Air Force Veterans Are Newest Franchisees

SUNRISE, Fla. – October 23, 2013 – Just in time for Veteran’s Day, Interim HealthCare Inc. announced today that its newest franchise agreement is with two retiring Air Force veterans in Salt Lake City. Michael Hawkins and Michael Eliason are the recipients of the waived franchise fee that Interim HealthCare announced earlier this year as a special incentive and support for military personnel. The two plan to begin offering personal care and support services in February 2014 and expand to skilled nursing care within the first year.
“When we announced the waived franchise fee for a qualifying military veteran in May, we couldn’t have hoped to find a team as well matched to our core values as Michael and Eli,” said Kathleen Gilmartin, President and CEO of Interim HealthCare. “As airmen, they embody the core values of integrity, service before self and excellence in all they do – characteristics also vital to running a successful home care business.
“As Veteran’s Day approaches,” Gilmartin continued, “Interim HealthCare honors the service of all military in a significant and tangible way through these two outstanding individuals. We wholeheartedly welcome them aboard.”
Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Eliason, a B-1 pilot, has spent more than 22 years of service leading America’s sons and daughters in worldwide combat operations. Major Hawkins, an intelligence officer has spent 18 years supporting combat and peacetime operations around the continent.  Their last duty assignment has been teaching Air Force ROTC and Aerospace Studies at the University of Utah. They each separate from the military this fall and, in searching for their next “mission,” they wanted something with a higher calling.
“My wife is a nurse so I knew people in home health are driven by a greater sense of purpose like we are in the military,” Hawkins said. “By using my experience of managing and leading teams in the Air Force, I can make sure caregivers not only have the resources to do their job, but create an environment where they enjoy their job and are reinvigorated. I believe patients will sense this higher sense of purpose.”
According to the two, Interim HealthCare’s franchise structure fits perfectly with their military training of using existing systems and checklists for quality outcomes. Eliason also stated the ability to lead, teach and mentor as well as be humble, approachable and credible are all key military characteristics that will translate for success in the health care business.
“We wanted to do something more noble…something that gives us a reason to get up every day,” Eliason said. “Our research led us to Interim HealthCare and after a visit with corporate, we began working on ways to finance the franchise,” Eliason said. “When we heard the franchise fee was waived for us as veterans, it was pretty unbelievable. It feels really, really nice that our military service is recognized.”
Awarded to the first qualifying veteran, the waived franchise fee was above and beyond Interim HealthCare’s current participation in "Operation Enduring Opportunity," a program developed by the International Franchise Association (IFA).  The IFA program has a goal "to hire as team members and recruit as franchise business owners 75,000 veterans and military spouses and 5,000 wounded warriors by 2014." Since 2011, there have been more than 64,000 veterans who have launched their careers in franchising. Veteran’s programs including VetFran, developed by the IFA, have becoming increasingly important opportunities for war heroes to re-enter the civilian workforce.  Interim has participated in the VetFran program for a number of years.  The total savings represented by the waived fee is $40,000.
Hawkins resides in Salt Lake City with his wife, young son and two daughters. He stays busy coaching youth sports including lacrosse. Eliason also lives in Salt Lake City and enjoys golfing when he’s not spending time with his wife and two teenage daughters.
Interim HealthCare has nearly five decades in the healthcare industry. Largely due to the high level of support and other benefits associated with the company’s longevity, franchisees enjoy an unusually long average tenure of 18 years although some owners have been in the system more than 30 years. A video with franchisee feedback is available here. Franchise opportunities are available throughout the country. Additional franchise information is available at
About Interim HealthCare:
Interim HealthCare Inc., founded in 1966, is a leading national franchisor of home care, hospice and healthcare staffing companies. The company recently acquired UK-based Bluebird Care Franchises Limited, growing its franchise operations to approximately 500 global locations with more than 250 owner groups. Interim HealthCare in the United States is unique in combining the commitment of local ownership with the support of a national organization that develops innovative programs and quality standards that improve the delivery of service. Franchisees employ nurses, therapists, aides, companions and other healthcare professionals who provide 25 million hours of home care service to 190,000 people each year, meeting a variety of home health, senior care, hospice, palliative care, pediatric care and healthcare staffing needs. For more information or to locate an Interim HealthCare office, visit
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