Healthy returns Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2008

In 2002, Shelly Sun, a 13-year veteran of corporate America, used her business background to form the foundation for BrightStar Healthcare.

The Chicago-based company helps people keep parents and grandparents out of nursing facilities by providing the full continuum of care within the home through both medical and nonmedical care. The company also provides supplemental health care staff to corporate clients, such as hospitals and nursing homes.

By 2005, the company launched its franchising efforts, becoming the first and only franchising company in the country that specializes in the full continuum of care and is the only woman-owned franchise in the health care industry. The company currently has 45 locations nationwide with 400 more slated to open by the end of 2010.

Sun created a business premise that enables all owners and employees to provide top-notch service to families and communities across the country. Prior to beginning the concept, she spent months conducting research for a business plan, evaluating the competition and interviewing nurses to advise and join the staff. To ensure the business model was clear and sustainable, she asked other top CEOs to serve on her board of directors.

She also established a strong franchise business network providing consistency of service and development. Qualified franchise owners sign area development agreements that methodically pave the way for solid, incremental growth. Franchise owners have a schedule for opening additional offices in their market and are given milestones to ensure they meet their goals.

HOW TO REACH: BrightStar Healthcare,