Care Companion home health care business closes

Zoe Greszler • May 17, 2019 at 10:00 AM

A second local home health care business recently closed its doors.

Care Companion, which operated out of its Suite No. 113, 269 West Main St. location, stopped providing care to most patients last month. A Care Companion representative said the business was still providing some care to some patients who were already receiving services through private pay. Workers declined to comment further, and multiple attempts over the past few weeks to reach those authorized to comment were unsuccessful.

The business’ last day was April 12, according to one worker, who asked to remain anonymous. That came just one month and one day after Comfort Keeper’s Norwalk location abruptly shut its doors. On March 11 a sign was posted on the Comfort Keeper doors that said “sorry we are closed. Please place time sheets in the mail slot. Thank you.”

It seems the two agencies faced similar challenges.

“Our Medicaid license expired and, as a result, we are unable to continue serving our many wonderful clients,” local Comfort Keepers owner Penny Gregory said in a previous interview.

“Because the care our former clients receive is critical to their ability to maintain their quality of life and remain in their homes, we have worked with Medicaid case managers and other area in-home care agencies to arrange care for all our clients. Additionally, we have been working with those agencies to place our former employees as caregivers to minimize care disruptions and help our former team members land on their feet. We thank the Norwalk and Firelands region for welcoming us into the community and are sad to say goodbye.”

The loss of the businesses could leave a gap of services provided in the community, particular among the older popular. Care Companion provided services to the aging population through the state, including assisting with personal care, companionship, transportation, shopping needs, cleaning and laundry services and meal preparation.

TLC Home Health of Ohio Inc., which has a Norwalk location, offers similar services as Care Companion and Comfort Keepers. Other home health-care options for area residents include Fisher-Titus Home Health Center.


The Willows at Willard honored

WILLARD — As residents and their family members of Trilogy’s senior living communities know, the senior care provider is serious about customer service.

Exceeding their customers’ expectations is the company’s utmost goal, and those that go above and beyond in pursuit of this goal are recognized and rewarded. Recently, at Trilogy’s annual Spring Meeting, which took place April 16 through 18 in Indianapolis, Ind., The Willows at Willard discovered it received the top award in Customer Service.

This award, dubbed the ‘Sweet Nebraska!’ award by Trilogy president and CEO Randall Bufford, first came into existence in 2017 in order to recognize campuses who scored over 9.75 out of 10 on their customer satisfaction surveys, based on feedback from residents and family members.

In 2019, six Trilogy Senior Living Communities earned this honor. The Willows at Willard scored a 9.9 out of 10.

“At The Willows at Willard, our commitment to compassionate care is reflected through the quality of our services,” executive director Danielle Phillips said. “These services have been designed to not only meet the needs of our residents, but to enrich their lives in ways they never could have imagined. Whether it’s embarking on your first cruise or enjoying a sunset from our patio, we strive to create a lifestyle where senior living isn’t your last stop — it’s a new beginning. I am honored to be a part of a team that makes this lifestyle a reality.”

The Willows at Willard was also given top ratings for its skilled care services, which reflects their insistence on compassionate, customer-centered care.

“We are very proud of the entire team at The Willows at Willard,” Bufford said. “Their unwavering commitment to quality care and exceptional customer satisfaction embodies the mission and philosophy of Trilogy Health Services. We also thank our residents and family members for participating in the survey process, which is an important component of our quality assurance initiatives.”

“At The Willows at Willard and Trilogy Health Services, our culture serves as the foundation for everything that we do,” said Rey Nevarez, divisional vice president for Trilogy’s North Ohio Division. “At the center of our culture is our commitment to serving our customers — our residents, and their families. We are both thrilled and honored to receive such great recognition from our residents and family members. I commend Danielle and her team for being such exceptional servant leaders.”


Reagan Outdoor expands

A Norwalk native’s company is expanding.

Reagan Outdoor Advertising, a leading privately-held operator of outdoor advertising displays, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire certain Fairway Outdoor Advertising billboard assets in three markets from GTCR, LLC.

Reagan will acquire nearly 5,300 displays across Indianapolis, Chattanooga and Rochester, Minn. The acquired assets will nearly double the size of Reagan’s footprint, and enhance Reagan’s position as one of the largest outdoor advertising companies in the United States.

“Over the course of our 50-year history, we have established a track record of unlocking tremendous value from businesses that we acquire,” said Bill Reagan, founder, chairman and CEO of Reagan.

Reagan grew up in Norwalk and in the fall of 1963 went to Case Western Reserve as a pre-med student on a football scholarship. After discovering his passion for outdoor advertising, he dropped out of college and went to work for the Harry H Packer outdoor advertising company, selling and leasing displays in Cleveland. When they were acquired in 1965, Reagan was laid off because of his junior status and  had to leave Ohio to join his family in Utah, to where his father had been transferred.

That same year he was laid off, Reagan started Reagan Outdoor from the basement of his parents’ home and went on to become somewhat of an icon in the billboard industry; he’s actually in the outdoor advertising hall of fame.

