This week, I presented at the Home Health Administrators Summit for Decision Health in Las Vegas.

It was SO great to see old clients and friends. I have missed them! And I have missed being around SMART – PASSIONATE – home health owners and administrators looking to level up!

I LOVE being around innovative owners – Hospital at Home – Value-Based – Integrating MORE with In-Home Care so that they are reducing hospital readmissions by 30% on high-risk ACO patients. It’s exhilarating!

When you get like-minded abundant administrators together sharing ideas and solutions on how they approached COVID – STAFFING – NOW THEY GOT STAFF NOW THEY NEED ADMISSIONS! The BALANCING Act!

Challenges were asked, and solutions were shared in real-time:


What about a therapy contract group who will not “do what you ask” – they want to still be on paper – not turn in their notes on time – but you NEED them.

What about an Admission nurse vs. every RN making their own admissions based on the territory? Does one produce better OASIS consistency?

Another person asked – How do we get all the people involved in a patient’s care to communicate and know what’s going on with that patient in real-time?

All of these questions –

All of these administrators are looking for answers.


Maybe you can relate.

I can so relate. When presented with a challenge at one of our clients, the first thing I do is to reach out to Cheryl, and together we brainstorm on who might be able to help solve the challenge – often, its another one of our clients who is has done something similar or using the same EMR that can give insight on how they use it.

The brilliant thing about having us on your team is that we get to see the inside of many agencies over the years and connect with the owners to share thoughts and solutions. We have been doing this for over 20 years.

During the past week or so, you have read emails from us inviting you to our new Home Health Inner Circle. This is a curated group of home health owners, administrators, and executives who all come to the table for connection, collaboration, and impact.

A group of colleagues.

A group of extraordinary owners and executives who are up to BIG things in the world of home health that you could learn from, and in other areas, they can learn from you!

Colleagues – friends who help each other get to the next level.


In the next 12 months, home health will go through another radical transformation with payment changes and OASIS E.


We are building a group to navigate the changes with ease.

Go from overwhelmed to a clear path, confident in the next steps to maximize your position.

You are invited!

Click here to answer a few questions to see if the inner circle is the right fit for you!

Together we GROW!


Over the past few months, I have written several blogs describing my journey to provide care for my mother and her recent medical issues. Fast forward to today: Mom was in the hospital and couldn’t find an SNF with rehab that had a bed open…

I called her nurse every night and asked, “Should we should take her home?”

I felt like we could rehab her at home with home health. However, her nurse was a little apprehensive.

She was concerned that she would NOT get the rehab she needed. I reassured her with Home Health, PT, and OT that we could create a home exercise plan (HEP) that would ve “comparable” to an SNF rehab plan with less exposure to COVID since Mom is immune-compromised.

After “team” the next day, her Nurse Practitioner called me and said, “Can you support your Mom at home if we D/C her directly home?”

Of course, I said yes with my friends from Interim Home Health!

Yes, I can fly home and help, but here’s the catch you: want to D/C her on Monday, and I get out of COVID isolation on Tuesday. That way I can fly home on Wednesday.

I called my Mom to confirm this is what she wanted to do and was comfortable “going home” she said, “YES, I want to go home!”


So I called my brother who lives on the other side of Ohio and said, “Ryan could you get Mom and take her home on Monday? Set her up. I will organize home health and hire an in-home caregiver through the private duty side of Interim until I can get there on Wednesday.” He said yes!

Ryan has a HUGE truck. I had this vision of him “throwing” Mom up into the cab. Luckily for me, Mom already thought of that and told him to go to her house and get her car to bring her home – good idea!


By the time I called Interim later that day, they already had the order for Home Health, and I was fielding calls from the DME company to deliver equipment.

Mom made it home safe and sound on Monday – YEA! She had a friend stay with her Monday and Tuesday night until I could get there on Wednesday.

Interim professionals were doing the SOC on Tuesday. She is receiving Nursing OT and PT.

A private duty aide came on Wed afternoon to help her get settled. On Wednesday, I was out of isolation and flew home to 12 inches of SNOW! What a welcome! But, just like the mailman, the Home Health Clinicians came to see my Mom that week. I am happy to report Mom has graduated from her walker! She is still a little unsteady, but her OT and PT are working on that!

