IBJNews

LEADING QUESTIONS: Home-health guru banks on empathy

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Leading Questions

Welcome to the latest installment of  “Leading Questions: Wisdom from the Corner Office,” in which  IBJ sits down with central Indiana’s top bosses to talk shop about their industry and the habits that lead to success.

Jan Roberts, 62, launched Alliance Home Health Care in 1991 without anticipating that providing nursing services for the elderly would become one of the biggest growth industries of the 21st century. Rather, as Roberts describes it, she fell into the business through a small accounting firm she had founded. Once she seized the opportunity, however, Roberts found a calling, as well as a business with plenty of room for growth.



The eldest of six childen and the mother of three, Roberts earned a bachelor's degree in business with a focus on accounting from IUPUI while still raising her family. She initially intended to bolster her bookkeeping skills for her husband's chain of liquor stores, but she eventually branched out to her own venture, supplying accounting services for small companies.

A friend who had started a service providing home-based health care asked her to invest. Roberts signed on, attracted by the chance to pair her accounting acumen with her nurturing side. While preparing to launch the firm, Roberts was diagnosed with two forms of breast cancer. Her response was to "plow through" the illness, the subsequent surgery and radiation therapy, while continuing to pilot the start-up. It gave her an even greater sense of mission, as well as her own set of experiences informing the firm's services.

"It gave me the incentive to really want to be in the health care business and be understanding of people who are going through [similar experiences]," Roberts said.

Today, Alliance Home Health Care is the fifth-largest woman-owned business in the Indianapolis area, in terms of local full-time-equivalent employees (138). It primarily provides skilled home nursing, therapy and non-medical companion services to the elderly in the Indianapolis area. With the "silver tsunami" of baby boomers requiring more intensive health care cresting over the economy, Alliance's revenue increased 27 percent from 2008 to 2009, and then 38 percent from 2009 to 2010.

In the video at top, Roberts discusses Alliance's origins and how her experience with breast cancer helped inform the firm's mission. She also explains how her role as caregiver extends to her own staff, and why the study of psychology is vital to plotting the company's path.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Learn How To Run A Business
    Alliance Home Health Care is one of the worst run business in Indianapolis. I used them for my father and gave them over 6 months plus to clean their act up and pay attention to what needs to be done. Being in the consulting business and turnaround business I offered on many occassions grattis help and information informing them of their weeknesses in their scheduling practices, employee training and logistic considerations when scheduling. The company needs big time help.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
ADVERTISEMENT