Tim Brooks is the President of HealthKeeperz, a North Carolina-based home health and medical device services provider. The son of founder Howard Brooks, Tim has led HealthKeeperz toward new growth and innovation during his tenure, expanding the company to new communities and new heights of quality care. His guiding mission is to uphold the not-so-hidden secret to the company’s success, a commitment to the company’s “Barnabus Culture – a biblical way of living emphasizing selflessness and humility above all.
Where did the idea for HealthKeeperz come from?
HealthKeeperz has truly evolved over the years. Howard Brooks (my dad) started a community pharmacy in Pembroke, NC, and expanded the services over the years. He essentially sought to meet the needs of the community and provide for his family. Thankfully, the community responded quite well and we have since been able to expand our services beyond the pharmacy to include:
Home medical equipment and supplies
Personal care services (sometimes referred to as non-medical home care)
Medicare Certified home health services
Medicare Certified Hospice care
Community-based case management
HealthKeeperz employs nearly 200 incredibly talented and compassionate people who serve communities across North Carolina., and we continue to value and uphold our commitment to patients above all else.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
At HealthKeeperz, we have three primary pillars through which we work: culture, excellence, and financial health.
In terms of culture, we believe that the success of HealthKeeperz is based on the degree to which each of our team members flourishes. If our people flourish, the organization will flourish as well. My goal every day is to find new ways to impact our corporate culture and create an environment where people can thrive. Something that really helps guide us here is our commitment to upholding a “Barnabas Culture.” This was a disciple of Jesus who really modeled all of the attributes you need to operate a strong, compassionate organization. So we try our best to uphold this, and we also recognize our colleagues who go above and beyond here at our annual Barnabas Awards.
Excellence is another core pillar for us at HealthKeeperz. We like to say there is a big difference between compliance and excellence. To me, compliance is like passing a grade with a C+. Excellence is getting that A+. Whether it’s our clinical processes, clinical results, customer satisfaction, or vendor satisfaction, our goal is to be 100% excellent in all we do. Each day, I try to model that pursuit of excellence in how I approach leadership.
Last but not least is financial health. We believe in the saying, “no margin, no mission.” You can have the best ideas in the world, but without a strong financial strategy, you’re not going anywhere. Each day I try to model and encourage the most efficient use of our resources to ensure strong financial performance and resiliency.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I love working with data and using it to answer the question, “what’s next?”. If you know where to look, the data you have at your disposal can provide the answer to so many things. I also think change creates amazing opportunities for creativity. In short, for me, the ideation process includes data and thinking about how to solve problems people have.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I really enjoy thinking about the big problems facing the healthcare industry today. For instance, I’m thinking a lot about new healthcare structures that focus on access to care, cost of care, quality of care, and the experience of care (customer experience). Addressing these issues means healthcare leaders will have to leave the silos we’ve become so comfortable in and think more holistically about people and the care we want to provide. I see HealthKeeperz as a real tool to address these issues and drive real change in the home health space.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
One thing that’s been invaluable to me has been the community I’ve surrounded myself with. I’m a part of the C12 Group. C12 is a group of Christian business owners who meet each month to discuss how to honor GOD in the marketplace and how to be better stewards of the resources that pass through our hands. If I’m more productive, it is because I’ve been influenced by a number of other Christian business owners. Their guidance and support have been instrumental in not only shaping my ideas on leadership but have played a large part in helping me perfect HealthKeeperz’s mission.
What advice would you give your younger self?
One of the biggest pieces of advice I would give myself, and any young entrepreneur just getting started out, would be to relax. Be patient, and enjoy the experience. Do work you enjoy, and that will carry you far. The old saying, “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life,” is very true.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
This is a great question. Accurate data rarely leads you to a bad decision. Good data doesn’t lie, and the more you can learn to listen to it, the better.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I would advise leaders to make sure they understand their financial statements. Use your financial data as input to make wiser decisions. To me, making decisions without accurate financial data is like flying blind. This has been a big guiding principle for me at HealthKeeperz.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
One strategy that has really informed how I approach growth at HealthKeeperz is to work to create scale and synergy. You’ll see administrative costs go down, and you’ll avoid the trap of growing too quickly.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Like most entrepreneurs, I’ve had numerous failures. Most happened because I was in a rush or impatient to see results. I try to overcome this by working with a great team of senior leaders here at HealthKeeperz who are willing to say, “let’s be patient and think about this a different way.” Having that community of support has been absolutely essential, and it’s something I think every entrepreneur needs.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
While I don’t have a complete idea, I’m very interested in exploring the confluence of community-based health care and technology, and this is something I hope we’ll be able to look into at HealthKeeperz in the future.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I spent $100 to buy fuel for a recent jet ski trip. I don’t golf, hunt, or fish, but I love being on the water on a jet ski.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
The 1password App. I highly recommend everyone use it. Cybersecurity and password safety is more important than ever, especially in business, and this app has saved me numerous times.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
One book I’d recommend is Leadership and Self Deception by The Arbinger Institute. This book has helped me gain a new level of self-awareness as a leader, and I highly recommend giving it a read.
What is your favorite quote?
It’s hard to choose a favorite quote; I have a lot.
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep gaining what he cannot lose. (Jim Elliot)
When life’s flight is over, and we unload our cargo at the other end, the fellow who got rid of unnecessary weight will have the most valuable cargo to present to the Lord. (Nate Saint)
Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion. (Simon Sinek)
- Use data
- Incorporate faith and work in the marketplace
- Jet ski often
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.