Interim Healthcare, located at 105 S. Washington, is an agency providing a continuum of care from home care services to palliative care to hospice.

Home care may be prompted by a chronic illness, coming home from the hospital or the natural process of aging. Palliative Care is healthcare provided at any time during an illness, and hospice care is provided to people in the last months of their lives. 

Healthcare professionals may start out working with people at the home care stage and as their illness progresses, continue caring for them at their end of life hospice care.

“With providing all the services, it’s a nice continuum of care,” branch manager and social worker Carmen Altendorf said. “It’s a smooth transition into hospice. Families don’t have to search for those services either.”

Interim Healthcare is a national company, founded in 1966, with franchises throughout the country. The Wellington branch of Interim HealthCare Branch is part of a larger branch in Wichita owned by CEO Jay Stehley. It was opened by his parents 50 years ago. The Wichita branch also has offices in Salina, Hutchinson and Pratt.

The Wellington office was opened by Wellington High School graduates on Jan. 1 and in the near future, the local Interim will have a lot going on - sponsoring this week’s Chamber of Commerce coffee at Daylight Donuts, hosting its grand opening and hiring nurses and CNAs.

“We want to hire local people,” Interim marketing director Chad Stearnes said. “I think that’s the big focus in a small town. Our deal is to get involved in the community.”

Interim has brought on board local physician, Dr. Stephen Hawks, as assistant medical director.

Stearnes, his wife, Lisa, who works in business development, Altendorf and Hospice RN Amy Shaw Perault all grew up in Wellington. 

“The fact that we can come together and provide healthcare in our hometown is very dear to all four of us,” Altendorf said.

With a national reach, Interim provides a lot of support and information. Altendorf and Stearnes talked about watching 11 webinars addressing a positive approach to working with people who have dementia, focusing on what they still can do rather than what they can no longer do.

Altendorf said the relationship between the agency and the patient is “based on care, professionalism and, for the healthcare professional, a desire to improve that person’s life. The people who get into healthcare really do care about their patients.”

Healthcare workers build a relationship with patients and their families at one of the most vulnerable and difficult parts of their lives, Altendorf said. They remain in contact with families for 13 months after their loved ones have passed.

“None of us treat that relationship lightly,” she said. “It’s something we value. It really is an honor to take care of a patient at the end of their life,” Altendorf said.

Anyone wishing to apply for a job with Interim can apply online at www.InterimHealthCare.com, stop by the office and pick up an application in person or call Altendorf at the office number - (620) 359-1127.