About Debbie

Debbie Johnston has been recognized as the Entrepreneur of Richmond, Philanthropist of the Year, and Woman on the Move. As founder and President of Care Advantage, Nurse Advantage, and All About Care, she has created a dynamic compassionate care company that is devoted to giving back to the community. Debbie's journey to the top did not start off all glitz and glam though. In fact, she had a very humble start. Debbie grew up in a small town with her biological mother's sister and her husband who adopted Debbie at a young age. She was raised on a farm with four younger sisters and one brother, working hard with farm-life chores, too busy and loved to realize her actual scarcity.

"Originally I wanted to be a secretary like my mom, but after considerable coaxing from my dad, I decided to go into nursing. My dad told me that nursing would always afford me a job in good times and bad." Somehow, her parents scraped up the three-year tuition for Debbie to attend the Johnston-Willis School of Nursing.

Following nursing school, she decided to work in the operating room where she learned a lot in a short amount of time. In her book, The School of Heart Knocks, she tells the story of watching a 14-year-old girl receive her last rites in the emergency room. It was then that she decided to become a recovery room nurse, in order to lessen the close interaction with patients and guard against such heartache. "I began to see people being discharged quicker and sicker, which prompted my curiosity about what was happening to patients once they were sent home. It was this curiosity that led me into my career of home care."

Debbie sought and accepted an offer as a salesperson for a new national home health company in the area. After one year, she took the idea of home health care to a large hospital conglomerate and became the administrator of the division. However, the chief hospital administrator spun the home health division out on its own and decided to sell it. Debbie then received a push from a friend and started her own health care company. Care Advantage, Inc. was born out of a need to help people once discharged home. This has naturally evolved from helping patients leave the hospital to holding their hand and making their last few hours the best possible.

Today, Debbie is the sole owner and president of Care Advantage, Inc., which has become a leading company for personal and companion home healthcare, with 17 offices and affiliates throughout Virginia. Debbie's companies, Care Advantage, Inc., Nurse Advantage, and All About Care, together employ approximately 3,000 health care professionals in Central, Virginia and surrounding areas. "I believe that one of the best things about growing a financially successful company is having the ability to give to others. We have given over a million dollars to organizations all over the community. I also started "Eunice's Circle of Friends", which is a social group for Widows and Widowers, and those individuals who have lost a loved one." In 2014, Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed Debbie to the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority and as the Adoption Champion for the state of Virginia.

"I invite you to read "The School of Heart Knocks" and learn more about my humble start to my entrepreneurship of a multi-million dollar compassionate care company. I reveal 10 key steps that helped me on my personal journey and will help you also. Enjoy!"


Debbie Johnston's Awards:

Recipient of local, state and regional business awards for business and public relations.

  • Leadership Metro Richmond, Class of 1999
  • Rising 25, 1992, 1993
  • Entrepreneur of Richmond, 1993
  • Small Business Person of the Year, 1994
  • Blue Chip Enterprise Initiative, 1996
  • Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Virginia, 1996
  • National Association of Women Business Owners/Bell Atlantic Community Service Award, 1997
  • Leukemia Society's Woman of the Year, 1997
  • Northstar Academy Polaris Award, 1998
  • Working Woman's Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards, 2000
  • Working Woman's Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards, 2001
  • Philanthropist of the Year Big Brothers Big Sisters, 2005
  • Bernard Savage Community Service Award, 2009
  • Unity Christ Church of Bon Air Super Star Award, 2010
  • Commonwealth Catholic Charities Service Award, 2010
  • YWCA Outstanding Women's Award, 2011
  • MS Society's Women on the Move Award, 2011
  • Finalist for National Association of Women Business Owners Entrepreneur of the Year, 2012
  • Virginia Lawyer’s Media Influential Women of Virginia, 2012
  • American Cancer Society’s Cure by Design Fundraiser Honorary Chair, 2012
  • Finalist for the Greater Richmond Chamber's Impact Award, 2012, 2013
  • Executive Women in Business, 2013
  • Ernst & Young/Style Weekly/Troutman Sanders Executive Women in Business Award, 2013
  • Finalists for UVA Darden School of Business Tayloe Murphy Resilience Awards, 2013
  • Richmond’s Top 25 Growing Companies for All About Care, LLC, 2013
  • CancerLINC Ronne Jacobs Leadership Award, 2014
  • March of Dimes Nightingale Award, 2014
  • Richmond BizSense Generosity Inc. RVA’s Top Corporate Donor, 2014, 2015
  • Our Health Magazine’s Senior Care Awards 1st in Home Health and Speech Therapy and 2nd in Skilled Nursing and Stroke Care, 2015
  • ALS Achievement Award, Dine to Defeat ALS, 2015
  • Humanitarian of the Year Award by Bon Secours and Unity Christ Church, 2015
  • Our Health Magazine's Senior Living Awards 1st in Home Health and Speech Therapy and Honorable Mention in Skilled Nursing Care, 2016


Debbie Johnston formed a very special support group, Eunice’s Circle of Friends, after her mother passed away in 2006. This group is for any individual experiencing grief from the loss of a loved one.Read more

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Adoption Champion

As the Adoption Champion for Virginia, Debbie has a passion for helping children find their forever home.

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Caring Companies

Caring Companies

Debbie spreads her love and care through her companies.

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