VRI acquires Neighbor Helpline, offers expanded services

Thursday, March 12, 2009

DAYTON, Ohio--Valued Relationships Inc., a healthcare services company with 20 years of medical alert monitoring experience based here, has acquired Neighbor Helpline, a Texas-based provider of medical alarm systems.

VRI president Chris Hendriksen said the acquisition enables VRI to grow its service offerings in Texas while giving Neighbor Helpline clients access to expanded services and CSAA Five Diamond Certified monitoring through VRI. "We wanted to expand our presence in Texas, and we felt like they would benefit from the number of services we offer," Hendriksen said.

Neighbor Helpline employs seven people and 27 service technicians all of whom have joined VRI's team of 80 employees and more than 100 service technicians. Founded in 2003 by Britt and Donna Harthcock, Neighbor Helpline provides personal emergency response systems to Texas residents statewide. The company is based in Round Rock, Texas, and has approximately 2500 customers.

Hendriksen said retention of the Neighbor Helpline brand was important. "They're part of VRI. Their entity is remaining, but it's fully owned by VRI. All the people are sticking around, and the office is sticking around," Hendriksen said. "Their services and their relationships were very valuable so it was never an intention of closing them down or saving money ... It's much more about growth and services with customers."

Donna Harthcock, formerly president of Neighbor Helpline, will stay on as a marketing representative under the terms of the acquisition. According to Harthcock, it's all about improving service to the customer. "The client shouldn't see any difference in service," Harthcock said. "I'm thrilled about the acquisition. We were really impressed with VRI when we went to visit and have heard nothing but good things--including from my mother, who is one of the Neighbor Helpline clients, that she has been treated well on the phone, and that's what we look for."