Home Health Care Agency Continues 28 Years of Growth, Success
Thanks to the Business Observer for including Sue's story - our story at Take Care - in their "Spirit of America" special edition this summer. Click here to read the complete edition on yourobserver.com or scroll down to read the entirety of the article text about Take Care Private Duty Home Health Care.
Home health care agency continues 28 years of growth, success
Sarasota-based Take Care Home Health started with one office and four employees. It has grown into a multimillion-dollar business with multiple locations and nearly 400 employees.
By Lauren Tronstad | 11:00 a.m. June 27, 2023
A passion for caring for others' needs, especially their health needs, was instilled in Sarasota's Sue Wise at a young age by her parents.
She grew up in small-town Michigan on a centennial farm that was run primarily by her father and brothers.
“(The farm) was very much based on Midwestern ethics and values with the way business was done,” she said. “It was very community-centered.”
In 1977, her father and brothers were killed in a plane crash. The crash changed her perspective on business and life and drew her toward pursuing her own dreams in the nursing field.
“I wanted to focus on the private duty side,” she said. “I felt like that was going to give me a lot of opportunities and ways to grow personally and professionally. That’s when I decided to take a chance and open up the company when I moved to Sarasota.”
She started Take Care Home Health in 1995 with an office in Venice and four employees. Now, the company has four offices, one of which doubles as a care management office, and just under 400 employees. The offices are located in Sarasota, Venice, Bradenton and Port Charlotte.
Wise’s decision to move to the Sarasota area and open her business was sparked by her love of visiting the area with her grandparents, who were snowbirds.
“My mother’s parents owned apple orchards all over Michigan,” she said. “Of course, in the middle of the winter, you can’t grow a lot of apples in Michigan. They would come down to this area and spend quite a bit of time in the winter months down here. I really loved the community; I loved the weather. My husband and I decided to venture this way and never looked back.”
Her passion for nursing was influenced by her mother, Ruth. She admired her mother’s passion for her job and the way she often went above and beyond for her patients at the children’s hospital where she worked.
One particular memory that stuck out to Wise involved a birthday cake. Her mother had come home from work and told Wise about a little boy in the hospital that was celebrating his birthday the next day but didn’t have any family to truly celebrate him. The pair worked together to bake a cake and make sure the young boy would feel loved and his birthday was celebrated.
“I saw how much she loved what she did,” she said. “I decided to give nursing a shot. …I have continued to love it. I think nursing is a phenomenal career. There’s so much opportunity. It’s so rewarding to feel good about what you’ve done at the end of the day.”
Wise attributes her success to her and her team’s work ethic and relationships they build with clients and each other.
“I think part of it is continuing to have that rapport and relationship with clients,” she said. “That certainly helped the foundation of my business…I think it makes it more of a community-centered business where people really know that we care and that we really go to the extent to make sure they have what they need.”
Once her daughters were old enough, two expressed their interest in joining the family business as they too had found a passion for nursing and health care. Courtney Snyder and Erika Borland have taken the responsibilities of president and vice president respectively.
Both Snyder and Borland have held other jobs and pursued other interests before deciding that the family business was what they were looking for as a career.
“They love the community,” Wise said. “They love the entrepreneurial side of the business where you can create and grow. That’s the wonderful thing about the country we live in. It’s in our hands as to how far we want to push it to make it successful and what direction we want to take it.”
Wise said working with her daughters has been an enjoyable experience.
“I have not found it to be challenging,” she said. “Some people say ‘does that make it hard?’ No, I think it makes it enjoyable. I think it’s an added treat that I spend so much time at work, and I also get to see two of my daughters.”
Wise’s third daughter, Whitney, chose a different path from her mother and sisters. She has pursued music education, which Wise says fits her passion and she celebrates.
Working with Snyder and Bowland has allowed her to shift her focus from the business side to her true passion — caring for those who need it.
“I think having them involved has allowed the company to progress in different ways,” she said.
The two handle more of the business side such as the company’s website and the potential to pursue additional services.
“I tend to like to be able to be with the clients and deal with the nursing issues,” Wise said. “(Working with them) allows me to focus and hunker down on that while they deal with the direction the company is going and what we might look at differently.”
There are currently no plans to expand the home health care business outside of the area as Wise believes it gives a more “local flavor” to the business and allows them to continue to give back to the same communities they call home.
About Take Care Home Health
The family-owned and operated company specializes in at-home health care and meeting their patients where they are at.
About 65% to 70% of the company’s clients require help with their everyday needs outside of just medical care, what Wise categorizes as unskilled care. The remaining percentage require skilled care, which covers all medical care that a nursing professional would have the skills to do.
“Because we have such a large base of employees, we’re able to provide both skilled and unskilled,” Wise said. “If something were to happen to someone we were providing unskilled care to such as needing wound care or care after surgery, we are able to flip into the skilled care in addition to the unskilled. They won’t have to seek out services elsewhere.”