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MN Home Care Professional of the Year

Darla Thompson: Recipient of Minnesota Home Care Professional of the Year!

Congratulations to Recover Health’s Darla Thompson who has been selected as the Minnesota Home Care Professional of the Year, which is Minnesota HomeCare Association’s highest honor! Thompson, a valued team member of Recover Health, is a tireless advocate for home health care patients throughout the Midwest.

Minnesota HomeCare Association’s 50th Annual Meeting & Expo is November 9-20. Minnesota HomeCare Association (MHCA) is very established and represents nearly 150 home care agencies throughout the state of Minnesota. Their vision: MHCA will shape the home care landscape to improve and sustain quality home care services.

Passion and Focus

Thompson, a native of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota is based out of the corporate office in Minnetonka and lives in Bloomington. Thompson has been working in home care for 24 years and has been with Recover Health for 8 years. She serves as the Director of Complex Skilled Hourly Nursing, Sprout Pediatrics and has been developing Recover Nurse Resources, a COVID swab testing team since July. Thompson’s passion and focus of her work at Recover Health has been complex hourly skilled nursing, and in 2013, Thompson spearheaded Sprout Pediatrics at Recover Health.

Thompson’s team serves approximately 200 clients with about 400-500 nurses, providing about 8,000 hours of nursing care per week. “Because of low payer reimbursements,” Thompson shares, “we have to be extremely efficient with everything we do.”

One thing that sets Thompson apart is the fact that she is always trying to figure out what’s missing—what could be done better. As a result of her many efforts and her passionate approach to home care, she has been increasingly involved in advancing home care in Minnesota.

Minnesota HomeCare Association

Thompson’s work with Minnesota HomeCare Association has been focused on raising standards and ensuring quality for home care. Her approach has included the philosophy of working to elevate the level of care for all home care in Minnesota. As a result, she has been involved with education and initiatives to help lead various committees. She has been active on committees that advocate for home care and payer reform and raising rates so staff can get paid higher wages which will help with staff retention.

For the past three years, Thompson has participated and now chairs the Workforce Taskforce to elevate home care as an option to nurses coming out of nursing school to make home care more attractive as a career option. “We need nurses that can hit the ground running,” Thompson says. Workforce Taskforce offers numerous presentations for new grads to get a better understanding of home care. Another facet of Workforce Taskforce is working to ensure quality training and setting expectations.  Thompson is also involved in the advocacy committee, which works to create a great day at the Minnesota State Capitol to get in front of lawmakers in an effort to raise the level of awareness of what home care is and to work on getting higher reimbursement levels and other legislation written into law.

Vision for the Future

Thompson’s goal at Recover Health is for Recover Health to be the provider of choice and the employer of choice. Anyone who has spent any time speaking with Thompson can easily see she is passionate and driven to improve the quality and transformational benefits of home care delivered to the families and clients that Recover Health serves.

Please join us in congratulating Thompson on her outstanding achievements and being selected as the Minnesota Home Care Professional of the Year!

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Melissa Mertz – Customer Service Award Winner

A huge congratulations to Melissa Mertz, for winning the Customer Service Award at the Grand Rapids Chamber luncheon this month! Melissa works as an Account Executive for our Grand Rapids branch. A few weeks ago, she was nominated by the clinic social workers at Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital, who felt that she was providing excellent customer service to the community.

The award came as a surprise to Melissa, who felt that she was doing what she always did—caring for patients the way she’d want her loved ones to be cared for. When accepting the award, she had a few words to say: “It’s very easy to provide excellent customer service because our entire organization, starting from the very top on down, focuses on providing excellent customer service and it’s a standard practice for all of us, and expected from all of us.  Everyone across our organization, in my opinion, earned this award equally.” We couldn’t agree more, Melissa. We’re so grateful to have you in our Recover Health family. Thank you for making a meaningful difference in the lives of many!

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Utilizing Technology as a Differentiator

Utilizing Technology as a Differentiator: A Chat with Recover Health’s John Fraser

We caught up with Recover Health’s Chief Information Officer, John Fraser, to learn about the various technological investments the organization of approximately 1,500 employees has made to improve efficiencies, reduce staff stress, and improve client care.

