The Future Leaders Awards program is brought to you in partnership with Homecare Homebase. The program is designed to recognize up-and-coming industry members who are shaping the next decade of home health, hospice care, senior housing, skilled nursing, and behavioral health. To see this year’s Future Leaders, visit https://futureleaders.agingmedia.com/.
Jordan Kunkel, clinical supervisor at the Texas-based Healing Hands Healthcare, has been named a 2023 Future Leader by Home Health Care News.
To become a Future Leader, an individual is nominated by their peers. The candidate must be a high-performing employee who is 40-years-old or younger, a passionate worker who knows how to put vision into action, and an advocate for seniors, and the committed professionals who ensure their well-being.
Kunkel sat down with HHCN to talk about: how mistakes can lead to growth, why home health patients need more resources and the impact payment cuts could have on care delivery.
HHCN: What drew you to this industry?
I’ve always loved to take care of people. I’ve always had a big heart for people who are sick. I knew that being a nurse, you had to have a big heart, and to make sure that your patients are well taken care of.
What’s your biggest lesson learned since starting to work in this industry?
The thing that I’ve learned is that not everything goes the way it should. Every good, bad, or failed situation is a learning opportunity.
If you could change one thing with an eye toward the future of home health, what would it be?
I would love to see a change in the resources that could be readily available for patients.
We have seen patients who have had medicine called in – or supplies that they need just so they could be at home – called in, and their insurance doesn’t cover all of it, or their insurance isn’t able to cover it at all. They don’t have the funds to get the supplies that they need, or for a 24-hour caregiver. Then they aren’t able to go home from the hospital, or rehab facility. I would love to see just resources available for patients in this situation.
What do you foresee as being different about the home health industry looking ahead to 2024 and beyond?
I see an increased need for home health. During COVID, we implemented a hospital-at-home program to try and keep the patient home because the hospitals were overflowing. Studies show that patients feel better and heal faster at home because they’re not anxious, they’re in the comfort of their own home.
With the potential of the passing of Medicare cuts to home health payments, this would be very difficult. If there are cuts, patients aren’t able to receive the appropriate care because home health won’t be able to staff appropriately.
In a word, how would you describe the future of home health?
If you could give advice to yourself looking back to your first day in the industry, what would it be and why?
I would tell myself: breathe, you’ve got this. You’re not perfect and you will make mistakes, but learn from those mistakes to be better for, not only yourself, but for your co-workers and the patients you care for. You are strong and just believe in yourself.
I’ve learned that making mistakes helped me not only learn, but also grow from those mistakes to be a better leader for my team and co-workers.
To learn more about the Future Leaders program, visit https://futureleaders.agingmedia.com/.