Monday, Dec 05, 2022

Veterans Care Today: Patrick Luers Of BrightStar Care On How The US Has Improved Its Care For Veterans Over The Past Five Years

Please click here for more information on BrightStar Care

An Interview With Eric Pines

The daily headlines remind us of how countries around the world care or do not care for their military service members. How does the United States hold up with regard to how it cares for its veterans? We know in the past questions have been raised about the VA system, but it seems that a corner has been turned and veterans’ care has improved. How exactly has the VA system been improved? How does the US care for veterans compared to other comparable countries? What exciting new technological or methodological innovations are being used to improve veterans’ health outcomes? To address these questions, we are talking to successful physicians, healthcare workers, veterans, or other VA employees and officials who can share stories and insights from their experience about the state of veterans’ care today and how the US has improved its care for veterans over the last five years.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure to interview Patrick Luers.

He served in the US Marine Corps from 1987–1993 including Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. For the last 13 years, have owned BrightStar Care of Dayton, a home healthcare and staffing company. His wife and him have three incredible children and he is one of 6 brothers/sister-in-laws with a tremendous mother and father.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into our interview, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory and a bit about what brought you to this specific career path?

I graduated from the University of Dayton in 1992 after joining the Marine Corps reserve and serving in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. I worked in a variety of sales and marketing positions within multiple industries including financial services, investments, yellow pages, and printing. Eventually I became dissatisfied with the way companies treated their employees and decided to give it a go on my own. I enlisted the services of a franchise broker who put me in touch with a couple of different franchises. In the end, despite an experience in healthcare or in running a business, my wife Kelly and I opened a BrightStar franchise in the South Dayton area. I felt God called us to do it and that He would help us be successful.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

There have been many interesting stories. One that comes to mind is hearing about a staff member who was going to have her electricity turned off because she couldn’t afford to pay it. She was taking care of her children and recently added her brother’s children when he lost his life. I just found it to be unfathomable that our system would turn off a precious resource of a family in this great of need. Fortunately, God provided us with the resource to assist.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My kids get tired of my “Life Lesson Quote” since I have so many of them. My favorites center around hard work and accountability. “If you believe you can or you believe you can’t, your right” is one of my favorites. Also, “the number one rule of mentorship is that you can’t want it more than they do”.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

We are always trying to find ways to impact the lives of others. We are focused on how we can help people grow and become more productive. We are looking at how to get our people credentialed as STNA’s so they can move up to a higher pay grade and hopefully advance in the healthcare industry.

How would you define an “excellent healthcare provider”?

Excellence is about having a consistent process for delivering an exceptional outcome. But in healthcare, that starts with the heart. Its health C-A-R-E. We need to genuinely want to help others. I am humbled when I see the level of care that our nurses and aides are able to provide. They give their all, not because they have to or to make more money. They do it because they have hearts of gold. They are the hands and feet of Jesus.

In contrast, can you highlight three areas of veterans care that still need improvement? What would you suggest needs to be done to address those challenges?

I only have two areas of improvement. First, veterans need to be afforded the hours of care in the home that is needed to keep them safe and healthy. More often than not adding hours of care is approved, but if veterans need significantly additional care, the process should be easier. Second, provider reimbursement is very inconsistent across the country with some regions being over paid and other underpaid. Since Covid, the cost of care in the home has risen dramatically (30%+) but reimbursement increases have been very slow to follow. This has led to providers not accepting veterans as it is too costly to care for them. That, to me, is entirely unacceptable.

This is our signature question that we ask in many of our interviews. What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Started My Career”?

1. Get a mentor — There is someone out there who has already experienced what you are going through. When I opened our Brightstar franchise we struggled for a while, mostly because I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I got into a mentorship group and one of the mentors in particular, Jeff Tews, helped me to wade through what was important and what wasn’t. He not only saved our business but helped us to thrive.

2. Read, read, read — When I got out of college and started working, I hated reading. One day in my mid 20’s, my boss gave our team a book and asked me to present on it at our next meeting. I read the book and learned so many good things. I was so energized and really enjoyed giving the presentation. After that, I started to read all the time. I rarely read anything that is not motivational or teaches me how to be better. There is so much information out there to learn and just living life does not expose you to enough of it.

3. Be kind at all times and bring love to the workplace. When I first started my career, I tried to figure out when to be harsh and when to be nice, thinking that was the way to get the most out of people. I always hated being harsh though. It seemed contrary to Jesus message. Eventually, at the age of about 40, I realized that the best thing to do is love people all the time, even when they disappoint you. I try to coach my teams, manage my people and teach my kids by comparing to them to what they are capable of accomplishing (being their best) and not using rules for the sake of rules.

4. Culture is everything. Early on in our business, I hired some toxic people. This led to poor performance and an overall dread of coming in to work. As we eliminated those people from our organization, I realized how important it is to have people that are aligned with the same passion and convictions. Now, all of our hires are based first on culture. We have voluntary morning prayer in our office every morning. It helps us start the day and have the right purpose for what we are doing.

5. Make your number one differentiator your work ethic. In my career, I have seen many people with great knowledge, or charisma, or skill but little work ethic. Invariably they succeed for the short term but can’t sustain it. I came to realize that work ethic is the key to success. I have brothers and friends who will just outwork anyone. They always seem to be successful.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

You never know what your idea can trigger. :-) That movement to me is simple, true Christianity. Jesus gave us a model of selfless love and sacrifice for the wellbeing of others. He was infinitely kind and caring but brought us the truth. The world is trying to teach us that it is all about “you”. This is an impossible concept offering no chance of long-term happiness and success. We must love one another (even our enemies), move away from the material and comfort aspects of life, and seek to make the lives of others better. We can do each do this one interaction at a time, every day.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

About the Interviewer: Eric L. Pines is a nationally recognized federal employment lawyer, mediator, and attorney business coach. He represents federal employees and acts as in-house counsel for over fifty thousand federal employees through his work as a federal employee labor union representative. A formal federal employee himself, Mr. Pines began his federal employment law career as in-house counsel for AFGE Local 1923 which is in Social Security Administration’s headquarters and is the largest federal union local in the world. He presently serves as AFGE 1923’s Chief Counsel as well as in-house counsel for all FEMA bargaining unit employees and numerous Department of Defense and Veteran Affairs unions.

While he and his firm specialize in representing federal employees from all federal agencies and in reference to virtually all federal employee matters, his firm has placed special attention on representing Veteran Affairs doctors and nurses hired under the authority of Title. He and his firm have a particular passion in representing disabled federal employees with their requests for medical and religious reasonable accommodations when those accommodations are warranted under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (ADA). He also represents them with their requests for Federal Employee Disability Retirement (OPM) when an accommodation would not be possible.

Mr. Pines has also served as a mediator for numerous federal agencies including serving a year as the Library of Congress’ in-house EEO Mediator. He has also served as an expert witness in federal court for federal employee matters. He has also worked as an EEO technical writer drafting hundreds of Final Agency Decisions for the federal sector.

Mr. Pines’ firm is headquartered in Houston, Texas and has offices in Baltimore, Maryland and Atlanta, Georgia. His first passion is his wife and five children. He plays classical and rock guitar and enjoys playing ice hockey, running, and biking. Please visit his websites at and He can also be reached at


Add Franchises To Basket
For Free Information

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Review our cookies information for more details.