Interested in Healthy Aging? Our Top Ten Tips Have You Covered!

Aging is a fact of life whether or not you believe “age is just a number” or “70 is the new 50.”

Healthy Aging Month—celebrated every September—was actually created more than 25 years ago when Baby Boomers started to turn 50, and no one wanted to discuss aging. Those boomers are now seniors, and there’s a wealth of evidence-based research demonstrating that lifestyle choices—often simple ones—can make a difference in preventing illness, maintaining health, and controlling chronic conditions.

Adults today are living longer, more active lives. And according to AARP, many seniors report following diet, exercise, and social habits that help maintain physical and mental health. With the firm belief that everyone can do better, Capital Caring Health offers our top 10 tips to help you and your loved ones celebrate health aging this month and every day of the year. Also, at the risk of repeating ourselves, many of our tips have a similar positive impact on major health problems, so they’re included multiple times. Read on:

  1. Eat Well

Eating a balanced diet plays a major role in maintaining your health, especially if you have a chronic condition such as diabetes or heart disease. By including fruit and vegetables, you’ll improve your energy and mood; adding high fiber foods help digestive and heart health.

An unhealthy diet can actually make your chronic conditions worse, along with stress and depression, so avoid eating too much processed food, saturated fat, sugar, and salt.

  1. Sleep Better

Sleep is essential to good physical and mental health and the converse is also true: being sleep deprived can affect weight, mood, stress, and cognitive health. Getting six to eight hours of sleep each night is important, but the quality of sleep also matters. You can improve your ability to get a good night’s sleep by not eating or drinking caffeine or alcohol too close to bedtime, by placing your phone out of reach and making your bedroom dark. And naps are best taken after lunch, for only twenty minutes or so.

  1. Just Move

Exercise boosts energy, reduces stress, helps improve mood and sleep and may also help control chronic conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. It can also help maintain muscle strength, flexibility and balance, all necessary for activities of daily living. Whether you walk or bike ride, have a seated exercise program or garden – it all adds up and helps. Older gardeners, for example, report better health status, increased physical functioning, reduced pain, and more.

  1. Go Outside

Getting fresh air and spending time in nature has clear benefits. Being outside—especially in green spaces—is a mood enhancer, increases energy levels, boosts the immune system and memory. Just 15 minutes outside improves vitamin D levels—often low in seniors—to benefit muscles, the colon, brain, and the immune system. Insufficient levels may cause muscle weakness and lead to falls. Also, older adults who exercise in green space have a lower stress level and likelihood of depression, plus improved mental function. Even watching nature—bird watching from your window, looking at a garden, or viewing a wildlife video—can deliver many of the same positive health benefits.

  1. Control Stress

Taming stress is essential to good physical and mental health; stress may worsen some chronic conditions. It has been linked to high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, insomnia, heartburn/indigestion, and an increased risk for heart disease. Managing stress is also key to avoiding unhealthy eating or drinking. Exercise, proper sleep, and mind-body practices all help as can talking to a friend or a professional. Choose activities that work best for you: walking your dog, listening to music, gardening, or Zooming with your grandchildren.

  1. Be Mindful

Learning to be mindful has a positive effect on a variety of health issues as it reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, reduces chronic pain, and alleviates gastrointestinal problems. The technique also improves sleep and mood, and is even used to treat heart disease. There are a variety of mind-body practices to try such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga. Additional activities that trigger your relaxation response include guided imagery and tai chi. You can learn more and develop a practice through the many video and audio options available online.

  1. Stay Connected

Social connection has a profound impact on many aspects of health — it strengthens the immune system, promotes a faster recovery from illness, and often, a longer life. People feel less anxious and depressed when they’re social. Conversely, a lack of social connection may have a greater impact on health than obesity, smoking, or high blood pressure. Staying in touch with family, friends and your community may be more challenging these days, but it will make you feel better. AARP recommends scheduling a phone call or online meet-up at least once a week.

