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. We invite you to read our many outstanding reviews from Google or Facebook and see why we have been recognized both locally and nationally as a premier home care and senior care provider. Meet our local care team!
Karen White is the Human Resources Coordinator and Employee Relations Manager at FirstLight Home Care. She is responsible for Talent Acquisition and Managing FirstLight Home Care’s People Strategy.
Karen began her career at FirstLight in the summer of 2020. Prior to joining FirstLight spent the majority of her career working in the medical field, where she began her career as a Certified Nurse’s Aide in an Elder Care Facility after school. Over her entire career, she has worked alongside physicians and nurses in various different medical settings, serving both the general population and seniors.
Karen has always been a caregiver at heart, from taking care of her mother after she had a stroke, caring for her sister when she had cancer and providing care for her niece who is blind. All her life, she encountered situations that helped her understand caregiving in both a professional and personal capacity. Karen uses her direct experience in the field, as a guide in helping her identify and recruit top caregiving talent for FirstLight.
Karen is passionate about her family and has a heart for all animals. Karen takes great pride in her work and believes that everyday is an opportunity to help someone. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, husband and four dogs.
Andrew Brainerd is the Chief Financial Officer and Owner of FirstLight Home Care and oversees all aspects of the Financial and Accounting Operations.
Prior to opening FirstLight Home Care of Overland Park, Andrew spent 10 years managing technology platforms for large corporations in the information technology industry. Andrew grew up in St Joseph Missouri and graduated from The University of Texas San Antonio with a B.A. in Business Administration Management. He also holds an MBA from Northwest University with an emphasis in Information Technology Management.
At a young age, Andrew experienced what it’s like to be a family caregiver. In 2005 his grandmother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. The family arranged for a private caregiver, but eventually moved her into an assisted living facility, where her condition declined quickly. Understanding and coping with these changes at a young age was difficult. To this day, his grandmother’s story is what drove him to open FirstLight Home Care. Being able to have a direct impact on the quality of care people receive is what lead him to FirstLight.
Andrew especially enjoys seeing the results of his business systems and processes in action, and how they have created the exceptional care model at FirstLight Home Care. He takes great pride in giving someone the ability to maintain their independence and “age in place” and remain in their home, while bringing peace of mind to their family. When Andrew isn’t working, he enjoys playing the piano, piloting small aircraft and working on anything mechanical.
Michael Brainerd is the Chief Executive Officer and Owner of FirstLight Home Care and leads Community Relations and Business Development efforts.
Prior to opening FirstLight Home Care of Overland Park, Michael had served in a number of marketing and consulting positions, where he designed and developed campaigns and programs to promote a range of products and brands – both in higher education and sports management. Michael was born and raised in St Joseph, Missouri and graduated from Missouri Western State University with a B.A. in Business Administration and Marketing.
Several personal experiences lead Michael to opening FirstLight Home Care. He lost three of his grandparents within a four year period, each to debilitating illness and disease – Cancer, Heart Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. Over that four year period he saw the difference home care can make, not only to the person, but to the entire family. In addition to having some wonderful caregivers take care of his grandparents, he also learned not all care agencies are the same and doing your homework is important. Ten years later, a culmination of life events lead him to finally answering the call to walk away from his career in pursuit of starting FirstLight Home Care. He is proud to lead a caring team, passionate about providing the best home care possible for FirstLight clients.
Both FirstLight Home Care offices were opened in partnership with Michael’s business partner (and brother) Andrew Brainerd. In his limited free time, Michael enjoys cycling, golfing, and supporting several inter-faith charities who help homeless and at-risk homeless attain self-sufficiency through housing, education and employment training programs.
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