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Southwest Home Health Care Agency

By Kathy Barr



When Tonya Jones-Brown and her brothers watched their grandmother in her final years, they felt helpless when she became very ill. They wanted to be able to have medical personnel visit her in her home, but that {{more}} kind of help was not available in Breckenridge, where the family lived. Reluctantly, her family decided they needed to put Tonya’s grandmother in a nursing home. Tonya and her brother decided there must be something they could do to help other families avoid having to make the heartbreaking decision of placing a loved one in a facility. In 1999, Tonya and her brother Larry opened their agency, Southwest Home Health Care Agency in Abilene. Their brother, Tommy had successfully started such an agency in the Dallas area, and they wanted to provide these services to individuals and families who had medical needs in our area. With their staff of five registered nurses, eight licensed vocational nurses and six certified nursing assistants, Tonya is often able to help families keep a medically needy individual in their home until they are able to take care of themselves. Physical and occupational therapists are called in when these kinds of services are needed. The agency also has a social worker on its staff. In her role as administrator/co-owner, Tonya said she loves working with the elderly and said her staff is wonderful in the many ways they assist the agency’s clients. Their willingness to go the extra mile is wonderful, Tonya said, and she is grateful for their dedication. Occasionally, one of their clients needs a ride to the doctor, and, even though this is not considered one of the services the agency provides, they staff will arrange for transportation. Also, even after the patient’s doctor discharges the individual from the agency’s care, Tonya and her staff maintain contact to make sure the former client’s needs are being met. How long do they keep in touch with former patients? “Forever!” Tonya replied. Tonya and her staff have even arranged for patient’s electricity to be resumed in situations when it was turned off because the patient couldn’t pay the bill. Tonya maintains contact with the agency’s clients and is pleased that some of them feel comfortable in calling her and telling her how they are doing. They also, at times, request extra help if they have a special need. Tonya sees her job as a calling. “This is my greatest joy,” she said, “this is what God has given me to do.” Having grown up in a church with primarily senior citizens as members, Tonya knows well the struggles many of them face. Having witnessed the challenges her grandmother dealt with, Tonya, Larry and their staff are determined to make their clients as comfortable as possible. Currently, the agency has approximately 100 individuals they are providing care for, primarily senior citizens who have just been discharged from the hospital, but they also have a few clients with chronic illnesses such as those on dialysis. What motivates Tonya to be as determined as she is to provide quality care? “They’ve given to us…now it’s their turn,” she said. The agency is located at 402 Cypress Street. For more information, call 672-7800.

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