The three acquired markets in Indianapolis, Chattanooga and Rochester expand Reagan’s existing network of displays in Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Austin, Texas. The company is headquartered in Salt Lake City.


Lewis joins Shores & Islands

SANDUSKY — Amherst native has joined the Lake Erie Shores & Islands group accounts team as sports tourism manager. In this position, Lewis will be selling the destination to sports events rights holders, coaches and families in a manner that maximizes economic impact and increases hotel occupancy.

He also will be supporting and growing existing events, building stronger relationships with partners, maintaining the leisure sports calendar and attending sports-related tradeshows.

Lewis is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace University (undergraduate) and Georgetown University (graduate) and comes to Lake Erie Shores & Islands from a position as assistant facility director at Lorain County MetroParks. Previously Lewis served as director of facilities marketing and event management at Defiance College and director of athletics for Special Olympics New York. He has also held positions within the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns organizations in the National Football League (NFL).

Lewis has experience in sports administration, event management, marketing communications, and community relations and will be an asset both to the organization and to the sports tourism community. Lewis will hit the ground running by representing Lake Erie Shores & Islands next month at the National Association of Sports Commission’s annual symposium. Throughout the week, sports destinations meet with hundreds of decision-makers responsible for organizing sports events.

Lewis will be based out of the Sandusky office and can be reached at [email protected]


Lawsuit about generic drugs price fixing

COLUMBUS — Attorney General Dave Yost joined 44 states in announcing an antitrust lawsuit against 20 of the nation's largest generic drug manufacturers alleging a broad conspiracy to artificially inflate and manipulate prices, reduce competition and unreasonably restrain trade for more than 100 different generic drugs.

The drugs at issue account for billions of dollars of sales in the United States, and the alleged schemes increased prices affecting the health insurance market, taxpayer-funded healthcare programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and individuals who must pay artificially-inflated prices for their prescriptions drugs.

“Ohioans who need medicine might think generic drugs would be their cheapest option – but some manufacturers have rigged the systems to avoid competition,” Yost said. “That's not how a free market works, and the conspiracy to avoid competition makes prices higher — and it’s against the law. This lawsuit is the prescription for lower medicine prices in a free market.”

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, also names 15 individual senior executive defendants at the heart of the conspiracy who were responsible for sales, marketing, pricing and operations.

The complaint alleges that Teva, Sandoz, Mylan, Pfizer and 16 other generic drug manufacturers engaged in a broad, coordinated and systematic campaign to conspire with each other to fix prices, allocate markets and rig bids for more than 100 different generic drugs.

The drugs span all types, including tablets, capsules, suspensions, creams, gels, ointments, and classes, including statins, ace inhibitors, beta blockers, antibiotics, anti-depressants, contraceptives, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and treat a range of diseases and conditions from basic infections to diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, HIV, ADHD and more. In some instances, the coordinated price increases were over 1,000 percent.


Taking action against robocalls

COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost joined 41 other attorneys general in calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take further action to stop the growing proliferation of illegal robocalls and spoofing.

In formal legal comments delivered to the FCC, the attorneys general urged the FCC to adopt its proposed rules on enforcement against caller ID spoofing on calls to the U.S. originating from overseas, while also addressing spoofing in text messaging and alternative voice services. These provisions are included in the FCC appropriations authorization bill.

The number of spoofed calls and the consumer financial losses tied to these scams have increased by nearly 50 percent in recent years.

“Most people are quick to detect a robocall and know to hang up immediately,” Yost said. “But these fraudulent calls are a real threat to vulnerable Ohioans who have no reason to doubt the voice on the other end of the line and they’re a pain for all of us.”


No current for electric vehicles

New AAA study finds interest in going green on the road remains steady, but consumers still slow to adopt

AAA’s latest survey reveals that despite many Americans having interest in electric vehicles, when asked if most vehicles will be electric by 2029, only 4 in 10 said yes. Yet, a separate study AAA conducted earlier this year found that more than half of Americans believe that in this same timeframe most cars will have the ability to drive themselves – a reality that is much less likely to happen. AAA believes that similar to other emerging technologies, a lack of knowledge and experience may be contributing to the slow adoption of electric vehicles despite Americans’ desire to go green.

“Electric cars are quickly becoming more common, with more than 200,000 on the road across the country today,” said Mike Hoshaw, vice president of automotive services for AAA East Central. “We believe that there is a gap between interest and purchasing electric vehicles because most Americans aren’t equipped with the full scope of their capabilities and efficiencies.”

Previous objections to buying electric with regards to price and range anxiety continue to ease and have trended downward significantly:

• Concern that there are not enough places to charge — down 11 percent from 2017

• Concern about running out of charge when driving — down 11 percent from 2017

• Higher cost of battery repair or replacement — down 8 percent from 2017

• Higher purchase price — down 6 percent from 2017


If you have an item for the business roundup column, send the information to the Norwalk Reflector in care of Zoe Greszler, 61 E. Monroe St., Norwalk, Ohio 44857, or email it to [email protected]

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