The History of Personal Care Choices with Brian Tuggle
Personal Care Choices began in 1996 as Senior Choices by Blount County Social Worker Sandy Bell. Sandy started the company with a very small office and a very small agenda: Take care of the elderly.
In 2001, Sandy was working with Brian Tuggle through the Blount County Chamber of Commerce. She asked Brian if he knew any business owners who may be interested in buying her company. Brian looked at what she had built and saw a strong foundation to grow on.
After careful consideration, Brian took Sandy to dinner one night and told her that he had found a new owner for her company. When Sandy inquired who the buyers were, Brian told her it was him along with a business partner.
With business partner Kimberley Tuggle, they purchased the company in 2002.
The first six months, co-owners Brian and Kim didn't change anything.
"The last thing we wanted to do was come into the company and be a bull in a china shop," Brian said.
Brian added, "It's already enough to have a caregiver come in and provide personal care services and handle care for a loved one. We didn't want to ruffle any feathers."
After those first six months, the new owners set in motion new policy changes to help the company run better.
In 2003, the Tennessee Department of Mental Health approached Senior Choices as they were looking for providers to work with the Division of Mental Retardation.
"At first, we rejected it," Brian said. "We knew how to take care of the elderly. The elderly is what we knew. We knew all their needs and everything else."
Eventually, they found the proposal to be a good fit.
"When we looked at it harder, we realized the mentally and physically challenged folks need the exact same level of care as some of our seniors," Brian said.
The company agreed to serve the new demographic, and the brand was expanded to Personal Care Choices.
"Thank goodness we did because it's a much needed service out there," Brian said. "We're blessed to have the caregivers we have and the clients who need us."
Currently, the company has nearly 100 caregivers, 6 management staff, and roughly 150 +/- clients in 13 counties in East Tennessee.
The corporate headquarters are located in Maryville, TN, with satellite office in Cleveland.
"One of our philosophies is that if we have a client in Anderson County, we want to have a caregiver in Anderson County," Brian said. "We need to make sure hometown people are taking care of hometown people."
The future of Personal Care Choices looks bright as in 2011 and 2012 the company celebrated back-to-back perfect audits from the State of Tennessee, which is a rare feat for any personal care company.