Recognized since 2001, Pain Awareness Month increases awareness of the many ways pain impacts individuals, families, and communities, while also offering support and treatment options to individuals. At Capital Caring, many of the moms, dads, and kids who come to us facing advanced illnesses also suffer severe pain due to their individual conditions or to the side-effects of treatments.
We know that pain and discomfort cannot wait, so Capital Caring cares for our patients the way we would want members of our own families treated. We seek to reduce pain to manageable levels (0-2 out of 10) within 48 hours of bringing a new patient into care, and we alleviate stress associated with shortness of breath within 24 hours. Pain and distress do not need to be part of advanced illness, and Capital Caring’s clinical teams are dedicated to quality care that meet these outcomes.
Our Center for Pain and Palliative Care, located at the Capital Caring Adler Center on the Van Metre Campus, is the only such facility of its kind and offers comprehensive interventional pain support and palliative care counseling for individuals with advanced disease symptoms that impact their quality of life. The CPPC can provide relief from side effects of chemotherapy, restlessness for those with dementia, shortness of breath exacerbated by COPD, and other symptoms associated with a wide array of advanced illnesses.
How does pain impact your life or the life of a loved one? Please contact Capital Caring at www.capitalcaring.org or call us at 800-869-2136, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and let us help you.
Labor Day celebrates American workers – our achievements, contributions, and dedication to supporting those in our communities. Fortunately, most of us are able to celebrate “our day” by relaxing and enjoying time with friends and family as we say goodbye to summer and look forward to autumn. At Capital Caring, we celebrate our employees’ achievements and contributions every day – we are grateful that so many individuals brought their passion for service to Capital Caring. Each of our colleagues consistently live our mission to simply improve care, and their actions impact the lives of our neighbors across the mid-Atlantic region every day of the year.
While many of us are enjoying the holiday, we know our work does not take a break – hospice care is a 24/7 calling. Those who are working today and living our core values are an example to all of us of the care we have provided for 40 years and will continue to provide for many years into the future.
Whether they are working today or not, we are so appreciative of all Capital Caring’s employees for your achievements, contributions, and your dedication.
On August 18, Capital Caring presented the Center of Excellence award to Bev Greene, the administrator at Powhatan Nursing Home, noting the facility’s commitment to caring for those facing advanced illness. The Centers of Excellence program, launched earlier this year, is a partnership between Capital Caring and select long-term care facilities recognized for providing world-class and compassionate end-of-life care. Organizations chosen as Centers of Excellence combine their own staff expertise in caring for others with additional education and training from Capital Caring’s clinical, spiritual, and emotional case management teams, all with the goal of simply improving care for individuals with advanced illnesses.
“It is fitting that we recognize our friends at Powhatan,” said Rev. Carolyn Richar, Executive Director of Capital Caring’s Arlington neighborhood. “Powhatan and Capital Caring first came together more than 30 years ago to provide hospice care for residents here. Facility-based hospice care began in Arlington here at Powhatan because of the foresight and concern for residents shared by the administrator at that time, J.T. Butler, and Dr. Josefina Magno, who founded Capital Caring in 1977.”
“I remember meeting Dr. Magno way back when,” said Cyndi Butler, the daughter of the late J.T. Butler, and current owner of Powhatan Nursing Home. “Some of the nurses were nervous about what it would mean to provide hospice care here, but we are proud of our partnership with Capital Caring and know we have been able to provide incredible care for so many more of our residents than we otherwise could have done. I’m grateful for this award and for Capital Caring’s recognition.”
Powhatan Nursing Home joins Carroll Manor Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Elizabeth Adam Crump Health and Rehabilitation, The Fountains at Washington House, Heritage Hall Leesburg, and Potomac Falls Health & Rehab Center as Centers of Excellence recognized since the program’s launch in early 2017.
As part of our 40th anniversary celebration, Capital Caring just launched it “40 for 40” campaign, an interactive online project to encourage our patients, donors, neighbors, staff, and others whose lives we have touched since 1977 to share their reflections of the impact we have had on them and their families. The “40 for 40” project will share at least 40 stories of compassion from our expansive network throughout the mid-Atlantic region. As the oldest and largest nonprofit hospice provider in our area, Capital Caring has cared for nearly 110,000 moms, dads, and kids in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, DC, since being founded by committed volunteers in Northern Virginia.
Capital Caring was founded on the belief that everyone facing advanced illness needs access to compassionate care that addresses what matters most and ensures they and their families are comfortable, so it is particularly fitting, as we celebrate our 40th anniversary year, that we are launching this new and interactive campaign to give voice to those whose lives we have touched throughout our service area. Our mission at Capital Caring is to simply improve care, and we are so excited that this project will give us an opportunity to hear how we have impacted the lives of so many in our community.”
The “40 for 40” campaign can be found at capitalcaring.org/40-for-40.
Jordan A. Keen, MD, and Matthew G. Kestenbaum, MD, both Board-certified hospice and palliative care physicians at Capital Caring, reviewed an article published in January in Annals of Family Medicine that focused on regional variations in primary care provided at end-of-life and corroborated previous findings regarding the importance of PCPs in EOL care. They offered several potential explanations for the reduced hospice utilization amongst this cadre of patients, including a fear of losing a long-established PCP relationship or impaired ability of new physicians to accurately treat an individual facing end-of-life concerns.
“We know that individuals facing advanced illness have specific physical, emotional, and spiritual needs that hospice providers are uniquely positioned to address,” remarked Dr. Kestenbaum. “There exists the possibility that primary care physicians are not aware of the benefits of hospice care for those patients dealing with end-of-life stress or that many people live longer when under hospice care than those who do not access this level of care. We agree that more education about hospice care aimed at primary care physicians could improve the care provided to individuals under their care. At the end of the day, we all want to ensure each of our patients lives as full a life as possible for as long as possible, and access to hospice care is an essential component of the full continuum of healthcare.”
Reviews such as this one, published in Palliative Care – Fast Article Critical Summaries for Clinicians in Palliative Care (PC-FACS), provide valuable summaries of key recently published research for clinicians specializing in the care and treatment of individuals facing advanced illness. As a testament to its commitment to excellence in care and the distribution of knowledge to support the care of individuals across the country, Capital Caring is honored that Dr. Kestenbaum serves on the Editorial Board of PC-FACS, which is published by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.