With hope, humility and Southern hospitality, sisters Kathy James and Jane Rowley foster a culture of care at AAdi Home Health Agency and Cornerstone Home Health.
By: Paul Romans
Photos by: William Russell
On any given weekend, you’ll find Kathy James entertaining friends, dancing or playing cards (mostly poker). You’ll find her sister, Jane Rowley (“the quiet one”), gardening, cooking or sitting on her deck watching the sunset. These girls take their leisure time seriously, as they should, because Mondays find them hard at work running successful businesses here in the Coastal Bend.
Kathy James, R.N., and Jane Rowley are owners/administrators of AAdi Home Health Agency here in Corpus Christi. They are sisters with an upbringing rooted in humility, hope and Southern hospitality. James is also owner/administrator of Cornerstone Home Health in Rockport.
James has an abundance of experience in the medical field as a registered nurse and was instrumental in the startup of several home health agencies in the early 1990s. Rowley, who has a 30-year background working with people with developmental disabilities, spent the 1980s and ‘90s helping transition people from state institutions into community settings.
Together, they bring their unique blend of strength, caring and graciousness to the running of two well-respected home health agencies in this area. As girls raised in the South, the sisters bring a blend of old-fashioned family values and hard work to their agencies.
These sisters were blessed with a Southern upbringing that, early on, instilled in them compassion, honesty and hard work. A compassionate servant attitude was ever present in the home they shared with their parents, four sisters and one brother. They were Southern girls who took care of elderly family members when needed. Their parents taught them to meet life and life’s trials head on and to be self-reliant.
The girls were taught to be compassionate about the things they do, and to always remember how those things will affect others. When they worked around the farm, they worked. They were taught to give 110 percent no matter what they were doing, and to never be afraid to go after what they wanted. It was an upbringing that would make their career choices later in life an obvious perfect fit.
The early ‘90s saw the girls burning up the highway from Texas to Arkansas. Their father was ill, and in-home services were, for the most part, unavailable. The sisters spent a good part of their time looking for reliable community resources. As their father’s illness progressed, the girls began to talk about how services were being provided to the elderly and how those services could be expanded.
They saw firsthand many elderly people in facilities who would benefit from the expansion of community home health services. Like the gardens of their youth, the seeds were planted – but it would be 10 years before Rowley would join with James to create what would become AAdi Home Health.
During those intervening years, James had opened and sold a successful home health agency in Aransas Pass and Rowley was ending a 30-year career in community services. The sisters had not forgotten their commitment to help expand home-based services in their community, and they promised each other that one day, they would work together. Influenced by the teachings of their childhood, the goal was always to give back.
Born as a tribute to their father, AAdi (meaning “new beginnings” in Hindi) was launched in 2006 in Orange Grove, Texas. The early agency provided medical and psychiatric home health services. The new agency thrived with James running the medical and Rowley overseeing the financial operations.
According to James, “Jane and I have always helped each other and worked together; what one doesn’t know, the other one does.” Women of the South tend to be strong-willed, and this boded well for the sisters, as they have mastered the art of running successful agencies while navigating the intricacies of state and federal regulations.
AAdi Home Health has evolved into one of the largest, most respected agencies in the Corpus Christi area; it continues to provide medical and psychiatric, and it recently added hospice services. “We want to participate as an active part of the community,” Rowley says, “by expanding and continuously improving the home health services we provide to our patients.” And that’s just what they have done: The agency has an excellent reputation in the medical community, as evidenced by its continued growth.
James’ tremendous success with AAdi led to her opening her third agency in her own backyard, Rockport. Her agency is one of the largest in that area with an impeccable reputation. Cornerstone Home Health is imbued with the same family values, dedication to hard work and “can do” spirit.
These girls from the South pride themselves in taking care of patients regardless of the situation. They sometimes fill the gaps where funding is lacking. They don’t turn anyone down; it’s giving back or even paying it forward. They reside in communities that have helped them prosper; therefore, giving back just seems practical to them.
They are fortunate to have assembled an excellent staff of energetic, compassionate caregivers. It is a staff that goes above and beyond not only by providing the best health care, but also by caring deeply about those patients they serve. Sometimes the only person their patients see each week is the home health care provider. This dedication to duty goes from the top to the bottom. James and Rowley are not only the owners and administrators; their Southern upbringing compels them to do whatever tasks are required.
Rowley and James find true joy in helping others. Through volunteer work, community service or lay reading through their church, helping individuals find joy, comfort and self-validation is paramount to their core being, as well as part of their mission statement. They employ a culture of care that not only is present in the administration and staff, but permeates through to every employee at both AAdi Home Health and Cornerstone Home Health. Both agencies are Joint Commission accredited, reflecting the sisters’ dedication to continuous compliance with the highest standards of quality patient care.
For these Southern sisters, the success of their agencies has been a remarkable tribute to their mother and father, and to their true Southern upbringing. With kindness, strength and graciousness, these ladies have built agencies that are dedicated to the care of the elderly, committed to home-based services and well-respected by their peers in the community.
For more information, contact AAdi Home Health & Psychiatric Services in Corpus Christi at 361-452-3384 or Cornerstone Home Health in Rockport at 361-727-2131.