recent Business Advisory Council (BAC) appointee, Debbie Davison has many responsibilities. She must oversee her company day in and day out, making executive and financial decisions. As a BAC member, she advocates for the health aspects of business and represents Illinois within this prestigious group of business owners. She also serves as president of two charitable wish-granting organizations here in central Illinois, combining fundraising with elbow grease to make dreams come true for the terminally and critically ill. Davison volunteers in the community and overseas, donating her time to those who need it. What matters most to Davison, however, is not where her time goes, but how others benefit from it.
Davison graduated with a nursing degree from the Methodist College of Nursing and went on to achieve a master’s degree in health administration from the Saint Francis College of Nursing. Over the years, she has worked in surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and home care. While she enjoyed all aspects of nursing, home care was where she truly found her niche.
Her work as a field nurse and intake coordinator in home care at an area hospital inspired Davison to start her own home care business. In 1994, she and husband Dennis founded Home Health Care Plus, Inc. Soon after establishing the business, the couple moved the company to its new location in downtown Pekin.
Two years later, Home Health Care Plus Services, Inc. was created to service those in need of home care but lacking Medicare coverage. Th is aspect of the business off ers private care services on an hourly basis, filling the void for private services in Pekin. Because of the signifi cant demand for private care and the quality of service the company ensured, business quickly flourished.
Debbie and Dennis' goal when starting their business was not to develop into a huge company, but to aim for excellence and achieve it. Their company’s reputation today shows how excellent it really has become.
Home Health Care Plus has been the recipient of numerous accolades in the healthcare community. Medicare continues to give the company a first-place ranking in central Illinois home care, and the corporation ranks among the top 10 percent of home care agencies in the U.S. In April, the company was awarded a certificate of excellence by the Home Health Quality Improvement National Campaign, a campaign which seeks to improve home health care and reduce avoidable hospitalizations.
Davison and her husband make it a point to constantly keep the company’s mission in mind while running the business. Their mission: Be the preferred home care provider.
“By keeping our mission as our primary goal, we have achieved a reputation for providing high-quality health care,” Davison said. “We work hard to be number one.”
Davison also attributes business success to her work force. “We credit our outstanding employees for this continued success,” she said. “We are very picky about the people we hire and provide many extras to employees, creating a friendly, family-like type of care.”
The most rewarding aspect of her job, Davison says, is making a patient’s life easier. “When [patients] reach the highest quality of life possible through the care of our employees, I am so rewarded in making a diff erence in [their] lives.”
Davison’s determination to make a difference extends well beyond her home care company. In 2006, Davison and her husband traveled to Kakamega, Kenya to work as medical missionaries. Their mission group saw 2,800 Kenyans in just four days. About 90 percent had to be treated for malaria. “I asked what would have happened, especially to the children and elderly, if we hadn’t gone, and was told ‘they would die,’” Davison said. “Continued medical assistance is needed!”
Six years ago, Davison received treatment for and recovered from breast cancer. As a survivor, she now serves as a mentor to many newly-diagnosed women through the Breast Cancer Support Group, of which she is also a board member. She gives advice to women undergoing treatment, encouraging them to be proactive by keeping track of all tests, procedures, surgeries and pathology reports, and by maintaining a current record of medications and health history. “Keep a positive, optimistic attitude—this makes such a difference in the speed of recovery,” she said.
In July 2005, Davison founded Dreams for Seniors Charity, Inc., which grants wishes to seniors who are chronically or critically ill. Some dreams have included home improvements, such as a new stove or a renovated bathroom, a celebrity visit from a favorite sports star and a trip to attend a family reunion.
Davison also serves as president of the area’s Dream Factory and is actively involved in the First Baptist Church’s Food Pantry Shut-In program. The Central Illinois Dream Factory, with which Davison has been involved for 21 years, grants wishes to area children who are critically or chronically ill.
In April of this year, Davison was appointed to the Business Advisory Council as the representative for Illinois. This prestigious group of business owners reports directly to Washington, D.C., offering advice and insight regarding business issues and advocating a progressive, pro-business agenda.
Upon her appointment, Davison traveled to D.C. to attend the President’s dinner with the other BAC members. “The whole experience was awesome,” she said. “Walking into the room at the Washington Convention Center, the path was lined with American flags on both sides. President Bush gave a moving speech and appeared more relaxed [in person] than on TV.”
As a council member, Davison’s primary concern is coverage provided by Medicare for home care agencies such as Home Health Care Plus. “We are one of the highest rated Medicare-certified agencies in the U.S. because of present reimbursement,” she explained. “Any cuts could severely affect patient outcomes and care.”
Davison is perfectly happy donating the majority of her time to helping others. “The more you do for others—whether it is coworkers, patients, family or friends—the more you will be blessed,” she said. She also offers advice on achieving business success: “Do something you have experience with and love doing. Go beyond the expectations of those you are serving, and also in regard to employees. All employees should be equally important in an organization and work as a team for the mission of the business.”
When Davison is not working or volunteering, she spends time with Dennis, her husband of 29 years. The two were childhood sweethearts, meeting when she was 14 and he was 16. They have two married daughters and a three-year-old grandson. The couple loves to travel, and their current goal is to visit all 50 states. TPW