Collierville health agency cares for ‘medically fragile’ children at home

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As the executive director of Collierville’s No Place Like Home Pediatric Home Health Agency, Ashley Housman is responsible for operating and staffing the only private duty home health agency in Fayette, Tipton and Shelby counties that specifically cares for children. 

“We offer quality nursing to our patients and strive to create a community of love and caring for both nurses and families,” Housman said.

The group does so while allowing the chronically and terminally ill children that they serve to stay home rather in a hospital room. 

Housman called NPLH, which created around 22 years ago, an alternative for ill children who would ordinarily spend an extended amount of time in hospitals. 

The staff, which is comprised of around 150 specialized nurses and certified nursing assistants, is equipped to care for “medically fragile” children, in their own homes, around the clock. 

“We can set up a miniature intensive care unit a child’s bedroom,” she noted. “We believe in the power of home and the strength of family augmented with professional support.

“Noting that the requirements of the job can be “stressful,” Housman noted that her staff “buys into the mission.” “Nurses are really our heart and soul,” Housman said. “They care for these children like they are their own.”

Nurses care for a single child per shift. NPLH currently serves around 50 patients, the majority of whom are on TennCare. 

Housman, who worked as a registered nurse at Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital until 2014, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has created a shortage of available nurses for NPLH.

“We are always looking for good nurses,” she said.

NPLH was recognized and certified in 2006 by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as one of the modern home-health care agencies that is “scientifically measured and assessed to have high-quality home-health care services for promoting health and improving the quality of life.”

Members of Housman’s staff recently honored the mother of three during National Nurses Week (May 6-12).

Said Staffing Coordinator Teresa Hair, “Housman not only oversees the office and all departments, she also has supplied families with furniture and food in the time of need. She goes beyond her job descriptions. She is a leader in her community, church and family.

“She inspires her staff through her faith and lifts those around her during stressful times with COVID-19 and staffing patients.

“Her office is always open when the staff has personal issues and is always accommodating to letting them have days off to take care of their own families,” she continued. “She sings for her local church and has been an inspiration to her church family. She is a great mother and always puts her children and spouse first and guides them with morals, respect and determination to succeed in their paths.”