  1. Find Purpose

Having purpose in your life makes a difference in how you feel. That might involve reading to your grandchildren, cooking a meal for a neighbor, or staying in touch with those feeling isolated during the pandemic. Many also find purpose in volunteering, along with physical and mental health benefits such as reduced stress and the likelihood of developing high blood pressure, and improved coping and thinking skills. Volunteers also report feeling healthier and better able to manage a chronic illness such as depression.

  1. Be Positive

Being positive about aging not only helps get you through the day, it improves health and longevity. There’s evidence it reduces stress, lowers your risk for heart disease, and may even reduce the risk of dementia. A good attitude about aging also leads to being more proactive about healthy choices and builds resilience against illness. Maintaining a positive outlook also calls for spending time with others who share your perspective.

  1. Get Care

Getting timely health care—even if you’re busy caring for others—is critical. The consequences of neglecting your health may result in an otherwise unnecessary trip to the emergency room or a hospital stay. While many patients are skipping doctor’s office visits during the pandemic, CCH’s Primary Care at Home (PCH) program assures you and your loved ones never miss needed services. The PCH program is designed to help elders maintain their dignity and independence by bringing full medical and social services to the home. The care team offers check-ups, real-time monitoring to control chronic conditions, and diagnostic testing—all using advanced mobile technology right in your own home.

Nobody ever said getting older was fun, but by following the CCH care tips, aging can be easier, healthier, and a lot more rewarding!

To learn more about PCH, or if you need advanced illness/palliative care or hospice services, call our 24 Hour Care Line at 800-869-2136.


Putting the Brakes on Pain

For most people, growing older means at least a few aches and pains. After years of wear and tear, joints deteriorate and stiffen, making certain activities more difficult and, in some cases, impossible. Other parts may not work quite as well as they used to, either, resulting in decreased stamina, increased shortness of breath, and other problems. Add a major, chronic illness or two into the mix—along with the unintended, and sometimes uncomfortable, consequences of many of today’s medical treatments—and you’ve got a recipe for misery.

In fact, pain affects an estimated 100 million in the U.S. alone. It is such a widespread problem, that there’s a special annual observance dedicated just to the symptom: September is Pain Awareness Month.

Pain Relief

Managing pain and discomfort is a major focus at Capital Caring Health (CCH). With more than four decades of experience caring for advanced illness (palliative care) and hospice care patients, we have a holistic approach that treats the whole person—physically, emotionally, and spiritually—anywhere along life’s path.

“Helping patients have a better day, a better quality of life, lies at the core of all we do,” says Michael Byas-Smith, MD, Medical Director for CCH’s Interventional Symptom Management Program and Capital Caring Health’s Center for Pain and Palliative Care. “Our commitment to relieving pain and discomfort starts with the most effective, conservative approaches and extends all the way to sophisticated, surgical interventions.”

Prior to joining CCH, Dr. Byas-Smith spent 22 years at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, as Director of the Winship Cancer Institute Cancer Pain Clinic.

The source of pain and discomfort for many of CCH’s patients arise from a serious or life-limiting condition. The most common medical conditions are cancer, followed by dementia, and co-occurring conditions including congestive heart failure, neuropathy, osteoarthritis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. According to the National Cancer Institute, nearly 80 percent of patients with advanced-stage cancer have moderate to severe pain that negatively affects their functional status and quality of life.

Compounding the problem are the side effects of drugs and treatments, which can produce new issues including swelling, nausea, shortness of breath, even depression.

Tackling Advanced Pain
Most symptom management begins in the home, where more than 90 percent of CCH palliative and hospice patients receive care. Each dedicated care team—composed of a physician, nurse practitioner, nurse, social worker and more—coordinates with the patient and family to make sure pain is treated and manageable.

When pain becomes more severe and the most common treatment—medication—is no longer effective, Dr. Byas-Smith and his staff can take management to the next level through one of CCH’s two clinic sites: the Center for Pain and Palliative Care in Aldie, Virginia, and Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C.

If possible, the team will first observe the patient to evaluate limitations, mobility problems, and other major issues that may affect treatment options and outcomes. They then use advanced imaging techniques to arrive at the most precise diagnosis and a targeted intervention for better pain control.

