Written by The Business Journal Staff
What we do: Mission Care Group operates four skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers in the Central San Joaquin Valley (Visalia, Tulare and Hanford). Each care center provides professional medical services delivering high-quality, hands-on care for short-term rehabilitation services and long-term nursing
Education: B.A. Degree in English from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California (1980-1983). Also attended one year and studied English and political science at Durham University in Durham, England (1983-1984).
Family: Wife Maureen, son Connor is a junior at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo; son Lain is a freshman at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland; daughter Caitlin is a junior at Redwood High School; two west highland white terriers Angus and Sally.
As president, what is your role at the Mission Care Group, Mark?
My role is to run the operations for the company. My primary responsibility is to support, frustrate and challenge our care partners.
What experience do you have in elderly care, Mark?
I have served as president of Mission Care Group since 1989 and have been a licensed nursing home administrator by the state of California for approximately 18 years. I have been an Eden associate since 2005, a member of the California Association of Health Facilities since 1990, and a member of the American College of Health Care Administrators.
How long has the Mission Care Group been around and what services does it offer, Mark?
Mission Care Group has been around since 1989. We offer professional skilled nursing services, such as 24-hour licensed nursing, physical, occupational, speech and language therapy, diagnostic services (laboratory and radiology), pain management, hospice care, specialized wound care, restorative nursing program, podiatry, optometry, audiology and dental services, in-house registered dietitian (individualized nutritional assessments), social services, mental health services, medical director physician, diabetic care, incontinence management, discharge planning and more.
Can you explain what the Eden Alternative is, Mark?
The Eden Alternative is a powerful tool for improving quality of life. It creates better social and physical environments for our elders by developing enlivening environments and by eliminating the plagues of loneliness, helplessness and boredom. It has the potential of remaking the experience of aging and disability across America and around the world and is a powerful tool for improving quality of life.
The Eden Alternative shows us how companion animals, the opportunity to give meaningful care to other living creatures and the variety and spontaneity that mark an enlivened environment can succeed where medication and therapies fail. The bulk of our work to date has been in de-institutionalizing the culture and environment of our care center.
Most importantly, Eden teaches us that decisions belong with our elders, or as close to our elders as possible. Our elders want, need, and deserve autonomy over their daily lives. Our elders need and deserve an opportunity for a life worth living, not just time spent waiting to die.
The decision to place a loved one in a care facility is difficult choice for just about everyone. How can you know when it’s time, Mark?
It is time when a loved one is unable to take care of oneself and family and friends are not able to provide the care that is needed. The situation could call for hospice care, short-term or long-term skilled nursing care or for rehabilitation therapy. It is important to choose a care center that provides an environment where healing can thrive, where elders and family members can have peace of mind knowing that facility care givers are there to heal, help and care. The goal should be to have a loved one reach his or her maximum potential. Hopefully it means returning home.
What connections do you have to the Central Valley, Mark?
My connection began in 1989 when we acquired Hanford Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Kings County. The Central Valley has become my home where my wife and I have raised our family.
What was your first job and what did you learn from it, Mark?
My first job was working for my father at the age of 12 every summer until I was 16 for a company called Western Medical Enterprises, Inc. I worked in the warehouse at the corporate office, a pharmacy and later at a skilled nursing facility in Fremont, Calif. I learned the value of an honest day’s work and most importantly my father taught me to respect everyone you work with no matter what they did for the company. Everyone is important.
What do you do in your spare time, Mark?
I am an avid hunter. I have hunted in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Canada, New Zealand, Argentina, Mexico and throughout the United States. I am an active parishioner and member of the Catholic Church of Visalia’s finance council. I am a founding member and current secretary of the Friends of Visalia Police K-9. I sit on the board of the Boy Scouts of America Sequoia Council, Eagle Scout Review Committee of the Live Oak District and am a merit badge councilor for shotgun and rifle shooting. I am an NRA-certified instructor for shotgun shooting and act as a range safety officer at the Visalia Sportsman’s Association Rifle and Pistol Range. I also like to spend as much time as possible with my family having fun and traveling.