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About FirstLight
in Greater Kansas City

FirstLight is About People

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!

Shelby Littrell, Scheduling Coordinator and Client Relations

Shelby began her career with FirstLight Home Care in 2023. She graduated from Northwest Missouri State University with a B.A. in Physical Education. Prior to joining FirstLight, Shelby managed before and after school programs for Pre-K and elementary school students for the Independence School District.

Shelby was drawn to working with those in need of home care, from personal experiences with her father. He had a caregiver for many years come into the home. She observed not only the the task-based activities that helped him, but the social and emotional connection and how it benefited his daily outlook. It was also such a relief for her and the rest of her family, knowing that they had extra help.

As a Scheduling Coordinator at FirstLight, she’s like a client-caregiver “matchmaker”. She prides herself in providing thorough communication with her clients, making sure all their needs are met, and finding that caregiver that is just right for them! She also loves doing 5K’s for charity, going to Mexico for Mission Trips to build homes for those in need, and has volunteered at her local animal shelters. In her spare time she enjoys reading, spending time with her fiancé, Dillion, their three dogs, Zooey, Honey and Maya.

Kate Phelps, Human Resources Coordinator and Employee Relations Manager

Kate joined the FirstLight team in 2023. Before working with FirstLight, Kate worked for a Catholic missionary organization helping college students grow in their faith. Kate graduated from The University of Southern Mississippi with a B.A. in Public Health, and is passionate about helping others: mind, body, and soul.

As a Human Resources Coordinator and Employee Relations Manager, Kate recruits caregivers and manages their experience as an employee at FirstLight. Kate believes that people should be excited to go work so she loves helping caregivers find a position where they thrive! It is one of Kate’s greatest joys to follow up with caregivers after their first client visit and hear about how they connected with their client.

Good conversations lead to good relationships. Kate loves going to work each day because of the good conversations she gets to have with both clients and caregivers on a daily basis.  In her free time, Kate enjoys reading, running, and spending quality time with family and friends. Kate’s ideal weekend includes a long walk, a good friend, and a delicious cup of coffee.

Karen White, Human Resources Coordinator and Employee Relations Manager

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, Chief Financial Officer and Owner

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, Chief Executive Officer and Owner

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.

Vision & Mission

At FirstLight Home Care, we envision a world in which all adults may age with comfort, dignity and independence in the place they call home. We exist to help people have their best day, every day. Our mission is to provide compassionate home care so that the families we serve have peace of mind knowing their loved ones are receiving the support they need to enjoy the quality of life they deserve.

Core Values

We live these core values every day, without compromise. It’s what we believe in above all else as they guide our company and team members to help us achieve our mission.

Focus Relationships First

Focus on Relationships First

We have a genuine concern for the health and well-being of others and an incredible opportunity to help people live their best lives. By focusing on relationships, we create caring environments where people are encouraged to use their unique experiences and backgrounds to create lasting bonds. This is our Culture of Care philosophy that motivates us to do more as we serve others.

Act with Integrity

Act with Integrity

We’re honest, trustworthy and committed to doing the right thing. Providing service with integrity means we consistently do what we say we’re going to do, communicate with transparency and hold ourselves accountable for our actions.

Give Joy

Give Joy

We find, bring and share joy in our work every day. By practicing kindness, gratitude, and having a positive attitude, we bring happiness and genuinely make people feel good.

Grow Together

Grow Together

We strive to build and nurture a culture that creates strong teams, fosters curiosity and connects ideas. This drives us to break the status quo and, together, find ways to consistently improve and grow.

Make A Difference Every Day

Make a Difference Every Day

Each day we are inspired to make a difference in people’s lives, and we have a sincere desire to make the world a better place. We seek to improve the lives of others through our dedication to reliable, professional first-class service.