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LarryWeinberg
RichardWinter
Jill Heneghan
JessicaWillingham

Bonnie Laiderman

Founder & Chairwoman
Veterans Home Care, LLC

Location: St. Louis, MO
Founded: 2003
Industry: Healthcare
*In Memoriam*

Veterans Home Care was founded in 2003 when Bonnie Laiderman decided to address an unmet need among indigent older adults who are eligible for a particular VA benefit.

Laiderman was inspired to found her company — Veterans Home Care — after becoming a caregiver for her mother, who was stricken with cancer. Laiderman’s mother, Edith Sperling, was the widow of a World War II veteran and was eligible for benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs, but Sperling died before she could apply and receive the home care benefits for which she was eligible.

Laiderman vowed to help others find and receive the home care benefits her mother missed out on, and Veterans Home Care was born in her kitchen. The company was founded in 2003 to help qualified wartime veterans and their surviving spouses apply for a non-service connected disability pension from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans Home Care started with 24 active clients after one year and has grown to nearly $38 million in revenue with offices in St. Louis, Florida, Illinois and Texas and plans to open several regional offices. All told, the company has helped more than 20,000 veterans and surviving spouses in 48 states access VA benefits and receive care.

“Our most important risk was having the cash flow to continue to grow clients, accelerate that growth exponentially and invest in that effort,” Laiderman said. “Additionally, invest in our most important assets, our staff, which also means investing in their training and tools to make them successful.”

The company’s VetAssist Program offers home care with no out-of-pocket costs. The cost is covered by an under-utilized Veterans Administration benefit called Aid and Attendance. The program uses a network of more than 4,000 home care agencies to provide home care, matches clients with caregivers and follows up to assure that the veteran or the surviving spouse remains in compliance with VA guidelines to continue receiving the pension.

In the coming years, the company plans to expand beyond veteran families and has set the groundwork for a future move toward telemedicine and therapeutic care. In 2021, Laiderman named her nephew David Laiderman to succeed her as chief executive officer. For now, though, Bonnie Laiderman continues as a leader, mentor and entrepreneur while transitioning into her eventual retirement.

Laiderman knows those changes may come with their own challenges.

“Change is the number one constant and creation of challenges,” she said. “Solving complex challenges requires looking at them from every angle, from every level of our team, departments, providers, lead referral sources, consumers, service and support providers. … Then, before launching any plans considered, there are surveying and modifications to consider or make before piloting and eventually launching a successful plan.”

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Bonnie is from very humble beginnings. She grew up in a very diverse neighborhood of subsidized housing or "the projects" of Brooklyn, New York.

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