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Paul VerHoeve of Mission Healthcare: Five Steps That Each Of Us Can Take To Proactively Help Heal Our Country

Many of us would love to change the world, and because that can be a daunting task, it can actually lead us to do nothing, or become complacent. The best way we can make these ideas a reality is quite simple. Do good for someone each day without the expectation of anything in return. It’s amazing how a simple act of kindness can have such a profound impact.

As part of our series about ‘5 Steps That Each Of Us Can Take To Proactively Help Heal Our Country’, I had the pleasure of interviewing Paul VerHoeve.

Paul VerHoeve is the CEO of Mission Healthcare, one of California’s largest privately-owned providers of home health and hospice services. Paul brings over 20 years of healthcare leadership experience to Mission. Prior to his appointment as CEO at Mission Healthcare, Paul was President of the West Region with Louisville, Kentucky-based Kindred Healthcare, one of the largest post-acute care systems in the country. In his role with Kindred Healthcare, he was responsible for 120 locations across 10 states with 500M in annual revenues. Paul lives in San Diego, CA, with his three children Bailey, Tyler and Riley.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?

Thank you for the opportunity! As a child I had some incredible experiences living on both the east and west coasts as well as living in Italy for several years. Living in such vastly different areas really helped me with learning how to communicate with all different types of people, including those who spoke a different language.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

As I entered the workforce, I tried to get my hands on as many books as I possibly could. In many cases, that meant borrowing books I never gave back! One of my early career reads that had the most impact on me was Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by James Collins. To this day, I still find myself questioning how we can continue to improve as an organization, and how we can become truly great.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life or your work?

Being in healthcare my entire career, I have always believed that if you take care of your employees, they will do amazing things for your patients. I have consistently tried to create a workplace culture that fostered that philosophy. I have a true passion for creating an environment that fosters the “team” concept, while ensuring quality care at the bedside.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

In the simplest form, leadership is helping to develop others. Having been a part of several growing companies, I have had the ability to watch many different leaders. What separates the good leaders from the great is the ability to develop talent.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. The United States is currently facing a series of unprecedented crises. So many of us see the news and ask how we can help. We’d love to talk about the steps that each of us can take to help heal our county, in our own way. Which particular crisis would you like to discuss with us today? Why does that resonate with you so much?

The health crisis is one that we live in daily at Mission Healthcare, and one that we are constantly striving to make a positive impact. A significant amount of focus has been put on hospitals and how they have worked through the COVID-19 pandemic; but what many don’t necessarily consider is what happens once these patients are discharged. Caring for these patients in an uncontrolled environment — like in their home — and ensuring the safety of the patient, family and employee is one of the most challenging things I have personally dealt with in my career.

This is likely a huge topic. But briefly, can you share your view on how this crisis inexorably evolved to the boiling point that it’s at now?

With this type of health crisis, we really have no history to pull from. So, from top to bottom, we seem to be learning on a daily basis how to stay safe while also being on the frontline caring for people who contract the virus. At the same time, we are trying to keep the economy going and people working. It’s easy to play Monday morning quarterback and ask the question, “Why or why not”? I personally believe that as a country we are all trying to accomplish the same thing in the face of many unknowns.

Can you tell our readers a bit about your experience either working on this cause or your experience being impacted by it? Can you share a story with us?

I get the pleasure of seeing what our frontline clinicians are doing every day and I have so many stories that would bring us all to tears. I think the story that sticks out the most was when we admitted a patient onto hospice during the pandemic. When our nurse conducted her first visit, she realized that the patient and her spouse didn’t have any food in the home. The family didn’t have many resources and was very much afraid of going out during the pandemic, due to being high risk. The nurse connected with a social worker and they worked with a local food bank to deliver the family groceries — ensuring they would have everything they needed. The nurse also made a homemade hot meal and brought it to the patients later that evening. I often tell our staff that it won’t be the medicine or treatment that patients will remember, it will always be the way you made them feel.

Ok. Here is the main question of our discussion. Can you please share your “5 Steps That Each Of Us Can Take To Proactively Help Heal Our Country”. Kindly share a story or example for each.

  1. Take care of each other: Finding ways to help others in our everyday life can be the easiest way to impact change
  2. Share experiences: Hearing stories about others will always give you a different perspective
  3. Have an open mind: So many of our beliefs are ingrained in us and we tend to think ours is the right way instead of it being one of many ways
  4. Be inclusive: Involve and get involved with people outside of your normal circles
  5. Listen: Actively listening can be one of the best ways to educate ourselves

It’s very nice to suggest ideas, but what can we do to make these ideas a reality? What specific steps can you suggest to make these ideas actually happen? Are there things that the community can do to help you promote these ideas?

Many of us would love to change the world, and because that can be a daunting task, it can actually lead us to do nothing, or become complacent. The best way we can make these ideas a reality is quite simple. Do good for someone each day without the expectation of anything in return. It’s amazing how a simple act of kindness can have such a profound impact.

We are going through a rough period now. Are you optimistic that this issue can eventually be resolved? Can you explain?

I am optimistic that with time, our current health crisis will be resolved with the development of a vaccine. Until then, we all need to do our part in keeping ourselves safe by following the recommendations of our state and county officials. I also think this is a great opportunity to help those who are in need or who may be high risk. The biggest fear I have is that we all tend to be hyper-vigilant when something initially happens and then our focus shifts and we get lax. I believe there is good in all of us and that most people wake up each and every day wanting to make a difference. We should help each other stay accountable to that.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

I believe our young people are one of the most diverse and inclusive generations yet. Our young people have the ability to make an impact and the best way that is done is through action, and not words. My advice? Do things that have a direct impact! The ability to see the effect you can have will keep you motivated to do more.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-)

Bill Gates has always been on my list for two reasons. I would love to understand his thought process as he built one of the biggest and most innovative companies in the world. The second reason is to understand how he chose the philanthropic initiatives he has been a part of.

How can our readers follow you online?

Our website is a great resource as well as our LinkedIn page

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

Thank you!



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Beau Henderson

Beau Henderson


Author | Radio Host | Syndicated Columnist | Retirement Planning Expert