Looking Back, Looking AheadLike clockwork, the year is ticking towards its close. And just as predictably, we at Capital Caring Health (CCH) are looking forward to the year ahead, even as we reflect upon what we were able to accomplish in 2022, much of it thanks to the generosity of the communities we serve and our donors, volunteers, and other partners.
The fact is we simply can’t do it alone. Advancing our mission depends on the contributions of many—from our dedicated associates who go the extra mile for the patients in their care…to our loyal volunteers who fill the gaps for suffering families and their loved ones…to our committed donors who provide the funds for the special services and programs that improve comfort, care, and quality of life.
Thanks to the combined efforts and support of many, we achieved some major milestones over the last 12 months for the benefit of current and future patients:
Opening a New Inpatient Hospice Site in Washington, D.C.
On February 8, CCH opened the Washington Home Capital Caring Health Inpatient Center at Johns Hopkins Sibley Memorial Hospital. The new unit gives residents of the nation’s capital a nearby option for the most sophisticated inpatient care for advanced illness, when home-based efforts are not enough. We are grateful for significant funding provided by The Washington Home Foundation.
With 10 beds, the Inpatient Center is among the most state-of-the-art hospice facilities in the nation. The unit is staffed by specially trained CCH team members, including a physician, skilled hospice nurses, a social worker, chaplain, and grief counselor, working together to ensure patient and family needs are met.
The new unit is also a calm, beautiful, art-filled space with individual private suites. Each suite offers the comfort and amenities of home, allowing patients and families to be together, even overnight. There is also a cozy family lounge with a kitchenette. Family, friends, and loved ones—including pets—are always welcome to visit.
Raising Awareness of the Benefits of Hospice Care
If there’s one thing CCH knows, it’s the value of hospice for patients and families—from advanced care at home and pain relief, to support for family members and loved ones, to a better quality of life, at the end of life.
Yet most people don’t take advantage of all that hospice offers, including its generous six months’ coverage. In fact, the national average stay in hospice today is two weeks or less, and often just a few days. That is too short and tragic—especially since Medicare, private insurance, and often Medicaid cover the majority of the cost.
For the last year, CCH has been spreading the word on the benefits of hospice through a community education campaign. We have held discussions with the faith-based community, social clubs, senior groups, assisted living facilities, and others; been interviewed by local TV and radio stations; and continued building partnerships with other who share our commitment to providing patients and their families with advanced illness care of the highest quality
Reinforcing our Commitment to Health Equity
This year, our Center for Health Equity, originally established in 2020 to address racial disparities in hospice care, reinforced our commitment to communities of color and other underserved populations. The Center strives to ensure all patients and their families—regardless of race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation—receive advanced illness care of the highest quality. It also promotes diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging (DEIB), and cultural competence among the staff caring for them.
In recognition of our efforts, CCH has earned accreditation, designation, certification and/or acknowledgment from the National Institute for Jewish Hospice, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and SAGE for expertise and experience with LGBTQ+ and aging issues.
Another way to further understanding of our differences is by sharing information about what’s important to others. So during 2022, we started a monthly feature on the background and history of the world’s major cultural, religious, and social observances, including interesting facts and resources. Read the latest on December’s festive holidays and a major moment in U.S. history here and learn more about The Center for Health Equity here.
Every year, we look for additional ways to better serve our evolving community by building up tried-and-true programs and developing innovative, new approaches to the needs of special populations.
Leaving No One Behind
From our founding 45 years ago to today, caring for those who lack insurance and/or other financial resources has been central to our mission. As a nonprofit hospice, CCH has a long history of never turning anyone away. And over the past three years, the impact of COVID on jobs and health insurance coverage has only added to the number of people needing our assistance at an especially important time.
Thanks to the generosity of individual and corporate donors, CCH covered more than $2 million in uncompensated care and related expenses in just the last year alone. These funds assure that we have the means to deliver hospice and palliative care to all who need it. That includes our Community Grief Program that offers free of charge counseling to anyone in the community who experienced a loss.
Special Assistance for Alzheimer’s and Other Dementia Patients
Our CCH experts offer specialized care for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia and customize services for each unique case. We closely follow research to improve care, finding ways to create a better quality of life for patients and families receiving hospice or palliative care.
For example, there’s solid evidence from clinical research and family reports that robotic companion pets can make an enormous difference to a loved one. The lifelike pets move and respond to voices, have a calming effect, and may even improve communication and interaction with others.
Toward that end, we’ve created a special fund to purchase a robotic cat or dog for our dementia patients. We’re also raising funds to meet our goal of giving a robotic pet to any veteran with dementia in our service area who wants one. Learn more here about our specialized care and the impact of robotic companion pets. Veterans with dementia or their caregivers may request a free companion pet here or make a donation so that others may receive this very special friend.
So as we say goodbye to 2022, we are thankful for all we’ve accomplished over the last 12 months…with you and for you. We also thank the many members of the community who have helped make our achievements possible, and look forward to their renewed support in the year ahead.
If you’d like to help us make a difference in the lives of others, there are many ways to donate and make a year-end gift. Or for more information, visit Donate to Capital Caring – Capital Caring Health. All gifts are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.