Through our Monthly Spotlight Series, we are taking the time to highlight the staff at KidsCare Home Health. We hope you gain inspiration and valuable advice from these successful individuals and their stories.
This month we were excited to interview Jason Baker, CFO at KidsCare Home Health.
Where did you grow-up and what is special about your hometown?
My hometown is Forsyth, Illinois, a small, Central Illinois farming community of about 1000 people, when I lived there. My hometown is near Decatur, Illinois which is the Original home of the Chicago Bears (known as the Decatur Staleys). The people in Central Illinois are very special as well. I have come to appreciate the hard work and dedication it takes to be a farmer, something that I didn’t really understand when I lived there.
What has been the best moment of your career?
Honestly 2020 was one of the greatest moments in my career. When Covid-19 became a serious threat to the community, I didn’t know how a home health company could survive if we are unable to get into patients’ homes. The KidsCare Home Health team immediately went into action and we came up with a plan to continue to provide service while always keeping everyone safe. The executive staff put the plan into place that allowed therapists and nurses to continue to provide service to the clients virtually or in person if possible, the administrative staff to work from home with laptops, and the marketing team to continue to work with the community so KidsCare Home Health could be a resource during the pandemic. The unsung heroes during this time was, and continues to be, our IT department. They were able to get all the technology in place and set up which allowed us to keep going. I consider this the best moment of my career because it shows that we have the right people in place and a company culture established that will adapt to anything in order to continue to provide the highest quality service to our clients and families in our community.
Who is someone that inspires you? Why?
My grandmother Gloria has been very inspirational to me. She will turn 92 this year and continues to live the life she wants. She lives on her own in the same house she has lived in for nearly 40 years. She does all her own shopping, mows her grass in the summer, and shovels the snow off her sidewalk in the winter. I have asked her over and over to move to Texas and live near the rest of our family, but she chooses to stay in Iowa because that is all she’s ever known. I am very thankful for the neighbors around her that regularly check on her because she is the best and I love her very much.
When you’re not at work, how do you like to spend your time?
I spend a lot of time away from work with my family. My wife recently bought chickens, so I spent a lot of time building a chicken coop and building other things to take care of the chickens. It has been quite an adventure. We also spend time watching our oldest daughter dance with her high school drill team and watching our youngest play softball. Our oldest son recently got married and lives in Austin and we spend time with him and his wife as often as we can. Maybe soon we will be spending time with our grandchild (no pressure, Haha!).
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
I think the greatest achievement of any owner of a business is seeing that business just continue to operate and grow, year after year, through all the highs and lows. I don’t think non-business owners truly understand the stress and anxiety that can come from knowing that all the people at your company and their families are depending on the continued success of the business. It’s very cliché, but I see the people at KidsCare Home Health as family, and I don’t want to let my family down.
What makes you most proud about the work KidsCare does?
Thinking about the lives that are changed by the work that KidsCare Home Health does makes me very proud. There are many success stories that could be told but the thought of a mother hearing their nonverbal child say “Mom” for the first time is truly amazing. The therapists and nurses that are out in the field are the ones that are caring for the clients, but every one of our people are an important part of the change in that child’s life. Everyone has to do their job for the patient success stories to continue to be told.
Where do you see KidsCare going in the future?
I would have never guessed in 2003 that a 2-person operation with 10 clients would grow to what it is today, serving nearly 5000 clients and employing nearly 800 of the best people out there. So, to predict what the future has in store for KidsCare is unimaginable. I only know that whatever it is, we will do it the best we can because we C.A.R.E.
How can you cheer for the Chicago Blackhawks?
Haha! I cheer for the Blackhawks because 3 Stanley Cups in the last 10 years makes the previous 20 or so years as a fan pretty sweet. I am also a big Stars fan so coming so close was tough. The Stars are built to be a good team for many years so I would not be surprised to see the Cup in Dallas sometime very soon.