Meet Heather Evans and Maddie Arias of BrightStar. BrightStar provides Lifecare, Kidcare, and Staffing.
GA!: Heather and Maddie, we’d like to know about the two of you. Where did you grow up, go to school, etc? How did you meet?
Heather: I’m originally from Mississippi where I graduated with a B.S. and M.S. degree in Education from Mississippi State. My husband, Joey, and I have been married for 10 years and have a daughter,9, and two boys, 5 and 3. We moved to Gastonia six years ago for Joey’s job where we met Maddie and her family. Maddie and I first met at church, but really got to know each other well when Maddie was our Labor and Delivery nurse at Gaston Memorial when my middle child was born.
Maddie: My husband, Juan, and I are originally from Costa Rica. We’ve lived in North Carolina for most of our lives and graduated high school together in Lincoln County. I received my B.S.N. degree from Western Carolina School of Nursing and immediately started to work at Gaston Memorial as a Labor and Delivery nurse, where Heather mentioned we met. Juan and I have two children, a son who is 8, and a daughter who is 4.
GA!: What led you to bring BrightStar to Gaston County?
Maddie: Working at the hospital, I’ve been exposed for a decade to families of newborns that simply need an extra set of hands and the comforting presence of a skilled caregiver to help them through late nights or long days when they get home. It wasn’t until Heather began to share with me the challenges her family was experiencing while trying to provide her ailing grandmother with quality care at home, that I began to realize the prevalence of the unmet need for personal care by families at every stage of life. Since then, we’ve dedicated ourselves to answering the question of, “Who can help me care for my grandmother, my mother, or my daughter?”
GA!: I know you have the three divisions, Lifecare, Kidcare, and medical staffing. Can you share with us more about these services and what you do?
Heather: Our range of services simply allows us to help more clients accomplish more, more often. When anyone calls our office, our ultimate goal is to be able to say, “Yes, we can.” BrightStar is a private-duty companion, personal care, and skilled nursing service. What that means is that any client, regardless of their age or the complexity of their need , can trust that we have an experienced and reliable caregiver ready to meet their unique needs. It also means that we can adapt quickly to evolving needs. While many of our clients only need assistance with every day activities such as meal preparation, medication reminders, bathing and toileting, it is comforting to know that we are able to provide nursing services such as medication administration, wound care, and hospice assistance should their needs ever change.
GA!: Tell us about your team?
Maddie: We consider building our team one of the most important aspects of our business. Every staff member in the office and caregiver in the community is credentialed, knowledgeable, and aligned with the values of our organization. Potential clients can expect to meet with me or Heather. We are both very involved in every aspect of the business and we enjoy our personal connections to our clients. Also, every client can expect to meet a third member of our team, our Director of Nursing, Kristy McNair. Kristy oversees every client’s care and works together with the client and family to develop a customized plan of care. Many of our clients are more at ease knowing that a nurse is involved and available when needed.
GA!: A local BrightStar caregiver has been recognized nationally. Tell us more about this award?
Heather: Recently, a client nominated one of our Nursing Assistants, Julie Best, for the national Caregiver of the Year Award. This award recognizes one caregiver from among 10,000 in the BrightStar system as the individual who best exemplifies BrightStar’s commitment to compassionate care. Based on the nomination letter and the quality of care Julie provided her family in a time of need, Julie was named as the 2012 award winner. She will receive a scholarship from BrightStar that will help her further her education and ultimately receive her nursing degree. We’re so proud of Julie and all our caregivers!
GA!: What do you do for fun?
Maddie: Heather and I are a part of the same church family at Bethlehem Church and our children attend Gaston Christian School together. If we’re not on a school field trip, chasing down a kid pursuing a runaway soccer ball, or attending to the needs of our families, we’re probably trying to help yours!