Specific interventions include:

  • Lymphedema therapy to relieve the pain from swollen, stretched, fluid-filled tissues, often the result of lymph node removal as in some cases of breast cancer.
  • Sympathetic nerve blocks and neurolytic procedures (another type of nerve block).
  • Intrathecal pump therapies, whereby an implanted pump delivers medication directly to the spinal cord.
  • Epidural and major joint injections to reduce pain and improve mobility.
  • Injections for axial spine fractures.
  • Ascites and pleural effusion management to treat fluid build-up that may accumulate in the lungs, chest cavity, and abdomen.

The result is often a superior approach to the long-term use of general oral or intravenous analgesic/pain relievers and opioids.

Clinical Trials and Research
In addition to seeing current Capital Caring Health patients at the two pain clinics, Dr. Byas-Smith also treats inpatients at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, INOVA’s Loudoun and Fair Oaks hospitals, Fauquier Health Hospital, Haymarket Medical Center and Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Virginia.

Patients receiving care from Dr. Byas-Smith may also be eligible to participate in a National Institutes of Health clinical trial evaluating the effectiveness of the drug resiniferatoxin to treat severe pain associated with advanced cancer.

“This could be a potential breakthrough in the way we treat pain in patients with advance-stage cancer,” Dr. Byas-Smith said. “The drug works by destroying pain fibers and is administered through a single injection into the spine.”

More information about this NIH clinical trial can be found here, including eligibility requirements for potential study participants.

Person-centered care
Care for physical pain may also include treatment for depression, emotional, and spiritual distress through our many types of counseling and support groups.

A focus on the “whole person” may be especially important for patients with dementia. Limiting noise and the number of different people who interact with the patient, evaluating his or her living situation and ability to communicate, and addressing other co-occurring illness are all part of managing pain and symptoms for this vulnerable group.

Regardless of the source, pain can affect every aspect of your life, from limiting simple daily activities such as mobility and the ability to sleep, to reducing your interest in family, friends, and other former sources of comfort and joy. Yet effective pain and symptom relief can help restore your quality of life so you can make the most of every moment you have with the people who matter the most to you.

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If you are a CCH palliative care or hospice patient, make sure to let your care team know about any pain and/or worsening pain. Even if you are not a CCH patient, you can still benefit from our expertise with interventional pain management. To learn more, call 800-869-2136 or click here.


Rachael Weaver joins CCH as Director of Volunteer and Community Engagement

We’re pleased to welcome Rachael Weaver back to Capital Caring Health as the new Director of Volunteer and Community Engagement.

Rachael brings more than a decade of talent and experience as she takes on this role. She most recently worked as a Training Coordinator where she managed an employee-based training program and developed training assessments for an international manufacturing company.

Prior to that role, Rachael was Volunteer Services Coordinator working alongside our Capital Caring Health Team in Aldie for three years.

She also has experience in curriculum development, facilitation, leadership development, and program management and holds several certifications including: Certified Professional in Training Management and Managing Learning Technologies.

Rachael is fluent in Spanish and holds a Spanish Bilingual Interpreter Certification. We are looking forward to her working closely with our Center for Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity to provide support to better educate our Hispanic neighborhoods, including individuals who speak mostly Spanish, on all of our care services which is a key focus area of The Center.

“We’re thrilled to have Rachael back at Capital Caring Health and look forward to her leadership as she joins with our team of Volunteer Managers throughout Capital Caring Health and partner with our 1,000-plus community volunteers who play a key role in the care and support that we provide to patients and their families,” said Sue Boris, Chief of Clinical Operations.


Capital Caring Health Provides Free Ice Cream Break to Oncology and Hospice Patients and their Families

September 2, 2020 – Washington, D.C. – Thanks to a generous grant made possible by The Washington Home’s Duff Ice Cream Trust, oncology patients at Sibley Memorial Hospital and hospice patients at Capital Caring Health’s (CCH) Inpatient Center in Northeast Washington will be able to enjoy free, unlimited ice cream treats to help ease the side effects of their medical condition, like dry mouth, and lift their spirits.

