Didn’t catch Laura’s big interview on the CEDIA podcast? You’re in luck. Here’s the whole thing for your listening pleasure!
There is much symbolism, strength, and beauty in the number 4.
Number 4 symbolizes building a strong foundation. There are 4 cardinal points: North – South – East – West. There are 4 winds. There are 4 phases of the moon. There are 4 seasons. There are 4 elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Number 4 is a perfect number.
And today we add another symbolic attribute to the Number 4: Years of Robin’s support, service, and teamwork at GrandCare Systems.
If you know GrandCare, you surely know Robin. In the four years she’s been with the company, shes worn a lot of hats.
She’s currently one part account manager, one part event planner, one part office manager, one part sales coordinator and one part um…whatever we think up next. Robin is a key player in day-to-day GrandCare operations. If you’ve seen GrandCare at a recent trade show, Robin made it happen. If you’re a GrandCare customer in senior housing, your primary contact is probably Robin. If you’re a GrandCare dealer, you’ve been to training coordinated by Robin.
And this week, we’re celebrating Robin’s fourth anniversary at the company.
We thought you might like to get to know Robin a little better, so we sat down with her and talked about her four years at GrandCare.
Q: What brought you to GrandCare?
A: I was looking for new employment at the time when I heard Laura (VP of Business Development) speaking at a Rotary meeting. I loved what she had to say about the company and the industry, so I reached out to her. She thought I would be a good fit (for a position that didn’t actually exist yet!) And she was right.
Q: What do you like best about working at GrandCare?
A: I love what the system does to help people, and I like being in a role to help put the system into the hands of people it can really help.
Q: What’s been your favorite experience working at GrandCare so far?
A: It’s more than one thing. It’s from big things, like going to CES, and being part of that enormous show with such a big impact on the industry, to little things like going on an installation and seeing the way our system has an impact on one person’s life.
Q: On a more personal note, why don’t you tell us what did you do on your summer vacation?
A: Our family doesn’t really take summer vacations. We take a Spring Break vacation, which generally involves going to a beach. This year we went to visit my son in Atlanta, then went further south and spent time with my parents in Florida. My folks are about a half hour from the beach, so we got some beach time in most days too.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: I’m married, with 4 children. I have 3 boys and a girl, ranging from 15 to 26. (Which is pretty amazing, given that Robin is only 29.)
Q: What’s one thing many people don’t know about you.
A: I take notes on napkins in meeting when I forget my notebook. (laughs) Look. I just got out of a 3-hour meeting. (It’s true. She’s taken notes on a napkin.)
Really, I can’t believe it’s been four years. It feels like yesterday that I started. But it’s been really, really good.
Everyone knows that Charlie and Gaytha Hillman founded GrandCare Systems (before innovation in aging was even cool.) They started the company back in 2005, before the industry was even yet to be. They blazed the trail, and educated people on why technology was a good idea, any technology, and not just GrandCare. They weathered the storms of a young and fragmented aging and healthcare industry, and came out better for it. The GrandCare technology became one of the most robust, tested and comprehensive technologies out there, perfect for the senior and disabled population.
Here’s what you might not know about Charlie and Gaytha. Busy as they are with their company, they spend a lot of time giving back to the community. And recently, they were nominated by members of the community for the Champions of Change award, to celebrate their commitment to volunteering throughout the community. We wanted to share with you this other side, the side that originally drove the passion behind starting a holistic and helpful company such as GrandCare.
Here’s their story:
Charlie and Gaytha Hillman are a couple who have been giving back their entire lives, and who make giving back part of everything they do. They’re multi-talented people, busy with their business, and their hobbies, and their family, but they are deeply generous with their time and energy, volunteering in a wide range of activities. And they don’t just show up and pitch in, they have a long history of thoughtful, committed leadership.
Education is important to them, and their service reflects it. Charlie was elected to the school board, and served as president. Gaytha is a longtime board member for Columns, the organization responsible for raising thousands of dollars for college scholarships each year. An engineer who is good at math and science, Charlie is a volunteer tutor for students struggling to prepare for the ACT, and Gaytha serves on the Ambassador Council for UW-Washington County.
They’re also committed to the environment. Gaytha has served on the board of RiverEdge Nature Center, and of the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust. When she maxed out her term of board service, she continued to volunteer. You may not think of her as the techie one of the two, but she designed and developed OWLT’s first database, and has since been back to design upgrades as the organization has grown.
If you know anything about Charlie and Gaytha, you know that they’re musicians. And that’s another area in which they give back. They both sing in the church choir, and frequently prepare special music programs for their church. After church, Gaytha offers free guitar lessons to anyone in the congregation interested in learning. When their children were young, Gaytha organized the McLane Talent Show. More recently, she performs in the Moraine Chorus, and in a quintet that frequently donates its talents to events hosted by non-profits. She has performed in community theater with Spotlight Productions and Musical Masquers, as well as volunteering with the Kettle Moraine Youth Symphony, and the West Bend Children’s Theatre, where she always seems to be cast in a male role.
Speaking of Church, Charlie has been president of his Church Council, and the church retired its debt under his leadership. He also donates his technical expertise to the church as head of their Tech Team.
