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Our Team

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​​​​​​​​​Home Instead Senior Care Team​​

At Your Service 24/7 in Topeka, KS

The need for in-home senior care services doesn't always arise between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on a weekday. That's why our team stands ready to serve you any day of the week, at any hour of the day or night. You can always reach us by phone at (785) 272-6101 to get help setting up home care for a family member.

We have come together as a group of dedicated professionals to deliver a home care solution that meets your needs. We employ trained, screened and bonded CAREGiversSMto serve your family's senior loved one with compassion and devotion.
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Gail Shaheed, Franchise Owner

Gail Shaheed, Franchise Owner

For years I had been thinking about how I could work with seniors in my community.  I had worked for 9 years with youth in a mentoring organization and found that seniors made wonderful role models for the young people. My parents were in their mid-seventies and my grandmother was approaching 100 and it was a logical step in my path through life. I began my adventure with Home Instead Senior Care in 2007 with the investigation of the organization.  After much research into Home Instead Senior Care, my husband Peter and I found a company that was backed by a very progressive home office that was extremely supportive of each individual franchise.  As I have said in many conversations since then, I feel as if I have a staff of over 150 in Omaha that is continually feeding us updated information and research relating to the seniors in our community.  

Since taking over the Shawnee and Douglas county office in 2008 we have found a wealth of enjoyment in the clients and CAREGivers we have encountered.  Each day brings new joy and happiness in helping those that we serve.


Member, COA (Council on Aging)

Topeka Area Continuity of Care (TACC)

Member 2009 to present

Secretary 2009-2010
Vice President 2012 to 2015

Lawrence Area Partners in Aging (LAPA)

Member 2008-Present
2011-2013 – Vice President
2013 to 2015 - President

American Heart Association

Go Red For Women Purse Committee 2010-2012

Auction Committee 2016-2017​


Peter Shaheed, Franchise Owner

Peter Shaheed, Franchise Owner

I joined Home Instead Senior Care full time in 2013. Before joining the company I was a Senior Engineer with a major aerospace company for approximately 30 years.  Although I enjoyed my career as an engineer, I was eager to join Gail, my wife, in providing care for our clients.  Since joining the company full time in 2013 , I have spent most of my time assisting our clients and terrific office staff by developing or implementing new programs to better serve our clients, CAREGivers and office staff.  One of my major areas of focus has been in the area of Safety and Health.  I have been working on ways to ensure that our CAREGivers and office staff are always making safety the number one priority for our clients and for the CAREGivers.  Also, as the need arises, I provide technical assistance to our CAREGivers and office staff. 


Barbara VanCortlandt, Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator

Barbara VanCortlandt, Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator

​I am a Kansas native who loves living in Lawrence. My 85 years-young mother lives nearby, and I have five amazing grown children and two adorable grandchildren. Decades ago, I enjoyed working as a CNA in multiple settings while attending Newman University in Wichita. In 1986, I took my Sociology degree to a challenging and rewarding career as a Health Educator with the State of Kansas. In 2003, my father became disabled, so we remodeled our home to accommodate him and welcomed him into our household for his final six years. During this time I stayed close to home, and worked as Safety Manager at the local school bus company, hiring, training, and coaching employees. In 2007, I also worked as a caregiver for Home Instead Senior Care! Ultimately, I was drawn back to the state for 10 more years as a Cancer Program Health Educator and Manager. As I looked toward my [early] retirement years, I wanted to continue the most meaningful parts of my career. This included providing education and training, supporting employees to succeed in their careers, and focusing on quality of life issues both for clients and caregivers. So two weeks after I retired from the State in May 2018, I embarked upon my retirement career with Home Instead Senior Care! 


Sharon Petrone, Home Care Consultant

Sharon Petrone, Home Care Consultant

​After spending 30 years in Continuing Care Retirement Communities I joined Home Instead Senior Care as a Home Care Consultant. This decision allows me to continue my goal of helping elders remain independent.  So often in the past people have needed to move from their homes to facilities in order to access needed services when, with a little assistance, they could have stayed in their own home.  I have found, like our company's founders, that provision of non-medical in-home services can make all the difference to those we serve. I am pleased to play a supporting role for the caregivers who provide our services.​


Phyllis Walker, Home Care Consultant

Phyllis Walker, Home Care Consultant

​I started working for Home Instead Senior Care in January of 2013, and continue to work with some of the same clients since the day I started! In February of 2015 I became the Community Service Representative for Home Instead Senior Care. In this position, I visit businesses within the community, introduce myself as a representative from Home Instead Senior Care, and explain our services and how the company can assist seniors who are in need of help around their home or in retirement/nursing facilities.


