In 2003, Howard shifted gears to address a societal need, transforming Veterans Home Care into the leading in-home care provider for veterans through the VetAssist Program. Howard led strategic advancements in provider contracting and technology, contributing to the company's expansive reach across 48 states and a network of over 5,000 home care providers. Under his leadership, Veterans Home Care earned the Better Business Bureau's Torch Award for Ethics and a total of seven Inc. 5000 Awards, including five consecutive honors. To date, the company has assisted over 22,000 veterans and their spouses.
Anticipating future caregiver shortages more than a decade ago, Howard focused on technology as a solution to the challenges posed by an aging population and shifting labor demographics. Although he recognized robotics as a long-term solution, the technology wasn't yet mature. Therefore, Howard adopted a transitional approach, initiating research and development in AI technologies over eight years ago.
By 2018, the advent of Amazon Alexa technology offered the underlying infrastructure needed to tackle several challenges in senior home care, including isolation, emergency response, secure communications, entertainment, and engagement. Capitalizing on this technology, Howard founded SmartCompanion Care, LLC. The company launched the VetAssist Companion and SmartCompanion platforms, designed to assist seniors in aging in place with enhanced safety, security, and quality of life. These technological solutions have not only saved lives but also contributed to extending life expectancy, while also reducing hospital readmissions of the Veterans Home Care Clients over 39%.
Howard is currently working on expanding technology solutions such as VoiceHealth tech, IVR, and remote patient technology, all integrated within the same robust infrastructure. He remains committed to the future introduction of robotics in home care as the technology matures.
Beyond his business ventures, Howard actively supports national veterans' organizations and is a tireless advocate for veteran welfare on Capitol Hill.