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Michelle Dahlkemper

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

CEO at UR Medicine Home Care discusses services her agency provides

Although not new to healthcare, Michelle Dahlkemper is new to the role of CEO at UR Medicine Home Care. She took over the position in December 2021. Previously, she served as president and chief executive officer for Penn Medicine Home Health Lancaster General Health among her other positions in her 20 years’ experience in post-acute healthcare. UR Medicine Home Care provides numerous services that many people in the community may not know about.

We recently sat down with Dahlkemper to learn more about UR Medicine Home Care. 

Q: What do most people assume home care is all about?

A: Individuals who have never utilized any type of home care services may have different perceptions. For example, some may think a nurse or personal care attendant will be in their home 24 hours a day. We typically provide intermittent care one to three times a week while teaching family or caregivers how to provide care when we are not in the home. Some may think we provide housekeeping, prepare meals or transportation. We do have home health aide services available to help with a variety of activities of daily living until someone is able to get back on their feet after a hospitalization or debilitating illness. Others might think we check vital signs for the doctor or help patients with their medications. In fact, we do those services and so much more.

Q: What is your agency like?

A: We are a comprehensive certified home health agency and a licensed hospice agency. Services include perinatal care, pediatric care, skilled nursing services (wound care, infusions), physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, social work, telehealth, palliative care and end-of-life care (hospice)

Q: What are aspects of home care that people don’t seem to know about?

A: Some may not realize that UR Medicine Home Care is a UR Medicine system partner and affiliate. Also, UR Medicine Home Care (URMHC) uses a multi-disciplinary approach to patient care. In consultation with your physician, a team of clinicians will provide care in your home for a short period of time until you’re well enough to return to your normal activities. 

Q: In addition to helping older adults, how do your services benefit their adult children?  

A: URMHC can provide safe, effective care to patients after an illness or hospitalization, bringing peace of mind to adult children. Often a patient is weaker and needs more assistance than they think they will need after a hospitalization. UR Medicine Home Care can ensure that patients receive care to regain their strength while teaching adult children or their caregivers how to support the patient once home care services end. The collective goal is to help patients heal at home and prevent the need for or avoid a re-hospitalization. Often our medical expertise is a welcome relief to family caregivers.

Q: What are your biggest workday challenges and how do you meet them?

A: The demand for home care services is at an all-time high, and like other health care entities, we struggle to meet the demand. Every day we endeavor to provide high-quality, patient-centered care to as many patients as possible. We genuinely strive to care for everyone seeking or needing home care services, this being our biggest challenge.

Q: What is the most fulfilling part of what you do?

A: In a recent poll, 88% of Americans between the ages of 50 and 80 years of age indicated that it was important to them to remain in their homes as they grow older. UR Medicine Home Care is part of that solution. This is a special organization of caring and compassionate individuals with deep ties to the community. I feel very blessed to have been chosen as their new CEO and hope to continue the incredible work that has been part of the Rochester area for more than 100 years.