I am grateful that she was able to go home.

Moreover, she is THRILLED to be at home!


She said to me last night, “Mel, I think I just do better at home. Look at me; I am walking. I am climbing steps to the landing. I don’t think I would have done this well at skilled nursing with rehab.”

I believe her. In her own environment, which she loves, she is HIGHLY motivated to do her HEP and functional activities (last night, we made bread and the night before cookies to take to the kids).

Big shout out to Interim of Meadville, PA – Their customer service is off the charts, and their clinicians are super skilled!


What can we learn from this experience?

    1. Hospitals automatically think “SNF with rehab” if they qualify- but it doesn’t have to be that way. In some cases, it shouldn’t be that way.
    2. Your clinicians, if the patient is medically stable and has a caregiver if they are not able to self-care, CAN receive Home Health.
    3. Home Health was the RIGHT answer for my Mom; I just needed to think about how to cover the 1st two days of her discharge since I couldn’t be there.

Tell the story of my Mom to your hospital D/C planners. Let them “visualize” how Home Health can be the answer – especially now that COIVD has so many of them without “beds.” We call these patient vignettes. This is how we get referral sources to connect the dots from a patient to a referral to you.

Need more patient vignettes to help them connect the dots to you? We got you covered!


The RoadMap to Referrals is FULL of patient vignettes you can use out in the field to get more referrals NOW.

Gaining referrals does not have to be complicated. Will you let us help you?

Pick a time convenient for you to have Mike show you the system!

Together we GROW!


Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”

This week I am blessed to have an administrator who trained to be a sales representative.

Now, this administrator isn’t leaving his role as administrator. He volunteered to manage the sales representative’s accounts while out of work for maternity leave.

Our first call was excellent. It started something like this:

“OMG, it is so hard to be out doing sales calls all day!”

I laughed so hard. Many leaders don’t take on the role of sales representatives, and when they do, they often have this reaction.

The truth is, they never get the whole workload experience when standing in as a temporary salesperson.

The person working as the temporary fill-in usually maintains the current book of business. They are not asked to identify new accounts and map out targets.

They also don’t have to qualify, do strategic design sales calls, and perform reveal sales calls. In reality, they are just professional visitors who aren’t trained in the sales process, so they lose their value.

It’s a great thing to have this person make friendly with our top accounts, but have them know more whenever possible!


Home Care Sales has the industry’s leading sales training for home health, hospice, and private duty! It’s reasonably priced and comes with a Certificate of Completion to print out for their personnel file to prove that they know how to market ethically! Email now to get access immediately. Ask for the High-Performance Sales Academy!


I asked this administrator why he felt that sales were hard work.

He responded, “Smiling all day and having to listen and pay attention to so many people becomes exhausting.”


(Now I know right now any salesperson reading this is screaming ‘ALLELUIA!”)

I also found the administrator’s questions during the coaching call superb. It made me realize how much there is to work in sales. It also confirms that our High-Performance sales academy is delivering exactly what reps need to know right now!


Here are his questions:

1. The sales rep told me to look at my referrals to find out where I need to go each day to qualify?

2. What should I document in my call note?

3. How do I know what the sales rep discussed last week with the account?

4. The rep said that I had to fill out monthly follow-up forms?

5. What is the TADA Sales Call?

6. What should I do when I am tasked with presenting to residents of an ALF?

7. What should I do each week to prepare for next week’s sales calls?


I told him to take a deep breath. I also gave him access to the High-Performance Sales Academy and enrolled him in our Sales Management program.

Now he will have everything he needs to survive the next 3-4 months while his rep is on leave. If you, too, have a representative who will be out and need temporary help to support someone in this role, our sales management program may be for you.

One of the companies we manage had one rep when we started with them in December. Now they have 4! They grew so fast with the first rep that they wanted to keep replicating the success.

Let us manage your team! We know how to do it for a fraction of the cost. Learn more by setting up a free 30 min discovery call with or email me directly, and I can assist you with answering your questions,

For those of you who have been “following” Mom’s journey. She hit a speed bump a couple of weeks ago.

She had a bone biopsy, and there was some internal bleeding after the procedure; by the time she got home, she was in extreme pain and unable to walk.

