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Remembering Home Health Care Pioneer Dr. Jean Griswold on World MS Day, May 30th

She refused to let her multiple sclerosis stop her mission to help vulnerable people lead lives of dignity by remaining in their own homes.

By Chris LaMorte1851 Franchise Editor
SPONSORED 4:04AM 05/29/21

May 30 is World MS Day. It is an opportunity to bring attention to the achievements and stories of those living with multiple sclerosis (MS), raise awareness about this neurological disorder and campaign on behalf of all those affected by this condition. 

The story of the indomitable Dr. Jean Griswold is one such story. By the time she founded what would soon become the first non-medical home health care franchise in the country, Griswold Home Care, she was already 51 years old, twelve years from her MS diagnosis and confined to a wheelchair. MS is a debilitating disease that attacks the central nervous system. It attacks the protective sheath that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between the brain and the rest of the body. Some with MS can lose their ability to walk, like Dr. Jean, while others can experience long periods of remission. 

Dr. Jean’s diagnosis is where her mission began. She never let it stop her ambition to help as many people in need as she could. Griswold Home Care was born from Dr. Jean’s first hand understanding of folks' need for in-home care. Like many adults and seniors with disabilities, illnesses and injuries, while Dr. Jean battled MS, she wanted to remain where she was most comfortable, at home.

During this time, Dr. Jean was teaching at a local area college where she had access to CNAs and students going through nursing programs. She used this network to build her team; she rallied her resources and tapped into personal connections to bring care to the homebound. She quickly realized that her new business partners and employees had a passion to give back to their community and give those suffering the quality of life they deserve. 

Now, nearly 40 years later, the legacy Dr. Jean has left behind — a network of more than 168 independent franchise units in 29 states — continues her mission. Dr. Jean’s work allows those with mobility issues, including people with disabilities like MS, to remain in the comfort and security of their own homes. Not only does Griswold Home Care allow prospective franchisees the opportunity to give back to their local communities, but it also offers the opportunity to join a $97 billion industry as the senior population is rapidly increasing while baby boomers approach retirement. 

At a time when more than 1 million people in the United States and 2.3 million worldwide over the age of 18 live with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, home care could not be more critical. So for Griswold, that mission is deeply personal.

“We are extremely honored to be able to talk about the ongoing work and inspiring life story of Dr. Jean Griswold on World MS Day,” said Michael Slupecki, CEO of Griswold Home Care. “We think Dr. Jean’s remarkable life story remains a tremendous example of overcoming personal challenges in order to help others do the same. In fact, the 2020-2022 World MS Day theme of Making Connections is one that resonates deeply with our objective. We are dedicated to bridging gaps in care by bringing quality services to those in need.”

A remarkable woman of faith and compassion, Dr. Jean was born in New York City and received a bachelor’s degree in economics and business from Douglass College and a master’s degree in personnel and guidance from Rutgers University. Later, she received an honorary doctorate from Holy Family University in 2006. 

From 2003 to 2004, she was Entrepreneur in Residence at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She won numerous awards, including the Spirit of Philadelphia Award, the Working Woman’s 2001 Entrepreneur of the Year honor and the 2002 MS National Achievement Award of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. She died in 2017 at the age of 86.

Today, her company Griswold Home Care remains a leader in compassion-based, home care service for people across the country.

To learn more or inquire about Griswold Home Care, visit https://www.griswoldhomecare.com/franchising/.

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