The Value of Hospice Care – Jimmy Carter’s Final Gift to all Americans, and celebrating the First Year Anniversary of The Washington Home Capital Caring Health Inpatient Center – the only one of its kind in Washington DC
FOR IMMIDIATE RELEASE
Chief of Communications, Marketing & Philanthropy
Falls Church, VA (February 24, 2023) Former President Jimmy Carter has done a great service by publicly announcing his decision to enter hospice care in the comfort of his home. Hospice care is almost always available at no charge to everyone living in the United States thanks to legislation passed in 1982 and made possible by local DC leaders including Capital Caring Health’s President and CEO Tom Koutsoumpas.
As the region’s largest nonprofit hospice and advanced illness provider, Capital Caring Health not only provides home hospice care where the patient resides, but it also operates the only inpatient hospice center in Washington, DC. Thanks in large part to The Washington Home Foundation and Capital Caring’s Health’s clinical staff, The Washington Home Capital Caring Health Inpatient Center was opened on the grounds of Sibley Memorial Hospital one year ago to provide 24/7 care for those in need of intense end-of-life care.
“For more than 45 years Capital Caring Health has been at the forefront of the hospice movement, which includes having one of the first inpatient hospice centers in the country,” said Tom Koutsoumpas, President and CEO of Capital Caring Health. “The opening of The Washington Home Capital Caring Health Inpatient Center last year is a continuation of our commitment to the community to ensure that this level of care is available in DC.”
While most hospice care is provided where the patient resides, as in the case of former President Carter, terminally ill patients need comprehensive around-the-clock care 5 to 10 percent of the time. Since opening a year ago, The Washington Home Capital Caring Health Inpatient Center has helped more than 260 patients and families from across the Metro D.C. area by providing this specialized end-of-life care at their time of greatest need.
The Washington Home Capital Caring Health Inpatient Center is an essential safety net care provider for the community, and it is one of very few inpatient hospice centers in operation regionally and nationally. Why so few? The vast majority of hospice providers, especially for-profit entities do not provide this critical inpatient care because operating losses often exceed one million dollars annually.
“By supporting Capital Caring Health’s work to provide inpatient hospice care in Washington, D.C., The Washington Home is continuing its mission since 1888 in end-of-life care for seniors and critically ill residents of the community,” said Sharon Collins Casey, Chair of The Washington Home Board of Directors.
In addition to the comprehensive care that keeps terminally ill patients as comfortable and pain-free as possible, Capital Caring Health provides a full range of support services for not only the patients, but their families as well. Programs and services include social workers, non-denominational chaplains, specialized resources for Veterans, music and art therapy, and grief support at no cost. And, unlike many hospitals, The Washington Home Capital Caring Health Inpatient Center has no visiting hour restrictions for two family members at a time. Overnight stays and visits from pets are also welcome.
We all owe former President Carter our sincere thanks for being public about his decision to enter hospice care. Far too many families avoid hospice, and the result is often tragic with loved ones dying alone in a hospital ICU. This should never happen. Thanks to the wonderful generosity of the Washington Home Foundation and the around-the-clock care provided by Capital Caring Health’s dedicated staff, the DC Metro area is blessed to have its own dedicated Inpatient Hospice Center, the only one in operation within Washington, DC.
About Capital Caring Health: Capital Caring Health is a not-for-profit, community-based organization founded in the nation’s capital in 1977. Capital Caring Health is one of the most experienced and respected providers in the nation of advanced illness, hospice and elder care including primary care at home. Our care for children with life–limiting disease is the largest on the East Coast. Additional services focus on the special care needs of veterans, and those with heart failure and end-stage lung disease. More than $3 million annually funds care for those who lack coverage or the necessary financial resources for services. Almost 90 cents of every dollar go to caring for patients and their families. Over the years, Capital Caring Health has provided hospice, palliative care, and counseling to nearly 120,000 patients and their families through our regional neighborhood network across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C.