Meet Our Award-Winning C.A.R.E. Team
Client and Caregiver satisfaction scores place us as a TOP agency in Minnesota for the FOURTH year in a row!
In 2016, SYNERGY HomeCare became an A+rated home care agency.
Only one of two home care agencies in Minnesota recognied and awarded the A+ Rating by the Home Care Standards Bureau meeting stringent Quality, Ethics, and Code of Standards requirements.
Brian McDonald – President and Owner (17 years in Healthcare)
Brian has always had a passion for helping others and finds SYNERGY HomeCare to be the perfect culmination of his life’s experiences.
Brian first became aware of the value of in-home care in 2003, when his brother in law, Kelly Ketchum, battled brain cancer. The McDonald and Ketchum families took turns as Kelly’s full-time caregivers until he was admitted to hospice.
Kelly died on Oct. 17, 2003, and exactly nine years later, Brian joined SYNERGY, determined to make a difference in other people’s lives. He is guided every day by a quote by Mary Rose McGready:
“There is no greater joy nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone’s life.”
Previously, Brian worked in marketing and product engineering at Medtronic in Mounds View, Minn., where he contributed to the planning and design of implantable pacemakers, defibrillators and heart valves. He also worked for the company as a technical field engineer, training both physicians and Medtronic field teams how to implant the Medtronic pacemakers and defibrillators.
“My experience at Medtronic taught me the value of focusing one’s efforts on the patient and the importance of doing everything possible to help them,” said McDonald.
Brian attended Duke University Medical School and completed his basic sciences and 1st year of clinical rotations. He applies his medical knowledge each and every day he is working with clients to ensure the best possible care plan.
Very early in his career, Brian worked at NASA on the International Space Station and building and launching communication satellites. He likes to joke that he’s the most “compassionate Rocket Scientist you’ll ever meet.”
On Saturdays in the fall you will find him glued to the TV cheering on his alma mater, Notre Dame. GO IRISH!
Hillary Missling, RN Director of Nursing (18 total years in healthcare, 11 years as a RN)
Hillary began caring for others in high school. Since then she has increased her knowledge, skills and responsibilities as a registered nurse. She most recently works as a RN Case Manager for UCare helping people find the services they need to continue living in the community.
"I just love working with SYNERGY because they truly care about their clients. Brian is involved with every client and jumps in to solve issues when necessary. For example, he drove to Apple Valley to pick up a piece of medical equipment for a client, then delivered it and installed it for him."
Heather Benson – Office Manager and Client Care Coordinator (13 years in providing care)
Heather has been providing help for others as a profession since she was 19 years old. She started in working as a PCA with disabled children which lead her to working as a HST for disabled adult group homes where she was promoted and became a Residential Coordinator. She worked with disabled adults, organized activities and maintained all staffing for the seven disabled adult group homes. Heather received her Certified Nursing Assistant certificate and worked for a nursing home for 2 years then decided she wanted more one on one time with patients. Heather joined SYNERGY Home Care in February 2016 as a caregiver and then staffing coordinator. Heather was promoted to Office Manager which she thoroughly enjoys interacting with caregivers and clients. Heather's passion is giving quality care to clients and comfort to their families but also communicating and working behind the scenes doing the much needed office work. Heather’s helps clients to remain safe and living in their homes which fuels her commitment to clients.
"Nowhere but in this business can you have such an impact on people's lives" says Heather. "People want to live at home and we provide the team and services to make that possible."
Tamara Cook – Staffing Coordinator (7 years in providing care)
Tamara joins the SYNERGY Team after many years in a caregiving role. She joined SYNERGY in August 2015 and now provides both caregiving and is our staffing coordinate. Prior to joining SYNERGY Tamara worked for five years as a caregiver and then promoted to Residential Coordinator at a Foster Home for adults with disabilities. Tamara has extensive training in mechanical lifts, catheter care and other complex care needs. She brings a wealth of knowledge, passion and commitment to helping empower caregivers to provide services for vulnerable adults. She was promoted to SYNERGY’s staffing coordinator and her enjoyment and commitment to quality care is displayed every day.
Tina Weinkauf – Patient Advocate
Tina joined SYNERGY in October 2016, first as the after-hours voice helping caregivers and clients when regular office is closed. Tina loved SYNERGY so much that she decided to become a caregiver a month later. With her energy and enthusiasm for home care she was promoted to Patient Advocate and enjoys helping others find the cares they need. Tina is a valuable asset to our CARE Team and still holds three positions, After-hours phones, Caregiver and Patient Advocate. As an integral member of our SYNERGY Team, Tina’s passion is evident. Her primary role as Patient Advocate is to provide education for all families whose loved one should be made aware of our services.
“So many families are not aware non-medical home care exist and they struggle to provide care for their loved ones. What I love is helping patients and families find the best possible care and remain safe in their homes.”
Our C.A.R.E. Giving Team (hundreds of collective years providing care!)
Our caregivers come from all walks of life, with one common motivation, to make a difference in the lives of their clients. Through our hiring process we do something that is unique to the entire industry in that we have each caregiver view two videos, “What do you see?” and StarThrower Story. These two videos demonstrate the compassion and caring for our caregivers. We see clients as people with a rich, vibrant history. We treat them with respect and dignity in all tasks. We also realize that no matter how small, or how large the task, it is our job to make a difference in your or your loved one’s life. The “Make a Difference” philosophy we have at the office is shown below. Each caregiver works toward earning Make a Difference lapel pins to proudly wear. When you see one of these awards, be sure to ask them about it.
“Make a Difference” Philosophy – Our Caregivers Guide To make a difference in the lives of those who we bring support, comfort, aid, and assistance, one client at a time, one act at a t ime, making sure their life is as fulfilled as possible with our help. To strive without reserve to make sure we are making a difference for them every time we visit.
Thank you for the opportunity to be the trusted provider to serve you or your loved one. We truly feel honored to be part of this stage of your lives.