Kelly L. Hook, RN, ComForCare Senior Services, Owner and Certified Senior Advisor
By Terri Nighswonger
At first, Kelly Hook, owner and certified senior advisor for ComForCare
Senior Services, didn’t really have a desire to own her own business but she saw a need in the community.
“It was kind of strange because I really had never, ever thought about owning my own business,” Hook said. “It wasn’t in the cards. It’s kind of one of those things I feel like God just kind of pushed me in that direction by closing a lot of other doors. I got to checking into things and (then) it was like the doors just started opening up. It’s been neat to see how over the years with my experience in nursing and in the pharmaceutical research arena, it really all sort of came together in helping me to do this job better and this role better.”
Hook grew up the child of missionary parents in West Africa and knew from the time she was 9 or 10 that she wanted to be in the medical field.
“I can almost see myself the day that I was looking at my school work, we were home schooled over there, and saying, ‘well if I’m going to be a nurse or a doctor I’ve got to love to learn so I’m going to start right now. I’m going to like school,’” Hook recalls.
Growing up in West Africa, Hook started job shadowing in the hospital lab when she was 16. From there, she got interested in obstetrics and got to know midwives who taught her how to deliver babies.
“The conditions were awful,” she said. “I would bring Clorox and cleaning supplies and a big can of spray to kill flies in the delivery room. We used to take latex gloves that we buy by the case here and throw away – we used to wash them out and re-powder them.”
Hook also spent time as a traveling nurse in the first Gulf War. She lived in Saudi Arabia for five years, working at an oil company hospital in the emergency room.
“That was when I really learned how to deal with individuals on their level and see where they were coming from and take that and pull it together into a team that could do the job correctly,” she said.
Hook concedes that one needs a little more than nursing experience to run a business. Her feel for people is on par but she has learned a lot about business along the way.
“I’ve got a lot of hats I’m wearing – the nursing hat and then the business leader hat – which means you are wearing every hat anyway,” she said.
ComForCare has some 20 caregivers, from Nevada to Neosho, working in the field. ComForCare is a non-medical in-home care company which does custodial care…keeping people home when they might have to go to a nursing home. It’s not Medicare covered services like home health or hospice. Most people have to pay for these services either out of their pocket or with long term care insurance policy.
“I might be a business owner but first and foremost I’m a nurse advocate,” she said. “Trying to help (clients) get where they need to be and have the resources that they need, making sure that people are honest with them and they are protected with fraud and the things that are going on with seniors nowadays. I take that very personally. This is probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life but one of the most fulfilling. It’s a daily journey.”
Fun Fact: Hook met her husband four years ago. He’s a jeweler and he designed her engagement and wedding band.