She called the ambulance and was transported back to Cleveland Clinic. Mom spent 14 days as an inpatient while they tried to get her pain under control and start to resolve the hematoma that was on her “hip .”

As luck would have it, I was unable to be at the bedside as my son tested positive for COVID, and I was on a ten-day isolation protocol. So my care coordination was via phone and facetime.

Since my Mom lives alone, they thought it best to transition to an SNF with Rehab. I could hardly disagree as I couldn’t fly home to be with her.

The Case Manager (CM) gave her the “list.”

You know the one where they type in your home zip code and print out the list of providers closest to you and tell her to pick one.

Not knowing what to do, my Mom looked at the list and chose the one nearest to her home highlighted by the CM. The CM called them, but they didn’t have any beds open due to COVID staffing shortages.

So, my Mom proceeded to pick five more based on distance from her home. All had the same answer – no beds due to staffing shortages. I didn’t know that any of this was going on, but when I called later that day, she shared that she couldn’t find a rehab for her. I asked her to take a pic and send it to me (see photo).

This is the lesson for us as post-acute care providers.


The list – oh, that damn list! I want to cry every time I hear a Case Manager say I give out a list. While, in this case, it was an SNF list – it could have easily been a Home Health, Hospice, or In-Home Care list.

Look at that list. Yes, they will say to you – “well, we give them the star ratings to review.” But really…is that the best way?

Look how she highlighted the list – it was based on distance, so my Mom chose based on distance. This is to say; patients look to their Case Manager to help them navigate through all the choices – even when it is not a great criterion like distance.

Once I understood what was happening and that discharge was “now,” I got on the phone with some of the nurses, and while they would never come right out and say this one is good, or this one is bad, or I would rank the rehabs 1, 2, 3 – One of them said the exact words I used to say to my patients when I was an OT in the field:

“If It were MY MOTHER, I would try: Abc SNF or XYZ SNF or 123 SNF”


Again we are humans; they are humans; when asked, they will tell the patient their opinion, but you have to ask, and my Mom didn’t know to ask. So she simply followed the highlighted path.

It’s the hospital policy to offer a list and patient choice. The CM did that.

She also provided “outcome” measures on that list to meet the facility’s policy of “informed choice.”

I will submit it to you it’s not enough.


That is where you come in – you differentiate your agency beyond your star rating. How do you educate the Case Managers so that when a patient or daughter like me asks, “who would you send your mom to…” they would respond with Your agency’s name?

It’s up to you to position yourself as the expert in transitioning a patient to their home or a highlighting specific disease.

REMEMBER: It is not their job to remember you – it is YOUR job to make yourself someone they can not forget!


Are you struggling to differentiate yourself? Then, Roadmap to Referrals does it for you! Imagine having a new topic each week to elevate your conversations and position you as the expert in CHF, COPD, Parkinson’s, and many more!

Patients and clients deserve your care! It’s your job to engage your referral sources, so they see you as a trusted partner, and it is logical to refer to you when you are the expert!

Wondering how to do that?

We can help:

Choose a date and time for a quick consult with Mike to show you the system!

Together we GROW!


Whether you’re a team leader, manager, or agency owner, your team is one of the most valuable assets your company has.

Without dedicated members of staff, you wouldn’t be able to complete necessary projects, inspire your customers, drive sales, or build your brand presence.

Unfortunately, many companies spend so much time focusing on their clients/ patients and profit margins that they forget to retain and engage their staff. Around 3 million Americans quit their job each month in search of better opportunities. 

Now that remote work solutions are making it easier for staff to find new roles anywhere, it’s even harder to convince your people that they should stay with you. 

With difficult times on the horizon for most agencies, here are some of the top strategies you can use to retain your employees and team members. 

Get Salary and Benefits Right


Although there’s a lot more to having a happy workforce than offering them the right salary, it pays to provide a competitive wage. Most of the talented team members that are looking for jobs right now know how much their skills are worth. If you’re not willing to pay your employees what they’re worth, they’ll find another agency.

Around 56% of employees say that healthcare and insurance concerns also keep them at their job. If you can’t offer the most competitive salary in your area, maybe you can make the job more appealing by offering additional benefits.

