Carolina Caring Honors Our Nation's Heroes with Dedication Ceremony

Each one of us owes our military veterans a debt of gratitude for their selfless service. As part of our mission to provide exceptional, compassionate care and enhance living for individuals and their families facing the end of life, Carolina Caring is committed to honoring all veterans in our country and in our care.

That's why we've built our "Salute to Heroes Memorial" on our campus at 3975 Robinson Road, Newton, NC, which will be officially dedicated this month. The memorial pays tribute to the heroes in our community, honoring the sacrifice and commitment of law enforcement, firefighters, active military and veterans, healthcare professionals, teacher, and others who have dedicated their lives to serving others.

This beautiful memorial features the American Flag, the North Carolina State flag, and a flag bearing the emblems of the U.S. Armed Forces. Leading up to the memorial are bricks honoring heroes along the walkway. It is visible from all buildings on our campus and will be illuminated at night to emphasize our nation's heroes' unwavering devotion to keeping us all safe.

We believe it is a privilege to care for our nation's heroes. Carolina Caring is a Level 4 partner with the national We Honor Veterans program, a joint collaboration of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that focuses and supporting the specialized needs of military veterans by providing education and resources to hospices like ours that meet those needs.

One out of every four dying Americans is a veteran. We are proud to have served more than 700 veterans and their families since 2013. In addition to our services, Carolina Caring also partners with local businesses and veterans' organizations to host our monthly Veterans Coffee Connection in Hickory and Gastonia. These free events are designed to be a welcoming place for veterans to meet other veterans in the area and learn more about government resources, veteran's benefits and nonprofit organizations that provide veteran's support in our community.

The service and sacrifice of our nation's veterans have made an undeniable impact on all of us. Now, it's time to give back to those who have given so much to us.

Carolina Caring will host the dedication of our "Salute to Heroes Memorial" on Sunday, May 19, at 2pm. All are welcome. To learn more about this project, or to honor a hero in your life, please contact Carolina Caring at 828.466.0466.

Dave Cook, Carolina Caring President & CEO reflects on the dedication of all our heroes and what this memorial represents.

Dave Cook, Carolina Caring President & CEO reflects on the dedication of all our heroes and what this memorial represents.

Pictured above: The Salute to Heroes Memorial

Pictured above: The Salute to Heroes Memorial

Keeping Hospice Patients and Their Pets Together

For many of us, pets are part of our family. As a social worker, I have witnessed the heart-wrenching decisions some of our hospice patients have had to make when they became too ill to care for their furry family members.

 I’d like to share one of those stories:

 As I entered my patient’s home, I found him sitting on the couch with a beautiful long-haired cat by his side. I immediately noticed their bond. As we talked, I saw that there were many others. Tabbies entered and fled the room, fearful of anyone other than my patient.


 He explained that these were all stray cats. He opened his home to them – caring for them and feeding them when he could not adequately care for or feed himself. Here was a young man in his 40s, bravely facing a terminal illness – alone. The cats were his only companions. He was never concerned about himself, only the future of his cats.

 My task was clear – I needed to meet the daily needs of both my patient and his pets, such as securing food for both. I needed, above all else, to help him fulfill his end-of-life wish to ensure that his beloved cats would be cared for when he was no longer with us.

 It happened on a weekend, an emergency transfer to the hospital and then our Hospice House. He was in distress. No amount of care or medication could bring peace. His heart was breaking for his pets who would have no home and no one to care for them, and so it began, phone call after phone call to animal rescues, shelters, animal lovers.

 I entered his room at the Hospice House, softly calling his name. I shared that a shelter had agree to accept all his cats and showed him a picture of his favorite companion at his new, temporary home. He couldn’t speak but nodded in acknowledgement. He passed shortly – at peace, knowing his beloved cats were safe.

 When my patient could no longer care for his cats, we weren’t sure how to help. It was pure luck that we were able to find a shelter that would accept them. At the time, Carolina Caring did not offer specialized services to help keep hospice patients and their pets together for as long as possible during their end-of-life journey. Experiences like this one showed us that pet care and placement services were desperately needed.

 I’m so proud to say that Carolina Caring is now a Pet Peace of Mind partner. We’re one of only six nonprofit hospice providers in North Carolina offering help with veterinary care, boarding, grooming and basic in-home care for the pets of our hospice patients who are not physically or financially able to do it themselves.

 We are committed to keeping families together, including their furry companions, but we can’t do it without your help. If you would like to make a donation to Pet Peace of Mind, visit or contact Reece Woods, Development Coordinator at 828.466.0466 ext. 2507.