“We are so excited to be able to deliver these sweet treats to our patients, their families, and our staff,” said Rodney Smith, Associate Executive Director, CCH’s Inpatient Center Northeast.

“In some cases, it is difficult to find a food that is easily consumed by some of our patients who are dealing with the side effects of medical conditions, including dryness of the mouth, difficulty swallowing or chewing,” Smith added.  “Many of our patients find that the smooth texture and numerous ice cream flavor offerings is just what the doctor ordered.”

Furthermore, research also shows that ice cream can be beneficial for cancer patients by helping them manage side effects from cancer and cancer treatment including: weight loss, sore mouth, and changes in taste and smell. In addition to caring for patients with cancer, Capital Caring Health also provides advanced illness care for individuals with various other chronic illnesses, and ice cream can have the same therapeutic effects for them as well.

Berliner Specialty Distributor is providing the ice cream, which is being stocked in freezers located at both facilities. Ice cream will be replenished as needed.

Oncology and hospice patients are grateful for the convenient treats and their families are thankful to share a special moment with their loved ones while also enjoying a sweet, refreshing ice cream treat.

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About Capital Caring Health

Capital Caring Health is one of the largest non-profit providers of elder health, advanced illness, hospice, and at-home care services for the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. area. We provide quality care where people live, supporting dignified, independent aging. For more information, visit capitalcaring.org or call our 24-Hour Care Line at 1-800-869-2136.


Director of Community Relations Named to Bolster CCH’s Outreach Throughout Mid-Atlantic Region

Special focus on raising awareness in underserved areas

Falls Church, VA August 20, 2020 -  Corie Bacher, M.A., has been named Director of Community Relations at Capital Caring Health (CCH). In this new role, Corie will lead CCH’s efforts in raising community awareness and providing education and resources about the benefits of hospice and advanced illness care –  especially in those areas that are underserved and under-represented.

Additionally, Corie will help promote services available from Capital Caring Health related to hospice and the full continuum of care within advanced illness.

“Raising awareness and educating the community about the benefits of hospice and advance illness care has been at the cornerstone of Capital Caring Health’s mission for 40-plus years,” said Tom Koutsoumpas, Capital Caring Health President and CEO.

In her new role as Director of Community Relations, Corie will expand our current outreach efforts by bringing her passion for activating community partners to develop and maintain community relationships in support of CCH’s mission of providing the highest quality care and serving those with advanced illness to include their families and caregivers.”

Corie joined Capital Caring Health in 2019 as Manager of Community and Volunteer Engagement in Fredericksburg, Virginia. In that role, Corie led a team of nearly 100 volunteers who provide support and companionship to hospice patients and family members.

Prior to joining CCH, Corie served for several years as a middle school science teacher, winning innovation and best teacher awards. She also motivated and trained high school students as the cross-country coach for both young women and men.

In addition to her previous role as an educator, Corie also brings the practical perspectives of a realtor and insurance agent where she developed relationships at the individual and community level.  From these experiences, she brings a broad perspective on cultivating community relationships with a variety of stakeholders to include businesses, community leaders, civic and not-for-profit organizations.

Originally from Maine, Corie moved to the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area in 2002. She earned a Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Chapman University, and she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from St. Joseph’s College.

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About Capital Caring Health

Capital Caring Health is one of the largest non-profit provider of elder health, advanced illness, hospice, and at-home care services for the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. area. We provide quality care where people live, supporting dignified, independent aging. For more information, visit capitalcaring.org or call our 24-Hour Care Line at 1-800-869-2136.

Contact: Amy Shields
Director, Strategic Communications
ashields@capitalcairng.org


Honor an Everyday Hero & Join us at the 2020 Passion for Caring Gala on October 3

As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc nationwide, day-to-day life as we once knew it has changed dramatically. From where, how, and even if, we work… to how we shop, socialize, and school our children, it’s a brave new world for most of us.

But not for all.

For a stalwart group of healthcare workers and first responders…retail and service providers…social justice advocates, volunteers, and others, life goes on pretty much as before, but with the added threat of coronavirus.