Everything from better flexible working options to access to private healthcare can boost your chances of getting and keeping the talent you need. 

Listen To Your Team Members


The easiest way to ensure that you’re going to keep staff members around is to give them a voice and listen to what they have to say. Employees are more likely to feel invested in a business that takes their opinions and insights seriously. 

With that in mind, ensure that your company culture encourages feedback and regular discussions between members of staff. If your employees aren’t happy with the way you’re currently running things, give them the opportunity to make suggestions about things they might like to change. 

Listening to your team members, even if that just means giving them a way to give anonymous feedback to your leaders, could mean that you become aware of significant issues much faster. This way, you can fix issues before they grow too large. 

Create Leaders, not Bosses


Everyone dreams of being the boss at their company. However, the reality is that it means a lot more to become a memorable leader. The unfortunate truth is that most of the employees in the current landscape don’t leave their business at all – they leave their manager. 

The people in your team responsible for leading others should have all the characteristics of an inspirational and motivational leader.

Look for people who can handle challenges calmly and think outside of the box.

Provide your leaders with training that will help them to manage positive and negative feedback and support their teams in achieving their goals.


A good leader doesn’t just dump the responsibility for mistakes onto staff members and scream at people until work gets done. Genuinely incredible leaders are the people that keep the team moving forward, even in times of trouble. 

Invest in Your Employees’ Future


If you’re not going to invest in your employees, why should they invest their time in your company? How can you invest in making your staff members more skilled in their roles? 

Most team members want to see a future for themselves in your business, which means that they need to continue developing their knowledge and talents. Offering training and educational opportunities is a great way to ensure that your staff members feel as though they’re moving consistently in the right direction.

HCS is here to help you do that with Roadmap to Referrals!  Invest in your staff by giving them a competitive edge! 

Build mentorship programs so that employees can teach each other and create a deep meaningful bond.   

If you’re not sure where to get started when it comes to offering training opportunities, try having one-to-one meetings with your staff. This could be a great way to develop individual plans for each of your team members. 

Make Them Proud to Work for You


Finally, we’re living in an age where employees don’t just want a great salary and lots of benefits from the ideal job. Your team members want to feel like they’re working for a company that’s making a positive difference in the world.  Are you a values match for them?

In today’s activism-fuelled environment, you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution.

Find out what your team members are passionate about and get involved. This could mean that you create a new green living strategy for your agency where you can cut down on your carbon emissions. Another option involves getting involved with local charities and non-profits or investing in your local community.


The more you show your employees that you care about more than just money, the more they’ll feel happy working with you, and the more likely it is that they’ll stay with you for the long term.

We know it’s hard right now to gain and keep your staff.  

We are here for you!  Recruiting and Retention has some practical ideas and strategies to put into action at your agency!   

Click Here to discover more about that program or jump on Mikes’s calendar for a discovery call!

Together We Grow!


P.S. 2022 is the year for retention!  There are easy, no-stress tactics you can use to make your staff feel your “LOVE”!!  

Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”

Friends, for the last 29 years I have been working in post-acute care. For the last 9 years, I have worked in helping post-acute care providers such as home care, home health, and hospice organizations grow their census.

One account type that I most often hear presents a challenge for agencies to get referrals from, is local hospitals. 

Yes, local hospitals have their own companies that provide post-acute services and they often refer directly to their organizations.  


However, I also know that these organizations also refer to other providers.  Now, the reasons they refer to other providers are vast:

    • Patient at hospital lives across State Lines
    • Out Of Service Area of Home Health Staff
    • Lack of Staff
    • Insurance is not accepted by Home Health (or pays too little so they farm out those patients)
    • The discipline needed not available in patients’ location
    • Patient request for another agency
    • Patient already on services with another provider
    • The patient had the hospital’s home health several times in the past and the patient is non-compliant.  The hospital’s home health farms the patient out.
    • The patient was on a home health service from the community and the patient requested to have that agency when discharged.

Getting into a hospital is a big deal because of the sheer volume of referrals for post-acute care providers.

Here are four ways that I can share with you how to become one of the hospital’s agencies of choice.

Build a business plan to go after the doctors that have patients who are admitted to the hospital you want to work with

Most hospital websites have a physician listing. Start qualifying each of these doctor’s offices and make sure they have the willingness and the ability to refer to you.