Charlie grew up in West Bend, and the couple has lived here most of their married life. Our community is important to them. They’ve been active in the Chamber of Commerce, and Gaytha has served as its chair. She and Charlie are among the first people to support new businesses in town, enthusiastically trying out new shops and restaurants, and recommending them to friends. Gaytha has also served on the board for the Volunteer Center, and Charlie has served on the city’s Economic Development Corporation. He was also a longtime member of the Noon Rotary and served as its president. And the year they co-chaired the United Way campaign, they not only exceeded their fundraising goal, they set a record that took years to beat.
If you know Charlie and Gaytha, you also know that they’re serial entrepreneurs. Even by their work you can see the spirit of giving that burns so brightly in these two. One of their earlier ventures, HNet, was the first internet provider in West Bend. In addition to providing access to the Internet, the Hillmans educated businesses on the benefits of email, and donated websites and service to local non-profits. Their current venture, which keeps them busy, is GrandCare Systems. It’s a software system designed by Charlie to help elderly people stay in their homes safely. He was inspired to create it as something that would help his own great-aunt Clara. But he realized it could help many more people.
They were ahead of their time, and so part of their job in the early days was to help the country create and build the market for technology designed to help seniors. They were invited to participate in the White House’s first conference on aging to help educate the market on what was possible. And as high tech as their venture is, every chance they get, they hire their employees through Workforce Development, another way they offer a hand to someone who might need a little extra help to make a success of themselves.
Many people in their hometown know Charlie and Gaytha, and many people in town call Charlie and Gaytha friends, and it’s no surprise. They’re everywhere. And everywhere they go, they’re giving back.
GrandCare Systems, founded by two people who have dedicated their lives to caring about others, and who care deeply about the lives of their customers.
Thanks Charlie & Gaytha for your service to the community, to your family, to our families, and to an industry that needs you.
GrandCare was back on TV.
In a feature on ABC News 19 (WXOW in La Crosse), GrandCare was highlighted as one of five tools recommended to keep seniors living safely and independently in their homes as long as possible.
The segment, called “Making Technology Work for You,” which aired on May 3, described the technology available today to help seniors and people with disabilities live more independently and enjoyably as impressive. “As people are living longer, technology is only getting better.”
The segment featured Stacy Mitby, Service Coordinator for Western Wisconsin Cares, a nonprofit that provides long-term care services in the western region of Wisconsin, with the mission of keeping members as independent as possible. It operates under a contract with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
One of the things Mitby liked about GrandCare is that, “it’s programmable, so you don’t need to go through an agency. It can alert your family or your friends, your support system, if you need help.” She also praised how easy it is to use. “It’s technology I can use, without having my children teach me.”
GrandCare was described as the “granddaddy of all tech tools for seniors.”
“The systems cost $699, plus $49 monthly subscription fees, but they pack in a lot of features. The GrandCare System has many of the same features you’d find in other tools, such as smart watches and medicine dispensers, plus it can be used in any setting and can record blood pressure, weight, pulse, blood glucose and temperature. It’s a communication, care management and activity sensor all wrapped into one touchscreen device.”
Peggy Smedley Radio show had the chance to interview the team at CES 2015 and find out the reasoning behind grandCARE’s strategic brand positioning and new “betterCARE” brandmark.
Laura Mitchell, founding member and strategic advisor of GrandCare Systems, discusses the digital health industry and her company’s shift towards patient centered care.
“In order to achieve better outcomes for professional care providers, healthcare systems and the end user, it is critical to have the ultimate client experience. The grandCARE touchscreen is the heart and soul of the system, encouraging engagement and better compliance, ultimately resulting in better health.”
The Peggy Smedley Show, the voice of M2M and connected devices, is broadcast live each Tuesday from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. CT on the Connected World Network, owned by Specialty Publishing Co., and a member of the World Syndicated Radio Network (wsRadio). The Peggy Smedley Show is a weekly radio show that helps listeners not only understand connected devices, but also how to make these devices a part of their everyday lives.
Improving Hospital to Home Transition
Laura Mitchell, Chief Marketing Officer, GrandCare.com speaks with Karen Jagoda from Empowered Patient Radio on amplifying professional medical care with digital connections and how mobile devices and wearables can be used to improve care especially for those in long term facilities.
Listen to the Radio Interview
The goal is to attain better patient outcomes, but how do we get there? We need better patient engagement and we can not get there unless we have a better patient experience. If we can provide a pleasant and empowering experience, the patients will be engaged and involved in their own health, which will ultimately lead to the best patient outcomes. This will help the healthcare systems, healthcare providers, professional caregiving organizations, family members and the patients themselves.
Reaching For The Gold with Harriet Tramer airs on ArtistFirst Radio Network, a Partner with CBS Radio News. The interview with Laura Mitchell will include discussions on how the GrandCare System works, how it can be utilized in nursing homes, and how need for the GrandCare System has expanded. Laura will also highlight success stories from GrandCare and its use. Laura will also talk about her role with GrandCare and how her involvement impacted upon the manner in which you view aging. The interview will continue with conversation about the acceptance of GrandCare by seniors.
Please tune using the provided link to hear this interview.
Wednesday September 24, 2014 – 8pm Eastern Time