These essential workers care for the sick, stock warehouses and stores, pick up garbage, drive buses, prepare meals, deliver mail and needed supplies, provide for the homeless and more, every day. In the midst of a pandemic, they stay on the job – often behind the scenes – allowing the rest of us to retreat to the relative safety of home.

Others volunteer, helping short-staffed food banks distribute groceries to hundreds of waiting and hungry families. Some use their new-found “leisure” time to make and distribute face masks for free. Still others help isolated seniors by running errands or connecting through phone calls and virtual visits, cards and letters.

Such people are keeping our individual worlds—and entire communities—up and running. And in the process of helping us, they often put themselves and their own families at risk.

Capital Caring Health believes that each and every one of these community-minded individuals is a hero, worthy of our appreciation and recognition. And while it’s impossible to acknowledge them all—other than thanking them in person every time we come in contact—we can call attention to the good deeds of a select few through our 2020 Passion for Caring Gala set for Saturday, October 3.

In fact, the theme for this year’s annual fundraiser is “Honoring the Everyday Heroes Among Us.” And we’re counting on you for help.

If you know of someone you think deserves recognition for their contributions during COVID-19, we’d love to hear from you! Visit capitalcaring.org/gala to nominate someone who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in one of three categories:

  • Healthcare;
  • Community (grocery, delivery, and other frontline workers);
  • Social justice (advocate, community leader, etc.).

Each week, we’ll select one nominee from each group whose words and actions best exemplify dedication, commitment, and caring during the current crisis. Winners will be announced on our website and receive $500 as an extra thanks for their efforts.

During the Oct. 3 online Gala, three top nominations will be presented with the 2020 Passion for Caring Award.

In addition to honoring these unsung heroes, the Gala also will raise funds to help CCH patients who have been affected by coronavirus and its impact.

Throughout the Gala weekend, community members will be able to support Capital Caring Health’s COVID-19 recovery efforts by participating in an online auction and pledge drive which will help CCH cover unexpected, virus-related expenses, such as PPE for frontline staff, expanded grief support and mental health services, emergency children’s hospice and pediatric program needs, technology to enable telehealth visits, and more.

Topping the list is replenishing the Patient Support Fund, which assures that no patient is ever turned away due to the lack of ability to pay. And with coronavirus-related loss of jobs and insurance coverage reaching record levels, such support is needed now more than ever.

Here’s just a sampling of what your gift can do:

  • $25 – Feed a hospice patient at risk for food insecurity with a day’s worth of nutritious meals delivered to the home.
  • $50 – Help a child play and forget about being sick, through an age-appropriate “toy box” filled with books, games, stuffed animals, and other diversions for our youngest patients.
  • $100 – Purchase a tablet to connect a patient to expert medical care, family and friends, and music and other forms of therapies, from the safety of home and without needing a computer.
  • $150 – Provide a patient with a simple kit that, in real time, monitors blood pressure, oxygen levels, blood sugar, and other key indicators of health and helps keep them at home and out of the hospital.
  • $500 – Fund three days of care for an uninsured or underinsured patient.

This year’s Gala is free, virtual, and open to the public. In addition to announcing the hero awardees, the program will include messages from CCH’s President and CEO Tom Koutsoumpas, as well as Gala Chairs, WebMD’s Chief Medical Officer, John H. Whyte, MD, MPH; and Alisa Valudes Whyte, Senior Partner and CEO of the Merritt Group.

We hope you’ll join us in turning the spotlight on some of our everyday heroes, even as we raise funds to help those in our care. In our book, you’ll be a hero, too!

To nominate your hero and to sign up to virtually attend the free gala, click here.


How to Take a Summer Vacation Without Leaving Your Home

It’s a good bet that you and your family could probably use a vacation about now. But unless you own an island, or more likely, a beach house or mountain cabin, chances are you’re not going anywhere, anytime soon. COVID-19 has up-ended both everyday activities and long-planned events.

Yet vacations have established benefits—relaxation, stress reduction, and stimulating our brains through fresh, new experiences. So during this summer of our discontent, Capital Caring Health (CCH) wants to help you to take the trip of your dreams. And the only thing you need to  pack is your imagination!