Then start calling on them and get their patients on your companies services. Now, when one of these patients gets admitted to the hospital you can go visit the patient. Stop by the nurse’s station and ask them to page the discharge planner for your patient.

You will be able to introduce your company and ask questions to see what challenges they have with referring patients and how you can help. You can also add a form to your admission packet that the patient requests you when they need services.

Start making sales calls to the hospital’s ER physicians, social workers (if they have one), and to the discharge planners.

By following the High Performance Sales Process and using the Roadmap to Referrals to have a purpose for your sales calls, you’ll be able to unlock these referral sources. This is the best tool to expand someone’s knowledge of who to refer and help them get a patient to instantly pop into their mind when you use our Trigger Questions™.

Buddy up with someone else that is also calling on the discharge planners and is already getting referrals from them.

Consider partners like DME, IV infusion pharmacies, Oxygen suppliers, and Wound care companies. If possible find someone who will take you for 4-8 weeks straight. Then you should have the ability to access these accounts without your buddy. In exchange, you take that salesperson into your top account(s). I would suggest you do this for maybe 4 accounts each. You both walk away with 4 new referral sources!

Note: This next tactic is so often done and yet it is my favorite one. It has given me the highest return. 

Go directly to the hospital’s owned home health provider.

Their agency can never handle all the volume so they have to refer to community providers. Now, as I mentioned earlier, they want to give you and other community agencies all the bad patients. You know the ones if you went through our orientation program. 

      • High-cost Medicare patients
      • The patients who make their outcome reports look terrible
      • Frequently non-compliant patients
      • Non-medicare, the worst insurance payers

If you can still make a profit with the lesser payers, you stand to gain an immense amount of business. You can also teach them, that you could take that costly patient but you need to stay balanced with healthy payers so you can serve everyone.  Share with them that you need a Medicare patient to go with the worst payer.

If you’re a smart rep with an owner who knows their cost, then go and call on their intake department. Approach them by asking them questions to uncover who you can refer to them because you can not serve a patient type. For example, you can send them patients with insurance that you don’t/can’t accept.

Ask who they need help with, what area, discipline, or payer. The good thing about getting in with a hospital is whenever new insurance is coming into town, that insurance company asks the hospital what post-acute care providers they should also offer contracts to. This is how my company got contracts with every payer in my market.  

If you want your sales representatives to be able to break into hospital systems we are here to help you. 

Melanie and I have found a way to coach representatives for rates much less than we charged in the past. We have found a way to shorten the time that it takes for reps to succeed. Let us manage your team today. 

Want to learn more? Click on the link to get on Mike’s calendar, and in under 30 minutes, you will be able to get started!  

Keep Helping, Keep Serving,

Cheryl Pelekis, RN “The Solutionist”


PS: Want to see this lesson in video format? Check it out below:


Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”

Many of you have been using our Roadmap to Referrals: 52 Weeks Sales Plan, and I wanted to share feedback from our physician panel. I met with a group of physicians (11 doctors and three nurse practitioners). 

They were chosen because the sales reps that are calling on them are using the Roadmap To Referrals for either home care/home health or hospice services. 

Here is how they answered questions.


Question:  Have you seen our USP flyers? (All of the flyers were provided to the group for discussion)

Answer:  86% responded yes.

Question:  How did you receive the flyers?


    • Three responded they got the flyer from the Sales Rep at their monthly meeting.  This made me excited to know that my sales reps were following the HPSA step 5 Strategy Sales Call.)
    • Seven responded that the sales rep left them in an envelope labeled confidential.  I loved hearing this.
    • Two responded they got the flyers delivered to their email addresses.  (Inside Sales working.)
    • Two did not remember seeing the flyers.

Question:  Did you read the flyers?

Answers:  Most of the flyers were at least partially read, and several of the doctors answered that they read the brochures with the patient’s story.

Question:  What do you like about the flyers?

Answer:    The consensus was they learned from the flyers.  Several specific comments:

    • “Wow, I never knew how many patients don’t use their inhalers correctly!”
    • “The patient stories help me see current patients who need to be referred.”
    • “I haven’t been referring patients because I didn’t want to refer a patient who wasn’t eligible. I feel like I am learning who needs services.”
    • “The stories of patients help paint a picture of when to refer and who to refer.”

