Originally I wanted to be a secretary like my mom, but after considerable coaxing from my dad, I decided to go into nursing. My dad told me that nursing would always afford me a job in good times and bad.
Following nursing school, I decided to work in the operating room where I learned a lot in a short amount of time. In fact, I was promoted and was entrusted to start ambulatory surgery for the hospital. I began to see people being discharged quicker and sicker, which prompted my curiosity about what was happening to patients once they were sent home. It was this curiosity that led me into my career of home care.
Through the years I have seen many changes in health care, but one thing for certain is that patients are being discharged much faster. People are going home much sooner and when they truly need help the most.
Care Advantage was born out of a need to help people once discharged home. This has naturally evolved from helping patients leave the hospital to holding their hand and making their last few hours the best possible.
Although I am a trained nurse and understand what nurses want as well as what patients need, it wasn’t until I became a caregiver for my own parents that I truly understood what Care Advantage really meant. I engaged my own Company to take care of my mother and make her last days with us the best. We sent one on one nurses to be by her side in the hospital and home, assuring that everything she needed was fulfilled. This was so helpful and allowed my siblings and father to rest, as family caregiving is a hard and heart aching job.
Not long after that did I use my Medicare program, All About Care, to help my father recover from joint replacements and to help him back on his feet. Having used my own companies, I can truly say that Care Advantage and All About Care deliver what you need when you need it most.
In 2014, Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed Debbie as Virginia’s Adoption Champion. An adoptee herself, Debbie is passionate about helping children find homes so she founded Connecting Hearts to spread awareness for adoption & foster care. Click here to learn more about our involvement in Connecting Hearts.
Care Advantage, Inc. and our Founder Debbie Johnston are recipients of local, state, and regional awards for business and public relations including:
- Entrepreneur of Richmond, 1993
- Rising 25, 1992, 1993
- Small Business Person of the Year, 1994
- Blue Chip Enterprise Initiative, 1996
- Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Virginia, 1996
- Leukemia Society’s Woman of the Year, 1997
- National Association of Women Business Owners/Bell Atlantic Community Service Award, 1997
- Northstar Academy Polaris Award, 1998
- Leadership Metro Richmond, Class of 1999
- Working Woman’s Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards, 2000
- Working Woman’s Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards, 2001
- Philanthropist of the Year Big Brothers Big Sisters, 2005
- Bernard Savage Community Service Award, 2009
- Commonwealth Catholic Charities Service Award, 2010
- Unity Christ Church of Bon Air Super Star Award, 2010
- MS Society’s Women on the Move Award, 2011
- Virginia Job Creator featured by Governor Bob McDonnell during “Job Creator Appreciation Month”, 2011
- YWCA Outstanding Women’s Award, 2011
- Finalist for National Association of Women Business Owners Entrepreneur of the Year, 2012
- Virginia Lawyer’s Media Influential Women of Virginia, 2012
- American Cancer Society’s Cure by Design Fundraiser, Honorary Chair, 2012
- Finalist for the Greater Richmond Chamber’s Impact Award, 2012, 2013
- Executive Women in Business, 2013
- Finalists for UVA Darden School of Business Tayloe Murphy Resilience Awards, 2013
- Ernst & Young/Style Weekly/Troutman Sanders Executive Women in Business Award, 2013
- Richmond’s Top 25 Growing Companies for All About Care, LLC, 2013
- CancerLINC Ronne Jacobs Leadership Award, 2014
- March of Dimes Nightingale Award, 2014
- Richmond BizSense Generosity Inc. RVA’s Top Corporate Donor, 2014, 2015
- Our Health Magazine’s Senior Care Awards 1st in Home Health and Speech Therapy and 2nd in Skilled Nursing and Stroke Care, 2015
- ALS Achievement Award, Dine to Defeat ALS, 2015
- Humanitarian of the Year Award by Bon Secours and Unity Christ Church, 2015
- Our Health Magazine’s Senior Living Awards 1st in Home Health and Speech Therapy and Honorable Mention in Skilled Nursing Care, 2016
- Eva Teig Hardy Award for Corporate Service by Senior Connections, 2016
- Home Care Public Policy Award by Virginia Association for Home Care and Hospice, 2016