40 for 40 Stories of Compassion

40 for 40: Brenda Skrobialowski's Story

My niece was admitted to your services on January 25, 2018. We did not receive help obtaining medications for pain. We were left scrambling around trying to locate these difficult to find medications. Finally we were able to locate them. The nurse came out and was there when my niece arrived home from the hospital. I acted as her nurse since I am a hospice nurse. I managed her pain and IV fluid to keep her alive until our family could get to her bedside. We had been told at the hospital that continuous care was not available as there was a waiting list. in my 20+ years as a hospice RN I have never heard that continuous care has not been available when needed. I left the home when she went into a coma as we were anticipating. I had little sleep in the two days prior to this. She passed away 15 minutes after I left. The family called your company as I instructed them. The nurse came and pronounced her. She did not remove her urinary catheter or her Huber needle from her medport. She did not bath her. She did not destroy medications. She left the home after telling the family they could call the funeral home. She did not even offer to remain with the family until my nieces body was removed. I have let the doctor who referred us to your company know about the lack of care and consideration we received. I have let other nurses who work in your area know of your poor performance. I did call to complain the morning my niece passed. I received a bunch of excuses and absolutely no apology. There is no way to undo the bad experience my family had that morning. The last moments of our nieces being with us.


November is National Hospice Month

holdinghandsEvery day of every week, Capital Caring’s dedicated physicians, nurses, social workers, counselors, and volunteers provide world-class compassionate care to 1,200 men, women, and children throughout our ever-growing service area. But as we enter November and recognize National Hospice Month, it is important to not only appreciate how far we have come since our founding nearly 40 years ago, but also to recognize how many people with advanced illness suffer needlessly simply due to a lack of awareness of what hospice is and what it can provide.

We are grateful that Congress’ foresight more than 30 years ago recognized the unique needs faced by individuals facing advanced illness and created the Medicare Hospice Benefit, a program that provides for hospice services nationwide. It is because of the Medicare Hospice Benefit that a vast majority of Capital Caring’s services are provided at no cost to patients or their families. In fact, Capital Caring never turns away patients due to an inability to pay for care; our Patient Care Fund provides nearly $3 million every year to support patients with no resources. We are thankful for the countless individuals, foundations, and corporations who support our Patient Care Fund.

What keeps many of our clinical staff awake at night is the knowledge that so many people who need hospice care are not accessing it, usually because of a lack of knowledge of what hospice can provide. Hospice is so much more than care for the dying, and National Hospice Month gives us an opportunity to share the good news that these services provide hope, comfort, and relief from pain, stress, and anxiety. Capital Caring focuses on what matters most to each of our patients and gives them the comfort to live every day, cherishing time spent with friends, family members, and loved ones. Some patients who are suffering may be more focused on pain relief, while others might appreciate attending a grandchild’s piano recital or joining a family gathering.

Throughout National Hospice Month, we will be sharing information about hospice and about our specialized services. Please do not hesitate to call Capital Caring to learn more, or if you or a loved one might be in need of the care we provide. No matter when you need us – whether it is 3pm or 3am – your call will be answered by one of our compassionate staff members seeking to help us fulfill our mission to simply improve care.


Capital Caring Welcomes New Physicians

Jordan A. Keene, MD has joined Capital Caring’s Arlington, Virginia neighborhood care team. The Arlington neighborhood currently serves nearly 200 patients and families every day. Prior to joining Capital Caring, Dr. Keene practiced Internal Medicine at the New England Sinai Hospital and Lemuel Shattuck Hospital. Most recently, Dr. Keene completed his Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. His research and scholarly projects – Increasing POLST Completion in High Risk Patients and ICE Utilization in Terminally Ill Cancer Patients – will enable him to serve the Arlington community. Dr. Keene's personal interests include fly fishing, landscape photography, playing ukulele and national parks.

Elizabeth Phan, MD has joined the Alexandria, Virginia neighborhood care team. The Alexandria neighborhood currently serves nearly 150 patients and families every day. Prior to joining Capital Caring, Dr. Phan served as an Assistant Professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond. During her tenure at VCU, Dr. Phan staffed the inpatient palliative care consults and unit as well as treating patients in the palliative care clinic. Dr. Phan chaired the committee charged to develop guidelines and a standardized protocol for prescribing opioids in the outpatient setting at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center. Dr. Phan’s personal interests involve volunteering as a sports medicine physical volunteer at local universities.


