What Works: Local nurse creates successful home health care business

3:43 PM, Jan 18, 2011   |    comments
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In 1949 a young Gloria Rookard had the grades to get into nursing school, but apparently the wrong skin color.

"They had community bathrooms and they didn't want me to take a bath in the same area that the other students were going to take a bath and she told me that to my face," said Rookard.

It was her first experience with racism, but she perserved and learned nursing skills at Akron General. Then 28 years ago, she started her own business - Universal Nursing Services. She serves clients of all ethnicities, from kids to seniors, but African American communities need her most.

"We go places the other agencies don't and won't go.. such as the african american community. We got some sick folk out there," said Rookard.

Over the years business boomed. She employs 250 nurses and certified nurses aids. The business has expanded to Cleveland, Akron, Columbus, and Cincinnati.

Glroia doesn't forget how far she's come and is always willing to lend a hand and teach. Her CNAs are trained in house, and all must pass the state requirements.

"I'm bound and determined to let these people that need jobs if they're willing to work come on in we'll train you one of the students we have right now was downsized from Chrysler."

Gloria knows good business comes from good product, and she trusts her nurses and aids to even take care of her own 100-year old mother.

For more information Universal Nursing Services call 800-222-7318.













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