Tonya Bryant

Toya Moore | November 14th, 2018
Tonya Bryant (Photos by Apollo Wonex)

Tonya Bryant (Photos by Apollo Wonex)

At the age of 20 years old, Tonya Bryant found herself in the role of a caretaker. It was second nature to her. She says she has always taken care of people, and when her grandparents got sick, something shifted. High blood pressure, kidney problems, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and dementia are the illnesses that plagued her grandparents for the next few years and Tonya was there the entire time to make sure they were taken care of.

Surprisingly, taking care of her family wasn’t the start of her journey. Her journey began in the IT field. Tonya was two years into her computer technology degree program when she decided to change her life and career path. She began studying nursing and hasn’t looked back. Tonya always knew she wanted to be a voice in medical care and in education, so in 2004 she became a Licensed Practical Nurse.

In 2006 she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) and began working in long term care as the Director of Nursing. She later became licensed as an Dual Healthcare Administrator and Trauma nurse. As a matter of fact, she is still a trauma nurse, working PRN for GHS and providing services as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. But back in 2009, she was working 12 hour shifts as a trauma nurse and realized that something was missing in the work she did every day. “I wanted to focus my energy on caring for people because it seemed as if the care was not there for those who needed it the most. Not just medical care, but personal care with a personal touch. People needed her. To address that need, in 2010 she started her own Home Health Care company, Optimum Health Care. For a while, she worked 12 hour shifts and grew her business, providing a very personal and familial touch to all of her clients and their families.

While growing her business she realized that it was hard to find qualified candidates that not only were technically trained, but also able to provide the standard and level of training she needed for her clients. That’s when she decided to become a trainer and create the talent pool that she was looking for. In 2014, she opened her school, Legacy Active Day. Legacy trains CNAs, Medical technicians, phlebotomists and EKG techs. She has four instructors (not including herself) that provide classroom/curriculum-based training and hands on personalized training.

Tonya’s goal with starting the school was to be a solid foundation on which students can start their careers or continue their training in the medical field. She also wanted to make sure there was never a need for qualified candidates to take care of people when they are facing medical issues. The school is a success here in the upstate training 50 to 60 students a year. Because of her approach to healthcare and how well trained her students are, Tonya is also a strategy and development consultant for other home healthcare companies. At any given time, she has five or six companies that she provides training, direction and guidance to. When others want to know how to be successful with their home healthcare practice or with their businesses, they call Tonya.

Amidst all the training and consulting and caring for those with needs, Tonya realized that may of her clients needed consistent affordable transportation. She was not able to find what she wanted in a transportation partner, so in 2015 she established a transportation leg of her company to help her continue to provide wrap around services for those she served. It seemed like whenever there was a need to be addressed, or a problem that needed to be solved, instead of complaining about it, or waiting for someone else to do something, Tonya decided she was the “someone else”, and that she needed to do something to solve it. What she has done is working well.

Home health care is a big industry in the Upstate. When asked what sets her apart from other home health companies, Tonya says there are several things that she balances and juggles to maintain success. Her faith and belief in God are the main thing, and her dedication to her family takes a close second. Her husband Phillip has been her biggest supporter, taking care of the majority of the of the transportation, scheduling and logistical needs for the businesses. Most importantly, Phillip fills in the gap when there are family concerns that need to be addressed with the kids. She manages to find time in the evenings and weekends to be a mom and a wife.

When she is in her professional role, what sets her apart from other companies is the type of training she provides her students, and the type of care she gives her clients. She says that her relationship with other caregivers and business owners is also a big factor. She doesn’t see other Home Health care companies or other schools as competitors. She often refers client out to someone else because she does not want to hinder a person’s wellbeing, especially when it comes to respite care. But at the end of the day, for Tonya her bottom line is not dollars and cents. Her bottom line is people and care. Her mission is to build a better stronger community in health care, that will in turn build a better community overall.

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