Since opening her own business, Sacred Hearts Home Care Owner Jennifer Barnes May has made the home health care business a leading provider in Mississippi.
May was a vocational rehabilitation counselor in Columbia for four-and-a-half years with the Mississippi Department of Rehab Services, which assisted people with a mental, physical or developmental disability in their home. Some of the cases involved people with injuries that kept them out of work with the goal of getting them back to work while others catered to the elderly. But May’s dad, Elijah Barnes Jr., was hit by a truck and was paralyzed, and her mom, Mary Ethel Barnes, has rheumatoid arthritis. They needed her home with them so to be accessible for them she decided to go into business for herself.
That led to the 2018 creation of her home care agency, Sacred Hearts Home Care, which is based out of Monticello and covers the entire Pine Belt area across 24 counties. Up until three weeks ago, the business was strictly private pay, but May got the business Medicaid approved and will soon be able to help more patients.
May is joined by Office Manager Annie Howard, Supervisor Ceola Moore and certified nursing assistants and patient care assistants Jeremiah Sumrall, Ethel Johnson, Lakosha Quarles and Bethany Boyd. Sumrall is also May’s son. May said Sacred Hearts is currently hiring supervisors, CNAs and PCAs.
May said Sacred Hearts is a faith-based business and having a trust in God has allowed it to not only survive but thrive through both the pandemic and being a private-pay business, especially because a lot of people in Mississippi are on Medicaid.
“Honestly had I known that I had to operate off of my own money and not have any state or federal funding, I probably would not have done it. It has truly been a challenge, but quitting was not an option,” she said. “I just trust God in everything I do.”
Because it has operated as a private-pay business, Sacred Hearts has picked up clients through word of mouth and occasionally physicians, according to May. But with its specialty being meeting every need of the client, Sacred Hearts has had success and continues to grow.
“Whatever they ask for — we know what we’re supposed to do — but we try to go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure we meet the needs. Every case is individualized, and every client does not need the same level of care. But it’s in our hearts to serve them to the best of our abilities,” May explained. “I feel like our level of care is great, and we provide rewarding companionship.”
Her passion for helping others, especially the elderly, is what got May started in home health care.
“I got in the business to be able to give people jobs and make sure that the elderly are taken care of. This business is geared toward the elderly but also anyone who has a mental, physical or developmental disability that needs assistance,” she said.
May said she plans for Sacred Hearts to expand to Desoto County after studying the demographics there because “there is a great need” for a home health care business. She has even had investors call her and ask if they could open a business under Sacred Hearts’ name.
Sacred Hearts operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, while the office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Sacred Hearts’ office is currently located at 141 Jefferson St., Suite C in Monticello, but it is currently in the process of moving into a bigger office at 131 Jefferson St.
It can be reached at (601) 806-3088, the field phone can be reached at (601) 695-1208 and Sacred Hearts can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.