Debbie Johnston: Richmond, California on Secret Millionaire August 18, 2013

  • By Jason Leung

It's the tale of two Richmonds as healthcare industry self-made millionaire Debbie Johnston leaves her home in Richmond, Virginia for the impoverished and crime-stricken streets of Richmond, California with a mission to find deserving people and organizations in need. During her week-long visit, Debbie meets a number of grass-roots organizations that touch and move her in amazing ways, including: Reach Fellowship International, a community center that provides job training, employment and medical education and services; NIAD Art Center, a studio art program and gallery assisting adults with developmental and physical disabilities; and Self-Sustaining Communities, an organization working with low-income residents and community members to create wide-scale, environmentally sustainable local food production. After a week of getting to know the amazing people behind these organizations, Debbie shares the surprise of a lifetime with them, on Secret Millionaire SUNDAY, AUGUST 18 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Debbie Johnston grew up on a farm in Virginia, one of six children. Her parents worked hard to provide for their family, and when Debbie wanted to attend nursing school, they scraped together her $3,000, three-year tuition for Johnston Willis School of Nursing. Following graduation, Debbie began working and rising through the ranks of the nursing profession. But while she felt she was making a difference helping people, she also felt that patient diagnosis was the prevailing criterion used by insurance companies for paying hospital bills, regardless of lengths of stay in hospital or patients' needs following discharge.

Wanting to change the industry, Debbie founded the home health-care company Care Advantage, Inc. in 1988. With more than 3,000 employees and 14 offices and sister offices throughout Virginia, Debbie's care is felt state-wide. Care Advantage is a leading home health care company that offers personal, companion and skilled nursing care to individuals in their homes, hospitals, nursing homes, retirement homes and other settings. Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and range from assisting with everyday tasks like bathing, getting dressed and preparing meals to providing companionship and skilled nursing services, all tailored to meet individual patient needs.


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