Jean Wright started 2016 alive she would beat one ceremony — she was adulatory her 35th ceremony of owning a 75-year-old business, Action Home Care.
LAKELAND — Jean Wright started 2016 alive she would beat one milestone — she was adulatory her 35th ceremony of owning a 75-year-old business, Action Home Care.
But in February, she additionally acclaimed accession milestone: She was declared in absolution from her third bender with cancer.
In 2008, it was cancer, again in 2010 lymphoma, and again in 2012, accession anatomy of lymphoma. Afterwards a apple-pie bill of bloom in February, a analysis aftermost anniversary assured her the blight charcoal in remission.
“Not abounding bodies could go through what she went through,” said her bedmate of two years, Bob Max, who has his own business, Sales Taxes Issue and Recovery Solutions. “Three times she went through cancer. That’s not to be displayed as a weakness; it’s a huge, huge strength. That’s what makes her my hero.
“Plus she’s my hero for all the things she does … for her clients, for her nurses and for others,” Max said.
Wright, 69, came to Lakeland in 1971 aback her then-husband attended Southeastern College. But she had her own dream, of acceptable a nurse — not aloof any blazon of assistant but a visiting nurse.
She was built-in Hazel Jean Isbell on May 5, 1947, in Fulton, N.Y., to Harry and Jennie Isbell.
“I was called afterwards my benevolent grandmother, who died afore I was born. I use her antecedent in acquiescence to her,” Wright said.
“When I was 9 years old, my mom’s associate would appear by and babble aback she was in the adjacency on her circuit as a visiting nurse. She would say, ‘Mrs. Smith bottomward the alley is accomplishing better’ — that was way afore HIPA and aloofness regulations — and I was so aggressive by her, by what she did. I capital to be a visiting assistant and I never wavered from absent to do that.”
In 1976, Wright accelerating with a registered nursing amount from Polk Association College (now Polk Accompaniment College), spent a year alive at a bounded hospital again aing a now-defunct home bloom bureau alive as a visiting nurse.
Buying a business
In 1981, she heard that a accepted visiting assistant bureau was for sale, the Lakeland Assistant Registry. The bureau had started in 1942 aback doctors at Morrell Hospital (the advertiser to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center) asked that a account of nurses be developed to accommodate accomplished calm affliction afterward surgery.
A home-based business seemed absolute for a adolescent mother with three baby children.
“Using a scattering of nurses, I ran the bureau out of my home,” Wright said. “I pushed the dining allowance table adjoin the bank to accomplish a desk.”
But she was on alarm 24/7, 365 canicule a year. Her anthology had developed abundant that afterwards three years that she could appoint appointment agents and move downtown.
In the backward 1980s, she afflicted the simple anthology that beatific apprenticed nurses and nurse’s aides out to homes into a full-fledged accountant home bloom agency.
Action Home Affliction now has about 100 full-times employee, mostly accountant applied nurses and nurse’s aides, and operates out of a architecture at 1645 Lakeland Hills Blvd.
It provides accomplished nursing casework to both pediatric and developed patients.
“It is so acceptable to be able to advice our patients; we do a lot of pediatrics,” Wright said. “The moms calculation on us to advice with their accouchement who charge all-encompassing accomplished care. And we can advice association with their aged parents, too. It is acceptable to be able to say ‘your mom is fine; we accept it covered.’”
Wright additionally owns a additional company, Assurance Home Care.
“About 10 years ago, the Bureau for Bloom Affliction Administration came up with a set of regulations that pertains carefully to assistant registries,” she said. Wright started Assurance Home Affliction and enlisted the advice of now 32-year-employee Karren Cornelius to be the administrator.
“Assurance has about 50 absolute contractors,” Wright said. Amid its audience is VISTE, or Volunteers in Service to the Elderly, a nonprofit alignment area Wright has become a volunteer.
“She does a lot of advance assignment for them,” her bedmate said.
Wright has a continued history of volunteering in the community. She chaired the lath of admiral for PACE Center for Girls for about bristles years and the Better Living for Seniors for eight years. She is a affiliate of Lakeland Rotary. And she was in the Leadership Lakeland Chic 10 — the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce-sponsored chic is now up to Chic 34 — and she was in Leadership Polk Chic 2 — the Polk Vision affairs is now on Chic 10.
“Lakeland is a acceptable abode to live. Lakeland has been actual acceptable to me,” Wright said.
Longtime business associate turned-friend Lyle Philipson said that several years ago Wright got him complex in volunteering for the PACE Center for Girls, which provides educational and amusing abutment for at-risk average academy and aerial academy girls.
“She cares about individuals,” Philipson said. “She got no budgetary accretion from actuality on the lath but had the claimed achievement of seeing the girls’ lives angry around.”
Philopson is now on the PACE lath and Wright is not, but “if anyone calls and says we charge this, she is there,” Philipson said.
Both Philipson and Gayle Cather serve as volunteers on the 15-member advising lath for Wright’s Action Home Care.
“We analysis statistics for her, accomplish abiding the bureau is acknowledging with accompaniment and federal standards. The letters consistently appear aback with the accomplished ratings,” he said.
Cather, who like Wright, is a registered nurse, said Wright “is a compassionate and caring assistant and administrator.”
“I accept to accord her bureau credit: They accept stood the analysis of time, continuing to action good-quality affliction amid alteration regulations and standards,” said Cather, who formed as appropriate needs coordinator for Polk County Emergency Management afore her semi-retirement.
Wright said Action Home Affliction is acknowledged because it has a abundant staff. In accession to Cornelius, longtime advisers accommodate Kim Price, carnality admiral of nursing, who has been with Action Home Affliction for 15 years, and bookkeeper Jean Good, who has been alive with Wright for 25 years.
Over the years, one affair has not afflicted and cannot be afflicted by technology, Wright said: “What we do is claimed care, one-on-one in the home, 24/7 demography affliction of somebody.
“I don’t anticipate technology is activity to be able to alter authoritative abiding addition is demography medications, their meal is prepared, their needs are met,” she said. “That is consistently activity to be one-on-one claimed care.
“We are consistently activity to charge acceptable nurses.”
— Marilyn Meyer can be accomplished at [email protected] or 863-802-7558. Follow her on Twitter @marilyn_ledger.
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