Organizations around the world have stepped up to create or enhance an opportunity for you to “travel” through a virtual experience. You can still learn about a new culture, watch wildlife in real-time, or go on an adventure you’d never actually try IRL! And given your only flight this summer is likely a “flight of fancy,” there are no lines, no crowds, and no limits. So, dive in (just imagine the water is warm!) and your well-being and outlook will benefit, we promise!

No Passport Required

While all of us are temporarily on the “no-fly” list to Europe, you can still go anywhere you want, virtually. Viking TV offers short films that showcase scenery, history, and often local life with Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa, Shetland Ponies of Shetland Islands, great gardens of the world, including Monet’s favorite at Giverny, France, and more from Europe, Asia and Russia. Be sure to check the site frequently as new episodes are released weekly.

The site also recommends films, books and music, that are evocative of a place from one of its world-wide itineraries. And if Europe isn’t exotic enough, there’s always the Galapagos Islands, Bali or the West Indies

Is art and culture on your list? Then this comprehensive website is your gateway to many world-famous museums, including the Louvre, Guggenheim or British Museum. Global historic sites such as the Taj Mahal are also featured.

Nature Lovers, Rejoice! 

If you love the great outdoors and live near nature, you already know firsthand how “forest or nature bathing”—the Japanese-coined term for spending time under a canopy of trees—can improve one’s mood and well-being. However, if your closest nature destination is not open or too-long a car ride, you can still virtually visit the country’s best-known spots for hiking and camping.

The National Park Service offers a wide variety of virtual tours from Crater Lake in Oregon, one of the deepest lakes in the world, to Yellowstone National Park. Or, take a virtual hike in the Grand Canyon which, given daily temperatures of 115 degrees at this time of year, may be both safer and more enjoyable from the comforts of your home. You can also escape urban noise by listening to bird song, tree frogs, rustling leaves, rushing streams and other sounds from national parks.

To get up close and personal with some real wildlife, watch brown bears during their busy season—summer—from a safe distance via three live webcams at Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska.

Backyard Camping

If camping is part of what you’re missing—and you have your own outdoor space—you can approximate the experience at home. Think about getting that sleeping bag and/or tent out of the garage and sleeping under the stars.

Campfire food is usually part of the charm, so make the most of it with s’mores! If you were ever a girl scout, boy scout or went to camp as a kid, this dessert—the best campfire food of all time—will take you to a place long ago and far away, no ticket required. Here’s the original 1927 Girl Scout recipe plus 6 variations to try. And if you’re one of those people that thinks it’s necessary to eat dinner before dessert, check out these 31 incredibly easy camping recipes from Epicurious.

Vacations for Foodies 

Nothing replaces actually sitting at a Parisian café or dining on a restaurant’s outdoor terrace overlooking the sea. Until that’s possible again, many international chefs are offering free online cooking classes from their home or restaurant kitchen.

National Geographic lists such classes in Lockdown Lessons: Cooking Tutorials from Global Chefs, available on Instagram or You Tube. Offerings include a daily class from a Michelin-starred Italian chef, an Indian chef and former winner of the Great British Bake-Off, and home cooking recipes from a group of 5-star chefs.

Additional free classes from some of the world’s best-known chefs, including José Andrés, baker Christina Tosi, and US-based David Chang are described in this guide from Conde Nast Traveler.

Raise a Glass through Virtual Wine Tasting

If you love wine and learning about new wineries, varietals and vintages, wineries are making it easy for you through live virtual tastings and other events. Often led by winery owners or winemakers, here’s a list and description of virtual tastings in California’s Napa Valley. Or, check out this Napa winery events calendar for tastings, chef cooking classes and concerts. Some events are free while others incur a fee based upon experience, such as ordering wine in advance of a tasting.

For fans of Sonoma wines, many wineries are offering individual or small group virtual tastings with the winemaker. To help guide your decision of where to “visit,” a wine and travel writer offers her list of the best of virtual Sonoma wine tastings with detailed descriptions.

