FirstLight is About People
Home Care is Not a Career, It’s a Calling
We know your first priority when choosing a home care provider is finding someone you can trust and rely on… someone who will care for your loved one as you would, and as we would our own. We’ve been where you are, and this is one of the main reasons we chose to be in this business.
Rick and Sarah Thomsen, Owners
Rick has spent 20 years in the healthcare industry. He held various positions in Sales, Management, Long Term Care, and Hospital and Office Reimbursement with an industry leading pharmaceutical company. The majority of time was spent in the Alzheimers market and Long Term Care. Rick has worked with almost every nursing home and hospital in the state of Mississippi along with many assisted living facilities. While working with these facilities, he learned of the need for exceptional in-home care. With the aging population of baby-boomers wanting to remain in-home and independent for as long as possible, we are committed to meeting this growing need and taking the opportunity to educate the Pine Belt community about the options available to them.
Sarah has spent 21 years as a teacher and has a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Southern Mississippi. Her most recent work was with the Petal School District. She has dedicated herself to caring for others in all stages of life.
FirstLight Home Care was the obvious choice because of the dedication to client satisfaction and focus on their “Culture of Care”. FirstLight Home Care also has an unparalleled screening and training process for caregivers. Rick and Sarah have spent the last year getting to know the people of FirstLight. We have a mutual passion for caring for the happiness and wellness of the senior and disabled population of the Pine Belt.
Sherry Morgan, Director of Operations
Sherry has an extensive customer service and business management background and has worked with the public for more than 25 years. Sherry was taught at an early age that you could tell a person’s heart by the way they treated children and the elderly. The Golden Rule and the three core values of Compassion, Commitment and Character embody Sherry’s thoughts on working with others. Treating each person as if they are her own family, Sherry works diligently to understand the needs and desires of others.
Sherry has worked with FirstLight HomeCare for a short time in the office, but has partnered with them at a local independent living facility for more than 2 years. Sherry fully believes in the services offered and believes FirstLight is THE choice in Home Care. Some of her duties include daily operations of the office, helping with scheduling, consistently looking for caregivers who share a heart for the elderly, working closely with staff and CAREGivers to change the face of aging in the Pine Belt area. She works to help assure the families that their loved ones are being taken care of around the clock.
Sherry has a strong desire to give back to seniors as they have given to others all their lives. She loves that FirstLight is committed to working with area seniors to live independently as long as possible!
Sherry is originally from Columbia, MS, but currently lives in the Oak Grove area with her two daughters, Maggie Grace, a Freshman at William Carey University and Mary Kate, a sophomore at Presbyterian Christian School.
Sam Bounds, Director of Client Development and Community Outreach
Sam has been caring for others, professionally, for almost 10 years now. She started as a Patient Care Tech at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Columbus, MS at the age of 18. This experience helped her realize that her sole purpose in life was to care for others and ensure they are happy, healthy and feel loved. Sam’s plans were to enroll in nursing school until she met the team at FirstLight Home Care and she knew she had found her true calling. Once she realized she would have to leave this warm, loving and encouraging family, her plans quickly changed.
Sam has worked with FirstLight Home Care since December of 2016. Since being with FirstLight, she has served as a Caregiver, Scheduler, Care Coordinator, Marketer and Community Outreach. Sam enjoys spending time with the clients to ensure they are being well taken care of and enjoying their lives to the fullest.
Sam is originally from a small town right outside of Starkville, MS but currently lives in the Hattiesburg, MS area. She has one little girl, Saylor Grace, with her husband, Matthew. Sam also has two German Shepherd fur babies, Delta and Ghost.
Tywana Moyer, Team Leader
Tywana has spent more than three years working as a caregiver in the Pine Belt Area with FirstLight Home Care. She has recently been promoted to Caregiver Supervisor.
Tywana developed a passion for caregiving while taking care of her father who had lung cancer. In August, 2017, her father succumbed to his illness and passed away.
Tywana began her caregiving career with FirstLight Home Care and immediately fell in love with her job. She takes pride in her work and expects high standards from the caregivers she supervises. Part of the expectation comes from the fact that she takes the time to get to know the clients we care for and knows they deserve to be treated with dignity, compassion and respect.
Tywana has been married for 13 years and has three children. When not at work, she loves spending time with her family and traveling.