Question:  What would you like us to change in our Roadmap to Referrals program to help you identify patients with ease? 

The results:

    • Referral sources want quick short stories that they can remember on the flyer to connect with.
    • They want to feel like they can identify and get services to patients who need them.



Meeting with referral sources was an absolute success! I loved that they shared that patient vignettes (or patient stories) work. I loved to hear that our High-Performance Sales Process was working, as evidenced by several of these doctors’ reported Strategy Sales Calls. I also learned that our inside sales process was producing referrals.  

This year, in response, we transformed several of our USP (Unique Selling Point) flyers for hospice/in-home care/home health to include new patient vignettes. With each year, we are giving our program an upgrade! 

We will continue to provide email and voice mail templates to support the sales representatives. As a result, the number of agencies that continue to enroll yearly has dramatically improved.

We love giving you tools that work and are committed to continuing to Wow you and your referral sources!  

If you haven’t used our Roadmap To Referrals, 52 weeks of successful sales calls, you have to try it! 

To learn how you too can 5 X referrals from current referral sources, you can watch our free webinar here.  

If you want to see a demo, please email

Make 2022 your year and gift your physicians with the knowledge and confidence they want! 

Knowledge is the key to patients getting services that they so desperately need.


Keep Helping, Keep Serving,

Cheryl Pelekis, RN “The Solutionist”

Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”

Today I ran into Dr. Joe while I was out Christmas shopping. For those of you that are fateful blog readers, you may recall his story.

He and his partner, Dr. Kirkland, are both top referring physicians. I have been using the Roadmap to Referrals while maintaining this account over the last several years. This past year, I taught them something else to do with my flyers.

Several of our flyers are patient stories. The marketing tools ask, Have you seen Sam? Then the leaflet shows a picture of Sam, and his journey, on how he became our patient and the benefits he and his family received.



“I had gotten so many great patients to care for from Dr. Jones that I asked him, “why you refer patients to home care? “

I was shocked by his answer. “


He shared with me that his great aunt, Cecelia, lived with him when he was a boy. She was a widow, and her youngest nephew, Mark (Dr. Jones Dad), volunteered to let her move into his home when the Parkinson’s disease took a toll on her ability to live alone. 

Dr. Jones said he remembered how much work it was for his mom to care for his aunt’s needs. She needed quite a bit of care over the 15 years that she lived with his parents, and they had to transfer her, toilet her, bathe her, feed her, clean all of her clothing and manage just about everything, like medications and doctors appointments. All of it!

He shared that one day, his aunt fell, and she ended up in the hospital for a few days. When she was discharged, they ordered home health. That home health agency’s nurse told them that she had a friend from a home care agency and that someone would come over to see how they might help make taking care of his aunt Cecelia a little easier. 

The next day Cecelia had a visit from the home care agency.

They found out that she qualified for the VA Benefit because her husband was in the military. They could get a home care aide to assist with personal care for 4 hours a day, five days a week.   

This changed the whole mood of the home. Now his mom had time to go to the hair salon, and because she felt better about herself and had a break every day for a few hours, she improved her self-care. 

Having a caregiver allowed the whole family to benefit.  Meals were once again being cooked, and the entire house felt better.

 On the way out of Dr. Jones’s office, we ran into his partner, Dr. Kirkland. He introduced me, and said to Dr. Kirkland, “did you tell Cheryl about your Aunt Cecilia?” I got a perplexed look on my face. 

I thought it was Dr. Jones’s aunt. Dr. Kirkland proceeded to tell me the same story that Dr. Jones shared with me. 

In the end, Dr. Jones said with a smile, “Aunt Cecelia is his great aunt, not mine.” He continued, “When I am trying to convince my patients to let home health or home care in, I always tell this story as if it’s my own because it becomes more believable.”

I told him, “whatever it takes to improve patients’ lives!”

I hope we can all find more Dr. Jones and Dr. Kirkland’s!


There are patients like Cecelia all over the country who need help to stay at home. Some families take on this responsibility and don’t realize how a patient could deteriorate over the years. It is hard to take care of a loved one for a few days, let alone 15 years.