Capital Caring featured in the Washington Post for quality care

Excerpts from today's Washington Post:

Some families offer almost reverential praise for the services they have received... take, for example, Robert Campopiano of Falls Church, Va. Years ago, both of his parents received hospice care. So did his mother-in-law. At 74, stricken with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, Campopiano received hospice care from Capital Caring, a large nonprofit provider in the Washington region.

"Every experience we've had with hospice has been wonderful," his wife, Lynn, said.

No hospice is perfect, however. It is an inherently human enterprise, and even good hospices can make mistakes. Capital Caring makes some extra attempts to avoid them. It has created a call center from which operators can call every patient once or twice a day.

The Campopianos get a call every morning between 9 and 10 from the hospice to check his status. During one of the morning calls, Lynn reported a stomach problem. Another time, she reported that Robert seemed more dependent on the oxygen machine. Both times, the hospice sent out a nurse or another staff member to check in.

Lynn said, "If I needed someone in the middle of the night, I know they'd be there."

To read more from this article, "Quality of U.S. hospices varies, patients left in dark," visit https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/quality-of-us-hospices-varies-patients-left-in-dark/2014/10/26/aa07b844-085e-11e4-8a6a-19355c7e870a_story.html


The Adler Center for Caring Opening its Doors Soon!

Capital Caring is enthusiastically preparing to expand our inpatient care capacity in order to help more families in the Loudoun area access excellent care. In 2012 we broke ground on the new Adler Center for Caring on the Van Metre Campus. And now, we are building it! This beautiful, state-of-the-art facility will provide patient-focused services in a home-like setting, using advanced treatment, monitoring, and care-support technologies.

January 9, 2014:  The Adler Center for Caring on the Van Metre Campus is nearing completion.  The exterior/interior detail is what gives this facility the "homey" feeling.

 

October 9, 2013: The Adler Center for Caring on the Van Metre
campus is in its final stages of completion. This photo shows newly painted siding in a welcoming shade of yellow. The windows on the left are the country kitchen. And on the far right, French doors connect 3 patient  rooms to what will become beautiful patios.
July 3, 2013: The windows and doors are going in and the roof
is almost complete on the Adler Center for Caring.
June 26, 2013: This photo was taken from the green roof garden, looking toward the living room. The roof shingles are going up, windows are being installed, and we anticipate
asphalt in the front parking lot next week.
June 26, 2013: This is the upper level entrance.
The window on the left is part of the chapel.
June 5, 2013: This is a view of the south side of the building,
looking up toward the green roof. The entrance to the future center for palliative care and pain management is on the far right (in yellow).
June 5, 2013: This photo gives you a sense of the many
contractors on site, working hard to build the dream.
And you can see the roof continuing to take shape!
May 22, 2013: The view driving into the front entry drive. The
building now has wall framing in progress on both levels, and curb and gutter work underway, and you will notice lots of progress on the roof; and the parking lot on the lower level is taking shape.
May 22, 2013: The view when standing in the lobby on the upper level, looking out the front door with a warm welcome.
April 24, 2013: Progress continues on our
Adler Center for Caring. This week you can see the
light gauge steel taking shape to form our roof. Beautiful!
April 10, 2013: This is a shot of the Adler Center for Caring
from the front. We are on schedule. Full steam ahead!
March 27, 2013: Today's photo barely captures the amazing activity and progress on our Adler Center for Caring. The concrete floor of the lower level will be poured soon, the backfill for the retaining walls is 65% complete, and the construction team is working to complete the water and gas lines to the building.
March 11, 2013: The concrete, steel and underground
plumbing will be completed by the end of the month.
February 15, 2013: A crane that will help develop
and haul steel starting Monday, February 18, 2013.
February 15, 2013: The future entrance of the
Palliative Care Clinic. The foundation walls are
100% complete, and the retaining walls will be next.
February 15, 2013: The underground
plumbing is in progress. It's 85% complete.
January 30, 2013: The first wall is erected.
January 30, 2013: The concrete foundation
walks are very close to being complete.