Barbara Blacklidge, Team Leader
Barbara absolutely loves her job and always says that, “Caregiving is the job I never knew I always wanted.” Barbara had a very structured, old-fashioned, Christian upbringing that taught her the value of having compassion for and doing good deeds for others. She was always the child who found joy in helping out her neighbors and grandparents while listening to them talk about ‘how things used to be’. Barbara feels positively blessed to have the opportunity to go to work everyday and help others; something she’s always genuinely enjoyed!
Barbara’s journey to becoming a caregiver started when she jumped back into the work force after being a stay at home mom for several years. Barbara was not able to find a job in her previous career field with outdated skills, so, she took a job working as a kitchen aide at a nursing facility. She knew then her next adventure would be in the healthcare industry, but she didn’t feel nursing was right for her. In 2013, Barbara moved back to Mississippi to be closer to her parents who live in Moselle. Barbara has worked as a Resident Assistant for Assisted Living and Memory Care, and a Direct Support Professional assisting individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities since then, but it wasn’t until she started working as a caregiver for FirstLight Home Care in March, 2017, that she realized she had stumbled into the perfect job for her: Caregiving!
Barbara lives with her family in Petal, MS and wakes up every day thanking God for all her blessings. She is especially thankful for her family and for finding the best job she’s ever had. She is thankful for her wonderful bosses, Rick and Sarah, who have helped her shine by finding a position that has brought out her best qualities. She is also thankful to be part of a great team of office professionals who are truly like family.
Micheal Diaz, Scheduler
Micheal has been caring for others for 7 years. She started as a home health aid in her hometown of Gainesville, FL. Micheal has always been the type of person who would go above and beyond to help others and looking for the reward of a smile. Working with seniors has brought so much joy to her life, especially being a mother to 4 young children.
Micheal has an extensive background in business management as well. She has operated a small family business for nearly 9 years and has grown and enjoyed that journey. Micheal knew she wanted to follow the path of caregiving and decided to join the FirstLight family so that she could not only provide care for others, but also utilize her knowledge of scheduling to match caregivers and clients for her team for maximized client satisfaction. Micheal is currently pursuing her Associates Degree in Business Management from Pearl River Community College.
Patti Duff, Director of Human Resources
Patti has been with FirstLight for almost 2 years. She started as a caregiver, and was promoted to scheduler, care coordinator and currently serves as Director of Human Resources. Patti was a private in-home CNA for 10 years before coming to FirstLight. Patti has a passion for in-home care and keeping loved ones in the comfort of their homes and providing great, quality, one on one care.
Patti’s life experience with her mom, who was in a terrible car accident and became quadriplegic at the age of 50, began Patti’s life calling in the home care industry. Her mom required 24 hour total care and Patti soon realized that she would not be able to care for her mom on her own and needed help. She began hiring private caregivers from home to help care for her mom. Those caregivers soon became family.
Beth Water, Lead Scheduler
Beth has 20 years experience as a personal and professional caregiver, and 22 years experience in customer service and business management. She has an innate sense of caring for others and putting their needs first. Seeing others happy and being able to live their lives to the fullest, are two of the many reasons Beth enjoys working in home care.
At the age of 18, Beth had her first experience as a professional caregiver at South Mississippi Regional Center as a Direct Care Worker. Before the end of her first day, she knew that she had found her calling. Since then she has gained an abundance of experience as a personal and professional caregiver. Beth was enrolled in the registered nursing program at Pearl River Community College where she learned numerous skills that have helped her in her career, before having to leave the program early, to go home and care for family. Beth’s management and customer service experience has given her the opportunity to move into different roles at First Light Home Care.
As the Lead Scheduler, Beth manages a schedule that continually grows and changes as First Light Home Care grows and client’s needs change. She is able to work closely with clients and their families ensuring their needs are met, while working with caregivers, helping them to learn new skills and improve their current skills.
Beth was born and raised in Hattiesburg, Ms. Currently she resides in Petal, MS with her daughter, Makinzi, and her son, Caden. Working at First Light Home Care has allowed Beth’s children to see her personify some of the values that she has taught them from a very young age, such as, “Treat others the way you want to be treated”, “Actions speak louder than words”, and “Never ask someone to do something you wouldn’t do”.