Thank God for home care services. Thank God that the home health nurse had a friend who did home care.

Too many patients would go without care. Now imagine you could quickly help your doctors’ offices to find their Cecelia’s?  Well, we have your solution.

Our 52 week Road Map to Referrals does just that.

For 2022, we are upgrading the patient vignette forms. We are teaching our sales reps to encourage the doctors to provide them to the patient at the time of referral to our agency.

We also ask the hospital case manager to share them with their patients. Expanding the awareness of care we provide using the power of stories helps patients accept and receive our care in their homes.


Don’t miss our holiday specials either! You can find them on our Facebook page here.

Want to learn more?

Email and see a demo of the road map to referrals in action. Each month I get to coach your sales rep and roleplay the sales messages of the week.

This program is our top-performing sales product, and on average, home health and hospice agencies have experienced a 30% growth rate!


Keep Helping, Keep Serving,

Cheryl Pelekis, RN “The Solutionist”

My Uncle Sam died this week.

He was my shining star of a hospice patient. When people say, “Oh, hospice is where you go to die” or “I don’t know if my patient only has 6 mos to live.” I would use my Uncle Sam as an example.

We put my Uncle Sam on hospice 3 years ago. Without a doubt, in my mind, Sam lived longer BECAUSE of hospice than if he had not had the support that hospice afforded him.

Uncle Sam is not my real uncle – he is my husband’s, Chris, stepfather’s (who is no longer married to my mother–in–law) brother.

I know it’s confusing, but that’s what happens when your father-in-law and mother-in-law have been married 3 times each – you get LOTS of extra families!

The best part about that for me is that I get to choose who my FAVORITE is, and I have LOTS of choices – Poor Chris is stuck with limited options in my family.  🙂

Uncle Sam lived a very adventurous life.

He was a pilot in the Navy and rose to the rank of Captain for TWA, who then was bought by American.

Sam was full of wild, amazing stories and was so witty. You know, the kind of wit that sometimes hurts like a paper cut. He would throw out there a “zinger,” and you would laugh, and then 2 minutes later, you would say – “Ouch,” that stung a little!

So, when Alzheimer’s took his cognitive ability and mobility, I knew hospice was the right answer. His doctors at the VA wanted him to be an inpatient at a long-term care facility, but my Aunt Linda promised that she would care for him in their home, and so we took him home, and he was served by hospice.

Aunt Linda called last week and shared that Sam was actively dying. She asked me to come and sit with her and Sam. The hospice team was fantastic! She had daily visits over the last week from all the disciplines- nursing, SW, Chaplain, aides.

As you can imagine, being on caseload for so long, the clinical team had a deep relationship with Sam and Linda.

The hospice prepared Aunt Linda well for his passing. She had the medications, and she was well informed about using them for his pain.

We sat with Sam and told fun Sam stories. Sam was VERY colorful. He liked to “shock” folks and walk away like he didn’t just say what he said. The first time he did this to me, I was dating my husband Chris – we would come to Fairhope and work on the family boat.

As a child, Chris grew up on this sailboat– sailing every weekend in the summer, but it had sat neglected in the slip for about 10 yrs. So, when we decided to “get back into sailing,” there was a TON of work to be done.

I took on restoring the teak in the cabin. It was hard work, sanding, inside the cabin in the AL summer heat. Sawdust sticking to every inch of your sweaty skin.

Even though I sanded and sanded, I could not get out the water damage marks, so I decided to stain it.
(not knowing then that that’s not the best method of restoration – but hey, this was before we all had you tube in our pockets- how was I supposed to know?) So I stained it, and I thought it looked GREAT!

Later that day – after I cleaned up my work tools, I was ready to show it off! I was SO excited. I thought it made a BIG difference in the cabin. I called Uncle Sam down to see my handy work.

Uncle Sam came aboard with his ever-present cigar in his right hand – stepped down into the companionway, stood up in the cabin, and looked around. I said, “Uncle Sam, how do you like it?” grinning from ear to ear proudly, awaiting him to tell me my hard work paid off, and it looked great! Sam said, “It looks great if you are going to make it a floating bordello.”

