Hero's Bridge logo

Capital Caring Announces Partnership with Hero's Bridge to Support Aging Veterans

Capital Caring Announces Partnership with Hero’s Bridge to Support Aging Veterans

Falls Church, VA -- Capital Caring is pleased to announce its partnership with Hero’s Bridge, an organization specializing in the needs of veterans age 65 and older. Hero’s Bridge was recognized with the American Red Cross ‘Military Hero’s’ Award in 2019.

Capital Caring serves hundreds of older veterans each day in Virginia, Maryland and DC and has long recognized and honored their service. Director of Veterans Affairs Lt. Col. David Benhoff states, “While it is important to recognize service, we feel it is important to lead the way in going further and doing more.”

“The partnership with Hero’s Bridge further expands our outreach to the veteran community and those who have a greater risk of social isolation, suicide and a multitude of service-related illnesses,” said Capital Caring President and CEO, Tom Koutsoumpas.

“Senior veterans are stoic, proud individuals who are unfamiliar with reaching out for assistance, so our mission is to serve them, said Hero’s Bridge President, Molly Brooks. “We recognize the needs of those we serve are very different compared to those of their younger counterparts, and this is precisely why we specialize in providing services to this particular demographic.”

Brooks continued, “Although there are many organizations which provide veterans assistance, our co-founders discovered most of these entities provide assistance to younger veterans. We identified needs very specific to veterans who served in World War II, Korea, and especially the Vietnam eras.”

Hero’s Bridge programs were designed to provide tangible assistance to aging veterans in areas that address social determinants of health.

For example, the Battle Buddy program provides the foundation of care provided in the Hero’s Bridge framework. Younger veterans or veteran spouses, trained in the Community Health Worker (CHW) model, perform a quality of life and military history assessment and then partner with the veteran to ‘bridge’ them to an improved, supported and sustainable quality of life.

Referrals are provided to the other programs of Hero’s Bridge where volunteers help with everyday challenges such as transportation, home maintenance, pet therapy and connection to VA benefits.

“We want to thank them and actually change what their daily experience is,” said Brooks. “We are excited to partner with Capital Caring who is such a leader in advanced illness care. It is no surprise that they are leading the way in recognizing the importance of social determinants of health. Often you must improve circumstances in the home and even in the communities of those with advanced illness to significantly improve clinical outcomes.”

The first Capital Caring Battle Buddy will serve veterans receiving palliative care in the four counties of Prince William, Fauquier, Culpeper and Rappahannock in Virginia. We look forward to sharing outcomes and expanding the partnership into new areas.

Capital Caring’s mission is to provide the highest quality advanced illness care with dignity, respect and compassion. Since our founding in 1977, we have grown into one of the largest and most experienced nonprofit providers of hospice care, palliative care and bereavement counseling services in the nation. In 2018 alone, we served over 7,000 hospice patients and provided more than $3 million in charity care to those who had nowhere else to turn.

Capital Caring serves families and patients throughout Northern Virginia, as far south as Fredericksburg and Richmond, as well as Prince George’s County, Maryland, and DC.

Contact: Nancy Cook (703) 531-6241

Capital Caring Joins Movement to Encourage Conversations About End-of-Life Care

FALLS CHURCH, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Capital Caring, one of the largest and most experienced providers of hospice and palliative care in the mid-Atlantic region, has teamed up with The Conversation Project to educate people on the value of making decisions about their own wishes for end-of-life care. Together the organizations are combining efforts to create positive change in the way our society deals with and prepares for their final days.

Starting today, the partners will leverage National Healthcare Decision Day, recognized April 16, to kick off a grassroots and digital campaign to stimulate family conversations and offer local and national resources about end-of-life care options.

“We know that 90 percent of Americans say that talking about their end-of-life care wishes is important, but that only 30 percent of people are actually having these conversations. Our goal is to close this gap,” says Ellen Goodman, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and co-founder of The Conversation Project. “People fear that speaking to their loved ones about their final days would be too grim, but in reality, these are among the most intimate and meaningful conversations people can have.”

Capital Caring has served patients and families struggling with advanced illness for more than 40 years. The comment Capital Caring employees hear most frequently is, "I wish I had known about you (hospice care) sooner."

Partnering with an organization dedicated to having the conversation before it’s too late, will help Capital Caring educate the countless members of our community  about value of making decisions about their wishes for end-of-life care.

Capital Caring’s service area includes northern Virginia to Fredericksburg and Richmond; suburban Maryland; and the District of Columbia. It is the home of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s POST (Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment) and part of the POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) Paradigm that originated in Oregon in the 1990s to combat the "failure of advance directives."

Since August 2012, The Conversation Project has been inspiring end-of-life conversations. The Conversation Project’s website is the heart of the campaign’s work, which includes The Conversation Project Starter Kit, a free, downloadable, step-by-step guide developed to help individuals and families start the conversation about end-of-life care.


Capital Caring
Nancy Cook
The Conversation Project
Kate DeBartolo, Director

40 for 40 Stories of Compassion

40 for 40: June Carty's Story

“To thine own self be true” is the motto that June Carty lived by. She never apologized for being exactly who she was. June’s daughter, Mitzi, describes her mother as a brilliant, beautiful and complicated woman who served as a powerful role model to her children, grandchildren and everyone who knew her.

June loved her children, but she didn’t show them affection in a conventional way. Not one to dote on them, cook for them, or even fold their clothes, June focused her energy on teaching them to be strong and independent. She modeled this in her distinguished career and activism on Capitol Hill. As the administrative assistant for the Chairman of the Ways and Means committee, no one got by June easily. When she walked into a room, people stood out of respect for her. When she was seated, June could often be found with a cigar in one hand and a Jack Daniels in the other.

The final chapter of June’s life closed with the same strength and determination. June believed that “death is just birth, but on the other side”. She wanted to die on her own terms and was clear about her wishes with her family and professional caregivers. Mitzi shares that her mother’s Capital Caring team supported Mitzi when she advocated for June’s choices with tremendous compassion and understanding. They were a “best friend” to Mitzi during a very difficult time. Mitzi says that the Capital Caring team was her strength when she thought she ran out of strength on her own. “It felt like my mom and I were the most important people in the world to our Capital Caring team during those last days of Mom’s life.”

“The greatest gift for a family is to be able to say, ‘I have no regrets’, and Capital Caring made that possible for my family,” says Mitzi. There was no one in the world quite like June Carty, and Mitzi is grateful that this unique mother was cared for so beautifully during her final days. June leaves a legacy of a remarkable woman who pioneered the way for future generations of women to follow.