They are a highly skilled team that maximizes the well-being of each client. Meet Sharla, Maggie, Debra, Judy and Julie. Each one is an experienced Registered Nurse or RN, who brings exceptional depth and breadth to their positions working together at Advanced Health Care.

“We’re family,” explains Debra Jones, who has been on board for 15 years and values the camaraderie with the other nurses.

Every client with Advanced Health Care requires individualized care and consideration. Advanced Health Care, a long-time locally owned and operated agency, provides services ranging from companionship and transportation to more complex needs such as memory or end of life care. To optimize each client’s care, a nurse assesses and formulates a plan. This provides clear directions for the care providers who attend to the client. In turn, care providers keep up with chart notes. This keeps track of all activities and treatments. Regular, ongoing visits are conducted by the nurses.

Nurses and Julie Ferguson
Julie Ferguson literally and figuratively stands behind her talented team of RNs. L-R: Julie Ferguson, Sharla, Julie, Debra, Maggie and Judy. Photo credit: Mary Ellen Psaltis

Administrator and co-owner, Julie Ferguson, has known each member of her team for years. The bonds between the nurses have grown through the years. On Monday mornings, the nurses meet to talk about relevant challenges and new clients. Sharla Bode, the V.P. of Clinical Operations, appreciates the wealth of experience in the room, which empowers the group to resolve issues, talk about strategies and handle whatever comes up in a timely manner.

Sharla is also one of the RNs. She is proud to continue the family tradition that her parents started over three decades ago. Previously, Sharla worked in acute care in a hospital and now loves being able to see clients in their own homes. It provides an opportunity to get to know the whole family. She sees one of the nurse’s roles as guiding people with their care decisions. These could be things such as providing encouragement with treatments or deciding when more care is needed. Help may be needed to look at an appropriate time to go to the hospital. “It’s something different every day,” Sharla said, and is another reason why she is so engaged with her work.

Maggie Shannon remembers her early experiences noting how thoroughly the care was given. “I so appreciate the integrity of this company,” she said. Maggie explained that there have been many changes in health care over the years, but Advanced Health Care has kept the focus on the client and the people who work with them. “I love the clients,” she says with a smile. Most of AHC’s clients are the elderly, and that includes many veterans. However, clients do range in age. Maggie works part time, giving her the chance to pursue other interests. “It’s wonderful to work for a company like this,” she added.

AHC Debra Jones taking blood pressure
Debra Jones had fun meeting people as she took blood pressures at a local fair. Photo courtesy: AHC

Debra Jones has experience as a school nurse and also worked in operating rooms. When she started with Advanced Health Care, she was a field nurse and later moved into a case manager position. Even after all the years in nursing, Debra said that the work provides new challenges. Debra is a proponent of communication skills, which are critical to seamless care. Every home maintains a client notebook to keep track of what has been done and what needs to be done.

All the nurses agreed that this work can be an emotional roller coaster. From one home to the next situations vary intensely. It keeps everyone of their toes and reinforces the importance of the support they give each other. The nurses take turns being on call so that one is always available 24/7 for the employees and clients.

Before starting at Advanced Health Care, Judy Datsko was a hospice nurse and a teacher. Wanting to spend time with her grandchildren, she works three days a week. The flexibility really works for her life now. “I’ll do anything to support our staff, ” said Julie, who works tirelessly with the nurses to create a schedule that meets their various needs. Judy pointed out that such a positive working environment is not always the case in the industry.

AHC Client with Julie
Julie Chase spends time with one of her clients who recently had her 100th birthday. Photo courtesy: AHC

Julie Chase has been a nurse for more than 40 years. She was delighted to find that home care could be a “gift of independence,” after many years working in a nursing home facility. It became clear that a small amount of home care for a senior could allow them the to stay home safely.

We often see family during the holiday season. You might notice that Aunt Jane isn’t keeping the house as clean as it used to be you or that Dad has lost weight. These may be signs that outside help is needed. Sometimes people need care suddenly and other times the needs grows over time. It may start simply with transportation to an appointment or a once a week service with household chores. Advanced Health Care will help you identify the needs and steps to take.

A compassionate team paves the road for successful home care. “When you have your best day, your client has their best day,” said Debra who appreciates the connections she has with clients and co-workers. Feel welcome to talk with someone about your home care needs, please call 800-690-3330 or visit the Advanced Health Care website.


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