He turned and climbed the stairs back up the companionway giggling to himself and shaking his head. I looked around and started laughing too. He was right. It was a little “reddish” – ok, I think I might have used Cherry stain – OMG, what was I thinking?

But Sam just laughed, and later that night at dinner at his house, he said, “Well, Mel – you did a good job at cleaning the wood. And the red-well it matches your hair – so what the hell? Good God, woman, next time, do some research!”

That was Sam – quick with a laugh and putting you in your place at the same time.

Sam passed on Sunday with Aunt Linda at his side. I was at my house getting ready to go over to their house for the day, and Linda text “Mel, I think you need to come now. Uncle Sam is not breathing much” And so I did.

Uncle Sam passed within the hour. He was surrounded by Aunt Linda, myself, and his devoted in-home care caregiver for the last 4 yrs – Trish. (Trish was a private pay caregiver 8 hrs a day 5 days a week for 4 yrs and had become like family to Sam and Linda)

I called the hospice nurse Tara who came to pronounce, call the funeral home and dispose of the medications. She was exactly who you hoped would be there for Aunt Linda, and she executed the plan flawlessly. I am grateful to have been reminded of our clinicians’ fantastic work in the home.

Uncle Sam didn’t have any children, so it was up to Chris and me to write the obit, deliver the eulogy, organize the service and generally be the funeral “director” of the event.

It was a whirlwind of the last few days, but the service was perfect, and Aunt Linda LOVED it – and that was the promise we made Uncle Sam to, in his words, “plant him in the ground” and get Linda through it. We did.

Home Care is the gift we give the patient and their families.

I know you are out there every day sharing your message of hospice, home health, and in-home care so that more people are impacted (just like our family) by your services.


Thank you for all you do!


You make a difference for families!



P.S. Want to read more about the “legend” that is Uncle Sam – click here


P.S.S. Want to impact more lives through your marketing messages – click here to discuss how you can with Mike

Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”

I have spoken to so many agencies over the last month who are really in dire need of staffing. People are trying to get creative with ads that are just so unique.

One of the ways they have shared with me that are bringing them great results is humor in the ad.

Full-time Home Health Aide Needed

There is no need to apply if you don’t have reliable transportation, if your car is broken every week, and no babysitter can be found every weekend. Seriously, do us both a favor and go to the next agency and skip mine.   

If you can’t be thankful for the experience of helping people, then get a job where you don’t have to interact with people.

You aren’t getting paid to be on your phone all day, so if you can’t engage with people, then don’t apply.

Also, we are hiring people who want to work here for years!  We provide your health benefits, so please apply if you really want to work and do work that loves you back.


This ad is funny, right? The owner reported that this ad got more aides to respond than any he had ever used. I understand if this ad isn’t your style but you may have to mix up what you are doing with your ads to find the best candidates for your agency.

Last week, I was at a State Association meeting, and I went to 3 different presentations on recruiting and retention.


Here are some of the highlights:


    • Your ads need to be no longer than four days old. On day 5, start each “help wanted post” all over.
    • Place your help wanted ads for the neighborhood that you are hiring staff to serve clients.
    • Use language that makes caregiving a position that makes a difference in the world.
    • Make sure the ad says flexible scheduling. Many aides work for two or more agencies.
    • Have a referral incentive program.
    • Use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
    • Use Videos about why your company is the place to work on the website
    • “No Experience Necessary” – Train and have a competency program.


I know how hard it is these days (or any days)to not have the help you need to serve patients. At the core of my being, I feel the pain of knowing that seniors are going without care.

That is why Retention is critical. As we move through the worst of the pandemic, employees are revisiting job expectations.  They want flexibility, better pay, and greater connection. They also want the chance to make a real difference in the world.


So it’s up to you to create an agency where caregivers want to work!

    • Put work/life balance first.
    • Continue to focus on worker and patient health and safety
    • Provide them with the tools they need to do their job
    • Foster loyalty with a positive working environment
    • Offer mentorship and career paths
    • Maintain open lines of communication


Value your staff, show them appreciation, and treat them as the essential workers they are. Need more ideas on how to improve your recruiting process?

Need help with interviewing?

Need new ideas on retaining staff?

You can buy our recruiting and retention program right here!


Keep Helping, Keep Serving,

Cheryl Pelekis, RN “The Solutionist”