Looking for Adventure?

Part of the appeal of a virtual vacation is that it doesn’t have to be a trip you would actually take—for whatever reason—just one you find interesting or exciting. Here are few wild places to experience from the safety of your armchair:

After all that exertion, chill out afterwards by looking at photos of the 20 most beautiful beaches in the world.

A Room with a View

For a brief change of scenery, you can swap views with people all over the world—from Australia to Istanbul, Oslo to Singapore, and Toronto to Long Island. Views vary from treetops and urban skylines to verdant valleys and backyards. You can even submit your own view to share with others.


$30K Donation from The EagleForce Warrior Foundation Provides Funding to Launch Capital Caring Health’s So No One Dies Alone Program for Veterans

Falls Church, Virginia - July 29, 2020 -  The EagleForce Warrior Foundation has donated $30,000 to Capital Caring Health supporting the organization’s So No One Dies Alone Program for Veterans and their families.

Through The EagleForce Warrior Foundation’s signature Vet Jets Program, private and commercial air travel will be provided to families of Armed Forces Veterans nearing the end of life to be at the bedside of their loved one. The grant will also cover ground transportation expenses and is available to families who do not have the financial resources to cover travel expenses.

“We are extremely honored to partner with The EagleForce Warrior Foundation and provide this unique program to our nation’s Veterans. The So No One Dies Alone Program will allow families the opportunity to spend final moments together with their loved one, bring joy, and reduce loneliness as they near the end of life,” said Tom Koutsoumpas, President & CEO, Capital Caring Health.

The importance of family members, loved ones, or simply another human being at the bedside of a dying individual can’t be understated, and a family member or loved one’s presence at the bedside of a dying individual is something that is deeply valued and cherished. In some cases, patients hold on for several days as they wait for a visit from a loved one to share one last special connection.

Founded in 2018, The EagleForce Warrior Foundation was established to support wounded, ill and injured military service members and their extended families.

“We recognize the sacrifices made by our military and their families, and we’re proud to be a part of this new program ensuring our Veteran heroes are surrounded by the compassionate presence of another human being as they near the end of life,” said Cheryl Campbell, CEO, The EagleForce Warrior Foundation.

The So No One Dies Alone Program is integral to Capital Caring Health’s mission to provide patients and their families with advanced illness care of the highest quality. The program centers on ensuring our nation’s heroes the dignity and solace at the end of life that can best be found in the compassionate presence of another human being.

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About Capital Caring Health
Capital Caring Health is one of the leading nonprofit providers of elder health, hospice, and advanced illness care for persons of all ages in the mid-Atlantic region. A member of a national network of 70 nonprofit hospice providers, our mission is to provide patients and their families with advanced illness care that is second to none. We also have special hospice teams serving children and veterans. On an annual basis, we serve over 7,000 hospice patients and provide more than $3 million in charity care to those who are uninsured and have nowhere else to turn. Almost 90 cents out of every dollar goes to caring for patients and their families.

The website, capitalcaring.org, is available in English, Spanish, and Korean plus offers 24/7 Live Chat. Since the beginning of hospice care over 40 years ago, we have served 120,000 patients and their families in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
24 Hour Care Line: 800-869-2136

About The EagleForce Warrior Foundation
The EagleForce Warrior Foundation was established to support our wounded, ill and injured military service members and their extended families. The Foundation’s Mission is veterans helping veterans in their time of need and reuniting families during a crisis. We know how important support is to the warrior community after a traumatic event. Our signature VETJET program provides ground and air transportation to our military veterans and their family members during a medical crisis. Air transport includes private transport and commercial flights to bring family members to the bedside of their loved ones.

We also offer transition services to our Veteran community for employment, internships, apprenticeships, education and career counseling.

Visit www.eagleforcewarrior.org for more information, or call 703-481-4858 or 571-217-0650.


Keith Everett Named to Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Board of Examiners for 2020

Falls Church, Virginia - July 24, 2020 - The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has named Keith Everett, Chief Officer for Performance, Compliance, and Cultural Operations at Capital Caring Health, to the Board of Examiners for the 2020 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Appointed by the NIST Director, examiners are responsible for reviewing and evaluating applications submitted for the Baldrige Award, the nation’s highest honor for organizational innovation and performance excellence.

