Valerie V: Hey, everybody. Welcome to the Valerie V Show. We are live on Facebook with Cheryl Peltekis. Did I say that right?
Cheryl Peltekis: Yes, you did. Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Valerie V: Great. I'm so glad you could be here, because today we get to talk to you and you get to answer questions that I get asked all the time, and I am not the expert that you are, nor do I want to be.
Cheryl Peltekis: I appreciate that, but I know that there's areas that I absolutely need to refer back to you. And I just actually wanted to take one moment just to thank you personally, Valerie, for being that person that, that nurse that's a leader in the industry that helps so many companies get patients ultimately served, which I know is what we both believe in is so important.
Valerie V: Yeah, absolutely. The folks that are out here running these home care agencies are probably doing some of the toughest jobs on the planet. Being a nurse is tough work when you're in a hospital or whatever, but ... We were just talking earlier, managing all the employees, trying to make sure the patients are serviced correctly, boy, that takes a lot out of you every day.
Cheryl Peltekis: You're not kidding, sister. I feel ya.
Valerie V: Cheryl, why don't you give us a little bit of background about yourself and how you came to home care sales with Melanie and just give us a little because people may not know your whole history of owning a home care agency and all that.
Cheryl Peltekis: Sure, I'll try to be really brief. I grew up in a little bit of a strange situation. My mom and dad were full time caregivers to my grandparents, my great grandparents, and a great aunt. So I lived at home for about 22 years and at least 16 of those 22 years, there were seniors being cared for in my home.
So I kind of joke and say I was born into becoming a nurse. It was normal to change diapers at a young age, to help feed somebody, blenderize meals, and I don't know. It just felt really good and I think that I saw my mom was such a phenomenal caregiver ... I also saw the other side of how the services that we actually both work in today are being delivered in a home. And I would see what would happen and a caregiver didn't show up and my mom was left to change another diaper. And I don't think that we appreciate how hard it is to be a full time caregiver. And that stress and that burnout that they experience.
Valerie V: It's amazing.
Cheryl Peltekis: It's a lot of selfless giving. It really is. And I think that seeing my mom do is so tremendously with such grace and dignity, it really made me feel like that's what I want to do. And so I became a home health nurse. I was blessed to have gotten a scholarship from Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital. And that's what launched me to be able to go to nursing school. And with that scholarship, I knew then I didn't want to waste that opportunity. And I knew that eventually after I served three years at that hospital, I had to give them a three year prison sentence, I say, in order to pay off the tuition that they paid for me to go to school. I immediately, right when it got close to the end of the three years was going to HR and saying, "Do you have any spots in home health? I want to go to home health."
So then, I immediately went into home health and I fell in love with it so much. And I started to see that there were contracts that came into place by insurance companies that would dictate how many visits a patient would be allowed to be seen. And it made me so angry that a diabetic, blind patient they could say one visit only. And I just got really frustrated that my company that I was working for allowed contracts like that to be taken into place and that t