Interview with Gideon Thomas

Throughout Black History Month and Women's History Month, Southern Company Gas and its distribution companies, in partnership with our field leaders, identified businesses in the communities that our employees feel are making a difference. As part our Fueling Equity initiative, we surprised each business with a grant to help continue to fuel their business and thank them for the inspiring work they do every day.

In 2016, Gideon Thomas' life changed forever. Her father had dementia and suffered a stroke, her stepfather was hospitalized with a coma for six months after a horrific car accident, and her grandmother desperately needed assistance at home. Thus began Gideon's journey to start Serious Health LLC, an innovative approach to community-based living.

Gideon left her corporate career and made her family the utmost priority. She educated herself on healthcare infrastructure and learned there were far too few quality options for seniors for late in life care. Serious Health was born with the help of family, friends and volunteers who all had the same mission: to help our elder neighbors and ones with intellectual disabilities at the most fundamental level with healthcare, housing and a strong support network.

Serious Health's forward-looking strategies around elder care include both community-based and family-model living support and community education. Gideon and her small team run three facilities that care for seven full-time clients. In Gideon's own words, the experience at Serious Health Care should always "feel like your granny's house."

We honored Gideon and her work with Serious Health Care with $10,000 through our Fueling Businesses to Fuel Equity series. We strive to listen, learn, and lead within our communities to drive equity, inclusion and diversity. Serious Health is a pillar of the community offering a service that is essential in Chattanooga. As Gideon says, “You can be brain dead all the way back to being a flourishing human being, if we care. If there is someone that cares.” That's the kind of service and heart you can expect from Serious Health.