The examiner board is composed of more than 325 leading experts competitively selected from industry, professional, trade, education, health care, and nonprofit (including government) organizations from across the United States. Those selected meet the highest standards of qualification and peer recognition, demonstrating competencies related to customer focus, communication, ethics, action orientation, team building, and analytical skills.

“We are so proud of Keith for this major accomplishment,” said Tom Koutsoumpas, President and CEO, Capital Caring Health. “Keith is a valued member of the Capital Caring Health team. The work that he has done to lead our performance excellence initiatives for the past six years has played a vital role in our ability to provide the highest quality care to our patients.”

Keith holds a Master of Science in Business and Healthcare Administration and he is certified in Lean Six Sigma and Public Health Quality with more than 15 years of comprehensive health care operational and quality improvement experience. He is also a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, National Association for Healthcare Quality and the American Society of Quality.

In addition to his role as Chief Officer for Performance, Compliance, and Cultural Operations at CCH, he also serves as co-lead of CCH’s new Center for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity which was recently established to address disparities in hospice utilization among minority groups including: African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans as well as the LGBTQ community.

Keith commented on his new appointment, “I’m honored to be a part of a distinguished group of individuals working together to make significant contributions to drive organizational performance excellence across the United States.”

Named after Malcolm Baldrige, the 26th Secretary of Commerce, the Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987. Awards may be given annually to organizations in each of six categories: manufacturing, service, small business, education, health care, and nonprofit. The Award promotes innovation and excellence in organizational performance, recognizes the achievements and results of U.S. organizations, and publicizes successful performance strategies.

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About Capital Caring Health

Capital Caring Health is the largest non-profit provider of elder health, advanced illness, hospice, and at-home care services for the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. area. We provide quality care where people live, supporting dignified, independent aging. For more information, visit capitalcaring.org or call our 24-Hour Care Line at 1-800-869-2136.


CCH Patient Advocate Has Been a Staple at Washington Nationals Games for 15 years...And the reason why may surprise you…

"It’s a pretty cool job.”

That is how Capital Caring Health’s Keith Staples describes his job with the 2019 Major League Baseball World Champions, The Washington Nationals. And he’s been a staple (pun intended) at the Nats games for 15 years

In addition to working as a Patient Advocate at Capital Caring Health, on game days, Keith is the scoreboard operator for the Washington Nationals.

He recently received a World Championship ring during a virtual ceremony. His name is inscribed on one side of the ring along with – of course – Fight Finished inscribed on the opposite side.

According to Keith, when he started with the Nats in 2005, he had no idea his run as the scorekeeper would last for more than a decade.

“There’s a certain mental acuity that it takes to do this job,” Keith said. “With every pitch, I have to be on top of it.”

In his role as a patient advocate, Keith is responsible fostering relationships with hospitals, senior communities, assisted living and medical professionals to help ensure patients who are eligible for hospice and advance illness care have access to Capital Caring Health services.

And on Nats Game Days, Keith heads to the ballpark.

Keith fondly remembers a mishap with the scoreboard during a playoff game on a chilly October evening. “I was nervous, and it was cold. I added an extra run to the scoreboard and the radio announcer fondly said, ‘well now the scoreboard is predicting scores,’ and you know what, that run actually came in shortly after my mishap.”

“All of my friends know what I do, and sometimes after games that will ask, ‘hey what happened in the 4th inning’.”

Even so, he hasn’t tired of posting the number of balls and strikes, outs, errors, and runs scored – while also watching some of the world’s greatest baseball players standing in the diamond or hanging out in the dugout.

“I saw Jason Werth’s walk off against the Cardinals in the 2012 Playoff, and I was there for Stephen Strasburg’s first game.”

Keith has also witnessed two no hitters and has worked every Playoff game, the All Star Game in 2018 and, of course, the World Series last year!

“It’s a really fun job,” he said. “I have enjoyed it over the years.”