Our Story

Two girls holdinghands

So, what is our story at LightHouse?

 

It all began in a small coal mining town in northeastern Pennsylvania, where the town was divided into small neighborhoods with a church on every other street corner; where we are better known for the Knox Mine Disaster and the Hurricane Flood of Agnes.

Born in this town was our love for the work ethic of our neighbors, the anthracite coal miners, the WW2 veterans, the old railroad workers, and the retirees of Planters Peanuts, Woolworths, the Stegmaier brewery, the Sterling Hotel.

As luck would have it,  as the two of us worked our way through college, we waited tables for four years to this glorious bunch of early bird specials: spaghetti and meatballs for $2.99. And we fell in love with our older generation, their stories, their spirit, their contributions, and their resilience.  We served them meals for many years. We took their orders (always the same thing), and we lived with them through their retirement, their ups and downs, their own and their spouses’ illnesses, their joys, their kids, and their travels. And can I tell you the overwhelming joy in the air when one of our “regulars” was able to bring in his whole family for a special occasion! It was probably one of the greatest joys of all time. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

While one of us studied nursing and the other studied speech therapy, our passion began. Though our mission wasn’t fully evolved at spaghetti and meatballs, our passion, ideals, and love of this wonderful generation was. When you watch a WW2 veteran shake some pepper on his wife’s salad and cut it up for her, it stays with you and inspires you. And when someone’s great-grandfather brings you sugar free candy from the flea market and whispers that he only keeps the sugar-free in the house because “my lovely bride has sugar,” well, that’s a keeper, too.

Now, we are LightHouse Healthcare. No, there are no lighthouses on the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania. But our light started there.

 

About the Founders

Wendy Sutton and Melissa  Collins celebrate LightHouse's 10th Anniversary

Wendy Sutton and Melissa Collins celebrate LightHouse’s 10th Anniversary

 

 

Melissa Owens-Collins has over 25 years experience in home health care primarily focusing on geriatric rehabilitation, psychiatric home health, chronic illness management, and patient outcomes.    Melissa received her undergraduate degree from The Pennsylvania State University and is a trained psychiatric and mental health nurse. Prior to founding LightHouse,  Melissa spent a decade working in Vice President level positions  with two of the large national home care companies.

 

Wendy Sutton holds her Master’s Degree in Speech and Language Pathology with emphasis on the cognitive, speech, and swallowing disorders following a stroke. Wendy has a strong focus on rehabilitation and functional improvements that can be made to help seniors stay at home safely and happily as long as possible. Wendy has been a practicing clinician for 15 years, working previously managing a group of home care offices for a national provider.

 

In 2000, Melissa and Wendy founded LightHouse Healthcare, deciding to bring their own mission, vision, and values to serve the generation they love so much. And Guiding the Way at Home came to life.

 

 

 

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