Wendel Akins has over 35 years of various health care experience from clinician to business owner. His experience began as a surgical technician in the Army National Guard where he felt a strong interest in the medical profession. He later went to Emily Griffith Opportunity School where he obtained his Practical Nursing degree, later becoming a Registered Nurse.
Mr. Akins has spent most of his career in the clinical setting including several years of various nursing specialties in acute care, rehabilitative nursing, and home health care. Prior to founding Estrella, he co-founded an Assisted Living Center where he oversaw all facets of the organization and management of daily activities. He was also involved with a start-up Medical Staffing Agency providing operational assistance in all areas of the business.
"I have been with Estrella since start-up, learning and growing while being a part of all aspects of the operation. I feel truly blessed working in the job I love the most: home health care. I am truly devoted to the delivery of care in the home, where we all do the best."
Laura Gilbert has a distinguished 25-year career in a variety of care delivery roles, advocating for her patients with a focus on quality care and the independence afforded by in-home care services. Her experience includes discharge planning, case management, quality management, and specializes in the care of patients with disabilities. She has participated in the formation of Medicaid Waiver programs and programs for the avoidance of readmissions.
Prior to founding Estrella, Ms. Gilbert was a discharge advocate at Littleton Hospital, responsible for the design and implementation of the Project Red program, focused on readmission avoidance for patients with Congestive Heart Failure, Acute Myocardial Infarction and Pneumonia. Past responsibilities include serving as the Director of Nursing for PASCO, where she grew the Medicaid line of business from 60 clients to more than 850, and oversaw a staff of 875.
Ms. Gilbert is a native of Colorado who enjoys traveling, hiking and volunteering -- especially with her husband and 2 kids. She received her bachelors in nursing from Creighton University in Omaha, NE.
Holly Wolfe founded Estrella Home Health Care in 2011. During the early years of the start-up, she held numerous roles allowing her to see first-hand the needs of the patients and the staff who care for them in their homes. Over the course of her career, she has led initiatives focused on improving clinical outcomes and improving patient and staff satisfaction.
Prior to founding Estrella, Ms. Wolfe held various management positions at Kaiser Permanente and United Health Group. In addition, she worked in home health for 13 years, as well as founding an Assisted Living Center and Medical Staffing Agency. Her experience in the post-acute market focuses her work on the importance of care after the patient leaves the hospital, rehab center or nursing home -- and what a difference a home health nurse can make in a patient's quality of life.
Ms. Wolfe began her career in 1978 as a Nursing Assistant, training at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Her passion to help others inspired her to advance her career in nursing, becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse, Registered Nurse and obtaining her bachelors in nursing from the University of Phoenix.