As a teenager, Tonya Lawrence worked as a certified nursing aide in a nursing home and later did home health care. After marrying and raising a family, Tonya came back to her medical ties and went back to school for her nursing degree. Following nursing school, she spent some time working first at Mahaska Health Partnership and then for her former boss at a home care nursing company.
Tonya thrived in her role as a case manager for a couple of years, but when the home care business closed its doors Tonya saw a business opportunity and a need for care for the 80 Monroe County clients that the business had serviced. By July of 2011, she was investing in a franchise through Interim HealthCare that would be based out of Albia, Iowa.
“I knew that I would need some help and expertise, so I decided that a franchise was best for me,” Tonya says. “As we got a little further, we realized we were going to need more money for operating costs.”
Facing unexpected fees and expenses from Medicare accreditation left Tonya needing some professional advice, which is when she turned to Bryan Ziegler, director of the Indian Hills SBDC. With Bryan’s help, Tonya was able to put together an extensive business plan with plenty of well-researched forecasting.
“He helped us from the beginning by showing us the right way to incorporate a business, how to actually start a business, and how to do everything according to guidelines and regulations,” says Tonya.
With her business plan in hand, Tonya was able to obtain the funding she needed. Today, she manages ten employees, seven of which are full-time. Tonya’s two daughters are Interim HealthCare employees and work diligently for the business. Most of the agency’s clients are referred by the local hospital but the business also does radio and newspaper advertising. Tonya works hard to build relationships with case managers, nurses, doctors, and others to spread the word about her home health care business.
Interim HealthCare of Southern Iowa serves around 35 clients located up to 30 miles outside of Monroe County. Tonya’s employees are incredibly skilled and are able to do a variety of different therapies. Wound care, medication set up, and catheter care are also available and the agency can work with Veterans Affairs, private insurance, Medicaid, private pay, and Medicare.
“Being able to keep home health care services in Monroe County has been rewarding,” says Tonya who is going on her fourth year of business ownership.
Tonya is involved with her community and the chambers of commerce in Albia and the surrounding areas. Her business heavily sponsors local youth traveling softball teams and Albia High School programs and clubs, plus Tonya serves as the secretary of the Monroe County Little League Board.
Tonya will reach out to the SBDC again if she needs any further business assistance. She describes her time working with Bryan and the SBDC as an “excellent experience.”
To learn more about this Albia, Iowa home health care agency and the services they are able to provide, check out the Interim HealthCare website at http://www.interimhealthcare.com/southerniowa/home and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Interim-HealthCare-of-Southern-Iowa/224589884250565.