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Opinion: Salute dedicated, compassionate people in hospice care

By Malene Davis

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, and I encourage fellow West Virginians to be more aware of the innovative and compassionate end-of-life care available throughout the Mountain State.

Malene Davis

From humble beginnings here as a nonprofit, volunteer organization in 1983, West Virginia Caring has grown in service and experience to be considered the benchmark for advanced illness care in West Virginia. For the past 11 years, I have been President and CEO of Capital Caring (now celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2017) serving more than 1,400 patients and families daily in 12 counties of West Virginia as well as in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

I earned my nursing degree from West Virginia University (and later my MBA) and got in on the early phase of what is known today as hospice and palliative care in my home in Preston County. My husband, Bob, and I still reside in Arthurdale.

I am a dedicated caregiver first and foremost, but I learned quickly that being a smart businesswoman is also critical to achieving one’s mission. As the chairwoman of the WVU Alumni Association’s national board of directors, I am determined to motivate the university’s extensive alumni base to bring jobs to West Virginia. At every alumni function I attend, I ask everyone to think about how they can expand their business in the Mountain State and then to do it. In just seven short months, we’ve been able to add half a million dollars of salaries to West Virginia.

At West Virginia Caring and Capital Caring, we employ 1,000 people and serve 1,500 patients and their families each day. We’re taking care of our neighbors, in their homes, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospitals — 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It’s the right thing to do.

This November, and all year-round, please join me in saluting the dedicated medical professionals, caregivers and volunteers in our state and nationally who help make every day count for those with life-threatening diseases.

— Malene Davis is president and chief executive officer of Capital Caring in the nation’s capital and West Virginia Caring. She can be reached at [email protected].

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