Austin History Center

Girling Health Care Records

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Girling Health Care
Title: Girling Health Care Records
Dates: 1969-2007
Abstract: The collection highlights the business operations of Girling Health Care from its founding in 1967 until it was acquired by Harden Healthcare in 2007.
Identification: AR.2008.004
Quantity: 1.8 linear feet (4 document boxes and 1 artifacts box)
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe, PO Box 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Administrative History

Girling Health Care was founded in 1967 by Bettie and Bob Girling in Austin, Texas as a non-profit agency. Bob and Bettie Girling were graduates from the University of Texas Graduate School of Social Work and once working in the field recognized a need for home health care. In the beginning Bettie ran Girling from her home while Bob worked as a field instructor for the Graduate School of Social Work at UT. The Girlings, who were considered pioneers in the home health field, wanted people to have the right to heal at home whenever possible. Using a team approach, they implemented a comprehensive plan to home health and other home-based services. During the 1970s and 1980s they expanded the business across Texas and into Tennessee, Louisiana, Missouri and Oklahoma. In 2003 Girling provided homebound healthcare to more than 15,000. By 2007 Girling expanded it business to serve between 22,000 and 25,000 clients. This has expanded today to include nursing, rehabilitation, social services and living assistance services, with operations in nine states. The company was acquired by the Austin-based Harden Healthcare in 2007, which also offers a continuum of care for seniors.

Scope and Contents

Approximately half of the collection consisted of binders assembled by the donor with information about Girling Health Care arranged chronologically from 1965-2007. The scrapbook material was removed from the 3-ring binders and placed in folders by year. The Scrapbook Materials series offers insight into almost all aspects of the organization and includes brochures, newspaper clippings, photographs, certificates, marketing materials, administrative materials and correspondence. The Administrative Records series includes agency and personnel policies as well as personnel records. Also present is a limited amount of correspondence, meeting minutes, printed materials. The marketing materials include copies of advertising found in newspapers and magazines as well as fans, a telephone book cover, a rubber jar opener, a sewing kit and an embroidered hand towel that all display the Girling Health Care name.

Also documented in the collection is the intellectual property slogan challenge from Advantage Home Care, Inc in January of 2006. Advantage Home Care claimed that Girling Healthcare adopted a new slogan "It's Good to be Back Home" and was infringing on their intellectual property rights. Included in the Intellectual Property Slogan Challenge series is the correspondence between the attorneys for Advantage Home Care and Girling Health Care. Additionally there is .20 linear feet of marketing examples that show Girling Health Care's continuous use of the slogan in its promotional and advertising material since the late 1960s.

The Published Materials series includes two newsletters published by Girling Health Care. Also included are two patient handbooks.


The collection is arranged into 4 series:
I. Scrapbook Materials and Photographs
II. Administrative Records
III. Intellectual Property Slogan Challenge
IV. Published Materials


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Girling, Bettie J.
Girling, Robert G. W., III
Girling and Associates Home Health Services, Inc.
Girling Home Health.
Girling Health Care.
Austin (Tex.)
Home Care Services.
Document Types:
Marketing materials
Newspaper clippings
Administrative records

Separated Material


  • Girling Health Reporter
  • Girling

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Donated by company founder Bettie J. Girling.

Preferred Citation

Girling Health Care Records (AR.2008.004). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/2008/005

Donation Date: 2008 January

Processing Information

Finding aid and encoding by Molly Hults and Beth Bokros/2009

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Scrapbook Materials and Photographs, 1965-2007

Box Folder
1 1-22 Scrapbook materials, 1965-1987
Box Folder
2 1-18 Scrapbook materials, 1988-2007
19 Photographs, 1984-2000, undated

II. Administrative Records, 1969-2007

Box Folder
2 20 Assorted, 1980-1984, 2007, undated
21 Correspondence, 1982, 1985
22 Manuals, 1996
23 Marketing materials, 1984-1986, 1998-2004, undated
Location BoxItem
qAR 049/078 Oversized marketing materials, 1991
Location Box
Artifacts 103 Marketing materials, undated
Box Folder
2 24 Meeting minutes - textual, 1976
25 Meeting minutes - audiocassettes, 2002
26 Mission and operation plan, 1991, undated
27 Personnel, 1969-1989, undated
Box Folder
3 1-3 Policies, 1969-1979
4 Printed materials, 1985-1987, undated

III. Intellectual Property Slogan Challenge,

Box Folder
3 5 Correspondence, 2006
6-22 Legal case marketing examples, 1976-2006

IV. Published Materials, 1982-2006

Box Folder
4 1 Girling Health Care News (employee newsletter), 1982-1996
2 Girling Hospice, 2003-2006
3 Patient handbooks, 1984