Alterna-Care Home Health System was founded in 1990 by five registered nurses who wanted to provide physicians and their patients a higher quality of home healthcare; free from the bureaucracy found in many hospital-based agencies.  The dream of these five nurses was to establish a free-standing home health agency that understood the constant demands of a physician’s time, but more importantly, understood that compassion coupled with expert care in the home will speed the healing process.   This simple philosophy became the cornerstone of an organization that constantly strives to provide the highest quality of care to as many people possible.

1992 marked the first year that Alterna-Care’s philosophy became a realization when private duty services became available to those who did not meet Medicare qualifications.  Alterna-Care expanded its services again in 1994, when it recognized the need to provide hospice services to terminally ill patients and their families while remaining in their own homes.  Adding these additional services made Alterna-Care the most comprehensive home health organization in central Illinois.  Today, Alterna-Care Home Health System is the only organization in central Illinois where an individual, regardless of their Medicare status, level of care, or their stage in life can receive the care they deserve in the comfort of their home. 

The quality of home healthcare that only Alterna-Care can provide should be available to as many people as possible, which is why we are committed to expanding our services to as many areas as possible. In 2005, Alterna-Care expanded its service area for the first time adding five counties to its original 12.  Alterna-Care continued to expand its services, and by 2007 Alterna-Care was providing care to 17 counties, and had established two branch offices; one in Jacksonville (2005) and one in Litchfield (2007).  Alterna-Care believes that many people and their caregivers go without the supportive care that is available to them through home health services, and therefore; has made a commitment to constantly expand our unique services throughout central Illinois.  In 2010, Alterna-Care executed a major expansion effort by adding 14 counties to its service area.  Being licensed to provide care in 31 counties has made Alterna-Care Home Health System the largest free-standing home health agency in central Illinois.   

In 2005, Alterna-Care recognized that high healthcare costs in America could in part be attributed to individuals with specific chronic diseases who are regularly admitted into the hospital or the emergency room.  As a response, Alterna-Care Home Health System implemented its nationally recognized Disease Management Program in order to reduce those hospitalizations and emergent care visits.  Working closely with the patient’s primary care physician, our nursing staff is highly trained in the treatment of specific diseases.  In addition to providing education to the patient and their family, our nurses collaborate with physicians in cardiology, endocrinology, internal medicine, orthopedics, and psychiatry to help monitor the care those patients receive, while providing the most expert nursing care in the area.

Due to the wide success of our Disease Management Program, Alterna-Care Home Health System has been recognized at the national level for its excellence in home healthcare services and technology.  In 2004, Honeywell HomMed, a recipient of the Medical Design Excellence Award, published an article on a case study of an Alterna-Care patient in the Healthcare Technology Report.  Alterna-Care Home Health System’s administrator published articles in Home Health Nursing Magazine, a nationally recognized nursing journal, in 2007; and in Caring Magazine, the leading publication of the home health industry, in 2008; and co-authored a chapter in the textbook, Doctor of Nursing Practice, in 2010.  As further evidence of our recognition, representatives from Alterna-Care Home Health System have routinely presented our successful programs at the Illinois Homecare Council’s and the National Association for Homecare and Hospice’s Annual Conferences.

Although providing quality care is the primary mission at Alterna-Care, we also recognize our responsibility to help enrich the communities we serve.  The organization fulfills its social responsibility by supporting charitable organizations, the arts, education, and other community organizations both financially and through volunteerism.  In recent years, Alterna-Care has supported several organizations and groups such as American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, Friends of St. John’s, Hoogland Center for the Arts, Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Jacksonville Relay for Life, Lincoln Land Down Syndrome Society, local schools such as Auburn High School, Jacksonville High School, Lanphier High School, Sacred Heart-Griffin High School, St. Agnes Grade School, Springfield High School, and Winchester High School; Litchfield Chamber of Commerce, Litchfield Little League Baseball, Memorial Medical Foundation, Passavant Area Hospital, St. John’s Children’s Hospital, Sangamon Auditorium, Sangamon County Medical Society, SIU School of Medicine’s Camp COCO, SIU School of Medicine’s Simmons Cancer Institute, Special Olympics, Springfield Ballet Company, Springfield Park District, Springfield Urban League, United Cerebral Palsy, and many other community organizations and events.

As the largest and most comprehensive free-standing home health organization in central Illinois, Alterna-Care Home Health System is committed to providing physician-friendly services, support for the communities we serve, and distinct, compassionate care.