Here are some of his insights:

Before you started working at Recover Health, had you worked in the home health industry?

Before starting at Recover Health 18 months ago, I worked with another home health care agency. Prior to that, I was in financial services, and before that, I was in manufacturing. It’s been a fun transition because when I think of technology advancement, manufacturing has always been about ten years ahead of financial services, and financial services have always been about ten years ahead of health care. So the past 20 years of my expertise has been really, really fun because I’ve been able to apply some of the same technologies that manufacturing was using in the ‘90s and 2000s to financial services and now to health care in the 2020 era. It’s fun to see the synergy between those industries. At the end of the day, you still need to interface with clients; you still need to have things completed efficiently; you need to document your processes. There are a lot of common themes you can take from one industry and apply to another.

Tell me about advancements in technology at Recover Health.

Our advancements in technology started many years before I got here. Probably the most noteworthy would be investments in both time and energy, co-developing our electronic medical record product. It is the primary platform we use to document our client visits as well as do our billing for those visits.

How do your technology enhancements improve the care for clients?

We have created efficiencies in as many ways as possible for our clinicians so that they can spend more time assessing and promoting well-being for our clients. Our clinicians use iPads connected in real-time. So, we know when a visit begins and ends, and all the data is synchronized in real-time. For example, 5 minutes after that visit has been completed—whether it’s the clinical manager in the back office or another clinician who is going to see that client for a different discipline later that day—staff has immediate access to the data. This clearly helps the health and well-being of the client. Real-time care coordination helps us to make sure we always have the latest information about that client.

How does this new technology impact morale and retention?

We are leveraging some of the newer technologies, particularly audio and visual through Microsoft Teams, and our new platform called Recover Health Knowledge Base is really focused on training our staff from anywhere. We have 30 offices across six states, and most of our employees are not based in our offices—they are caring for people in the community. We use iPads, for example, to host our nursing meetings. We can engage our employees at any time, wherever they happen to be. With Knowledge Base, we have leveraged technology and created a world-class on-boarding experience for our clinicians. This helps new clinicians learn the Recover Health way. Knowledge Base is a real-time, online platform that provides step by step guidance for the first 3 to 4 months of a new employee’s training and on-boarding and ongoing process change for existing staff.

 Where do you see the relationship between technology and the home health industry going in the future?

A more significant reliance on technology is the future for anyone in home health care. Recover Health, especially over the past 12 months, has been very forward-thinking and willing to invest in technology. We’re pushing ahead, have built the foundation, and now have transitioned to a model where we are developing our own technology.

Utilizing technology as a differentiator, it’s clear there are numerous ways Recover Health is approaching and embracing technological innovation and distinguishing itself as a leader within the industry.

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Meet our CEO Greg Von Arx

Meet our CEO Greg Von Arx

Bachelors of Accounting – University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire CPA (inactive)

Family Status:
Married, three children

Leisure time:
Exercise, hockey, golf, fishing, hunting, and work

Wisconsin Association for Home Care (WiAHC) – Board Member
Iowa Center for Home Care (ICHC) – Board Member
Minnesota Home Care Association (MHCA) – Legislative Committee
Living at Home Network – Board Chair
Point Click Care – Home Care Market Advisory Committee

What about this company are you most proud of?

I’m most proud that we take care of so many people and allow them to stay at home. We have at any given time, on any given day, around 4,000-4,500 clients that we take care of.  I’m wildly proud of the volume of people we are able to help. I am most proud of our employees and their persistence and passion that allow us to continue to take care of more clients.

Do you have any advice for people starting their career in home health care?

I have a lot of advice for people who are starting in home care but the main piece of advice I would give is if you want to come to work every day and do the same thing, this is not the place for you. Home care is constantly changing, it is a dynamic environment. If you enjoy embracing change, solving problems, solving new issues whether it is new payers, new programs or new rules, Home care is the place for you.

What is the greatest challenge at Recover Health?

