Capital Caring Celebrates 40th Anniversary by Honoring the Past and Looking to the Future

By Malene Davis

This year, Capital Caring — the largest and oldest hospice and palliative care provider in the mid-Atlantic region — celebrates our 40th anniversary.

For four decades, Capital Caring, a nonprofit, community-based organization, has simply improved care for more than 102,000 moms, dads, and children living with advanced illnesses.

As we all know, when an individual faces a terminal or life-limiting illness, every single moment counts. Capital Caring’s 1,800 volunteers and staff dedicate their time, resources, and energy each day to ensure every person under our care finds the opportunities they need to create treasured moments and build lasting memories with their loved ones.

Entering this milestone 40th year, Capital Caring is proud of the monumental strides we have taken — and looks forward to all we still plan to achieve.

What began in 1977 as a small team of committed volunteers has grown beyond our wildest dreams. Capital Caring is now a regional network of world-class hospice and palliative care neighborhood offices with care centers that span more than 17,000 square miles across Maryland, Virginia, Washington, DC, and West Virginia.

Capital Caring’s large and diverse staff now serves nearly 1,300 patients on a daily basis, regardless of the patients’ age, illness, or where they call home.

Just as the mid-Atlantic region is a diverse one, our patients needs vary — from those who seek pain relief and palliative care stemming from advanced illness, to those with only a short window left in this life.

It is both an honor and a blessing to care for each and every individual who comes through our doors.

As a nonprofit, Capital Caring serves patients who need access to high-quality care — regardless of their ability to pay. At Capital Caring, we believe that each patient deserves the opportunity to focus on their journey with hope and compassion.

Capital Caring has long been guided by a mission to simply improve care for our patients.

This guiding principle is the foundation of all that we do, and it drives the core tenets of quality and innovation that are our organization’s hallmarks. Ultimately, it is what sets us apart from other hospice and palliative care providers — and helped to make us an industry leader in innovation in hospice care.

At Capital Caring, we constantly seek the next round of innovations. In fact, we opened the very first inpatient center in Virginia in 1982 — Capital Caring’s Halquist Center in Arlington, Virginia.

While a vast majority of our care is provided in our patients’ homes, we recognize that the home is not always an ideal environment. Capital Caring is proud to offer more than 50 acute care inpatient beds in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. These beds are located in four facilities that provide 24/7, round-the-clock acute care to those individuals whose symptoms cannot be managed at home.

Capital Caring’s dedication to simply improving care pushed us to launch our highly successful TeleCaring service in 2011.

Our premier TeleCaring service consists of twice-daily, proactive calls to each patient’s home, so that we are aware of any changes in a patient’s needs — even when our clinical teams are not present.

This innovative method of outreach ensures our patients and their caregivers have an extra layer of support through a team of access specialists that proactively call patients and their families every day, which empowers these caregivers to rapidly respond to potential issues and quickly provide needed supplies and equipment.

Capital Caring also recognizes and celebrates the special bond that exists between individuals and their pets — they are an adored part of our families.

That is why we launched our “Pet Peace of Mind” program in 2015 to ensure our patients’ companion pets are cared for, which removes stress and allows our patients to focus on their own needs.

See, even as we celebrate and reflect on the progress, achievements, and innovations that Capital Caring has experienced throughout our 40-year history, as CEO of this vital nonprofit, I am already looking ahead to our next 40 years.

What brought me to Capital Caring 10 years ago is the same motivation that keeps me coming back each day, each year — I look at myself as a passionate advocate for hospice and palliative care.

For nearly three decades, I have dedicated my career to supporting and advancing the hospice and palliative care industry to continue innovating and aiming high in our quest to provide the best, most cutting-edge medical care and services to our patients.

I’ve said before, and over the next year I’ll continue to reiterate: the possibilities for improvements to hospice and palliative care are endless.

Like any industry, we must remain forward-thinking and proactive, and as we look to our next 40 years, Capital Caring is more determined than ever to expand the reach of our mission to simply improve care for those facing life-limiting illness through direct support of patients and their families, public education, and public advocacy.

We hope you will visit our website, attend our events, volunteer and/or visit our inpatient centers to learn more about the valuable work we do in your community.

That is what Capital Caring strives to be — a member of your community, your inner circle.

Throughout this year, we will highlight the stories of some of our caregivers, volunteers, professionals, patients, and our patients’ loved ones. Our goal is to share these precious moments and lasting memories we have helped to create — and to fuel the conversation for what comes next.

We look forward to the next 40 years of simply improving care.

Malene Davis is President & CEO of Capital Caring, the largest nonprofit hospice provider in the mid-Atlantic region.