Kinya Vaughn, Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator

Kinya Vaughn, Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator

Topeka is my home town and I am a Washburn University (WU) graduate. I am also a KSU Wildcat as it was my first college experience prior to transferring to WU. The first 20 plus years of my working experiences have led me to live in various states and encompass a variety of experiences which has provided a diverse background ranging from corrections, disability/medical/insurance claims to administrative duties. I have garnered some amazing experiences/education/skills that I now bring into my new career path. In late 2017 I made a hard decision to walk away from my career and life and come care for my mother.  Time is priceless and one doesn’t get it back once it’s gone. The Universe works in great ways and it lead me to join Home Instead Senior Care initially as a CAREGiver. Working with seniors has provided me a greater insight to life and they need attention just like the rest of us-but they need more of it. Being a CAREGiver is a tough job and it’s a life altering experience which is humbling and fulfilling. Having worked from the ground up, I currently supervise and engage with our 70+ CAREGivers, overseeing scheduling with the Lead Scheduler and various administrative duties. I have been and will always be an advocate for CAREGivers for they are priceless to have and it’s crucial that they have a work/life balance in this field. People are trusting us in their lives/homes and I take that seriously. Being professional is a must. Positive communication is everything and I believe in leading with fairness and coaching people to be successful. Life has taught me that when you praise what people do right they feel better and want to do better. We are human, thus we are imperfect. This company truly has exhibited their words "To Us, It's Personal" into practice when they say they will work with your life.


Karen Hastert, Recruitment Coordinator

Karen Hastert, Recruitment Coordinator
I joined Home Instead Senior Care in April 2018. Before joining company I worked in a Lab for a major company in Lenexa for 17 years. My mother had been diagnosed with Dementia that tripled from a fall she had when she hit her head. My Father was taking care of her and I knew I wanted to spend more time with helping her. I left the Company and took time off to be with my parents. During this time I crossed paths and applied with Home Instead Senior Care. I started out being a Caregiver, then an Ambassador helping
Clients and other Caregivers and now help in the Topeka/ Lawrence Office with Recruitment. I love the job I do with my fellow co-workers and Caregivers. I find this job is just as rewarding to the staff as it is to our Clients and this is where I am meant to be.

June Qu (RN) – Client Care Coordinator

June Qu (RN) – Client Care Coordinator

I started my first day of orientation with Home Instead Senior Care as a Client Care Coordinator on November 25th of 2019.  Before joining the Home Instead Team, my career as a Registered Nurse (RN) spanned over ten years and in many States.   This included having worked as a Hospice Case Manager Nurse, an agency nurse, a nurse at a hospital including a Cardiac Nurse at a Progressive Cardiac Care Unit, and as a nurse at various nursing homes.  

I received my Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Alabama, College of Nursing in Huntsville in 1998. While I was going to nursing school, I worked as a floor nurse technician.  I also obtained my Master of Aging Service Management at the University of Southern California, Davis School of Gerontology in 2018.  Senior care has become my interest and passion after many years of my nursing care for this segment of the population and from my personal experience of taking care of my own aging parents.  Becoming part of Home Instead is a new and challenging journey.  I am looking forward to an exciting and rewarding experience! 


Germaine Ramirez-Barea (CNA) - Lead Service Coordinator / Scheduler

Germaine Ramirez-Barea (CNA) - Lead Service Coordinator / Scheduler

I have been working with Home Instead Senior Care since 2015 as a CAREGiver.  I’ve been a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) for thirteen years.  While working as Caregiver for Home Instead Senior Care I was studying Criminal Justice with a Major in Homeland Security.  I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in June 2018.  Shortly after that time I was promoted to the position of  Lead Service Coordinator / Scheduler.    


Meta Kennedy, (LPN retired) - Staff Client Care Coordinator

Meta Kennedy,  (LPN retired) - Staff Client Care Coordinator
My life has centered around health care and care giving.
At the time my parents reached their elder years, there were no options comparable to Home Instead Senior Care. Instead, my sister and I shared the role of care givers so my parents could remain in their comfortable loved home.
Now I can offer assistance to others, ensuring a safe, reliable and personal option. I joined Home Instead Senior Care after relocating from Minnesota to live closer to my only grandchild. My life and my heart are full.
I appreciate the opportunity to assist you!

Monica Shaheed, On Call

Monica Shaheed, On Call

I started working part time at Home Instead Senior Care in 2015 as the Logistics Coordinator, helping internally with inventory, technical issues, and graphic design. Then, I began working full time at the front desk. I made sure our clients' records are up to date and helped out around the office and answered the phones during business hours. With the help of everyone at the office, I helped launched the Family Room feature, as well! Now, I do on call, answering the phones after hours. More often than not, I will be the voice you hear after hours. Please feel free to call the office at (785) 272-6101 at any time if you have any questions!


Maren Christensen, Logistics Coordinator

Maren Christensen, Logistics Coordinator

I am a recent college graduate working in the office before starting my career. With the recent passing of three grandparents, I've seen the benefits of having my grandparents stay in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes for as long as possible and of having someone come in to help with their care as needed. I'm glad to help other people gain these benefits.


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