The greatest challenge the company faces is finding enough staff to take care of all the demand out there.  I always say demand is not our issue. There is a demand for our services. More and more people want to stay at home and understand their options for staying at home.  Finding staff in an economy with record low unemployment rates is the biggest challenge for the company.

My personal challenge with the company is to continue to grow personally and understand the role of the CEO. As the size of the company continues to grow, I have to be less hands-on and more of a leader and visionary.

What is most important to you? Our mission, our core values, our vision?

They are all tied together. I think at its core, I would say our mantra as an organization has come to me more clearly over the last months. We have to stay focused on our mission, continue to be passionate about what we do, and always be persistent. If we do that, people will feel like they are part of something greater than themselves. That is the greatest thing we can accomplish as an organization.

What are our priorities for next year?

There are always the foundational things we have to focus on: client satisfaction, clinical outcomes, employee satisfaction and engagement, financial performance. We have to focus on our mission, passion, and persistence and try to create an environment where people are in fact proud of the organization and feel like they are part of something greater than themselves.

What can employees do help drive long-term growth?

We are in the business of people and when people are involved there are a lot of different dynamics. Some of the main things we can do are to give people the benefit of the doubt, assume positive intent, and seek to understand before reacting to things. If we do that and work as a team to solve problems and again seek to understand as opposed to seeking to be understood we can drive long-term success.

What inspires you every day?

Personally, I am inspired by the constant change and the dynamic of the industry. I am also inspired to try to solve the puzzle of homecare and how we can do it efficiently, with outstanding customer satisfaction, exceptional clinical outcomes, and excellent employee engagement. Obviously, this is an area that we will always be focused on but the constant dynamic of trying to solve that puzzle continues to inspire me.

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WiAHC Leadership Award

WiAHC 2018 Leadership Award Recipient Recognized

Annual award recognizes extraordinary contributions to home care in Wisconsin

Kimberly, WI – Greg Von Arx of Recover Health was honored with the 2018 Wisconsin Association for Home Health Care’s (WiAHC) Leadership Award at the annual Fall Conference in Middleton, WI on November 8. The award recognizes professionals who make extraordinary contributions to Wisconsin home care and is presented annually to a WiAHC member or partner. Recognizing members or partners allows WiAHC to honor home care professionals and their profession. Candidates for the award are individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary service and contributions to Wisconsin home care.

Von Arx currently serves as the President/CEO of Minnetonka-based Recover Health. Recover Health operations locations in Wisconsin including Baraboo, Eau Claire, Janesville, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee and Waupaca. Von Arx has been an active member and leader in the association and Wisconsin’s home care industry for many years. He has served on the WiAHC Board since 2017, is a member of the Membership Committee and has chaired the Legislative Committee since 2016. His passion for advocacy and legislative affairs affecting Wisconsin home care has been instrumental in assisting the association in the hiring of a lobbyist earlier in 2018. With lobbyist representation, WiAHC is now better equipped to advocate for home care agencies and their staff across the state with the goal of improving the care and services they provide.

Below are quotes describing Von Arx from WiAHC members:

“I have worked for Greg for about the last 7 years and I love to see he is being recognized by WiAHC as a Leader, because that’s exactly what he is. He has a warm, fun-loving attitude with an amazing vision in regard to what home care is and should be and it comes down to our mission at our agency of creating relationships that make a meaningful difference in peoples’ lives.”

“Greg is a persistent, hardworking entrepreneur who shares a sense of purpose with all he interacts with”

“Greg is always encouraging others to get involved within the community to build more relationships and continue our mission outside of our organization. I respect that greatly, as building relationships and making a difference in others’ lives should not end when you leave your place of work – it is a way of life.” 

To learn more about the Wisconsin Association for Home Health Care, visit

This press release was written by the WiAHC

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2nd Quarter 2018 ICARE Winners

Join us in congratulating the 2nd quarter ICARE winners!!

In continuing with staff recognition, we want to highlight those employees that are doing tremendous work. As discussed in our staff meetings, and promoted in our mission statement, we value each individual’s contribution and take this opportunity to thank you for making a difference!