Catawba Regional Hospice Announces New Name

For more than four decades, end-of-life care in western North Carolina has been defined by Catawba Regional Hospice. As one of the state’s three original hospice providers, CRH has created and developed new models of care to constantly improve quality of life for patients, their families, and the communities the organization serves.

Thanks to such experience and longevity – and to unify the many programs it has established to expand care regionally and according to need – Catawba Regional Hospice is coordinating its 40th anniversary celebration with a new name that better reflects its scope of services.

Carolina Caring, as the organization will now be known, remains an independent, community-based provider of exceptional health care. The primary difference is that people will now only need to make one request for a slate of programs that offer relief from chronic conditions, serious illnesses, and the challenges they bring. From palliative medicine and PACE (Program for All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) programs to hospice care and grief counseling, Carolina Caring is now poised to provide a continuum of care that will streamline responsiveness and service. Already, Carolina Caring accommodates more than 1000 patients and families each day through these programs.

The organization’s new name honors the foundation of caring that began with a group of passionate volunteers in 1979 and now manifests itself in the compassion that only a community-based organization can deliver. As an award-winning, nationally recognized provider of health care services, Carolina Caring features two campuses, a staff of 275 professionals, more than 400 volunteers, and a service area of 12 counties populated by multiple offices and a clinical staff who meet patients according to the demands of their diagnoses.

President and CEO David Cook finds satisfaction in being able to build on the organization’s substantial experience to expand services that meet the community’s needs. He states, “Each time Carolina Caring has broadened its reach or implemented new programs has been in response to requests by partners, residents, or local agencies – in conjunction with our own awareness of the needs within our service area. We envision how we can boost quality of life, and we accomplish it by remaining true to our mission and the people who entrust us with their care.”

Kelly Tate, vice-president of community relations, reiterates those meaningful connections, saying, “We are deeply rooted in the counties we serve, and those relationships matter greatly to us. Our staff and volunteers are honored to live, work, and serve our neighbors at their greatest points of need.”

And D’Ann Grell, board chair of Carolina Caring, echoes that underlying impulse, sharing, “Our services underscore a holistic approach to care that’s based on the unique needs of those we attend to. I’m truly impressed by the compassion our wonderful staff members provide to the community. It’s what people deserve, and it’s what we work hard to give them with each visit and each conversation.”

To speak to someone for information about Carolina Caring, please call 828.466.0466.

Hospice Named as 2018 Hospice Honors Recipient

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Carolina Caring has been named a 2018 Hospice Honors recipient by HEALTHCAREfirst, leading provider of web-based technologies and services to improve business and clinical operations for over four thousand home health and hospice providers across the United States. Hospice Honors is a prestigious program that recognizes hospices providing the highest level of quality as measured from the caregiver’s point of view.

“We are excited to recognize the 2018 Hospice Honors recipients for their hard work and dedication to providing exceptional care,” said J. Kevin Porter of HEALTHCAREfirst. “I Congratulate Carolina Caring on its success in achieving this highest of honors.”

Award criteria were based on Hospice CAHPS survey results for an evaluation period of October 2016 through September 2017. Award recipients were identified by evaluating performance on a set of 24 quality indicator measures. Performance scores were aggregated from all completed surveys and were compared on a question-by-question basis to a National Performance Score calculated from all partnering hospices contained in the HEALTHCAREfirst’s Hospice CAHPS database. Hospice Honors recipients include those hospices scoring above the HEALTHCAREfirst National Performance Score on 20 of the evaluated questions. HEALTHCAREfirst holds a special recognition, Hospice Honors Elite, to honor hospices scoring above the HEALTHCAREfirst National Performance Score on all 24 of the evaluated questions.  Please visit HEALTHCAREfirst’s website at to learn more about HEALTHCAREfirst Hospice CAHPS survey program as well as the Hospice Honors awards.

Carolina Caring CEO, Dave Cook, credits a committed staff and supportive communities. Cook said, "The commitment to excellence and world-class care is paramount. Ultimately our goal is to provide quality care to patients and families that is not just good, it is the best."

Carolina Caring Launches Referral App to Improve Access to Care


Carolina Caring recently premiered its new patient-referral app for smartphones as part of a continuing and dedicated effort to improve health care through technology.

As a community-based health care organization, Carolina Caring often hears that people wish they'd known about hospice earlier in order to maximize services for loved ones. The Carolina Caring Referral app puts knowledge directly in the hands of users and allows them to make informed decisions for individuals challenged by advanced illness.

The app is designed to enhance access especially for physicians. It offers details about who can benefit from hospice services based on their particular medical diagnosis, and it shares the appropriate admissions criteria and levels of care based on a patient's condition.

The general public may also use the app, which provides an overview of Carolina Caring's programs and facilities, letting people explore what Hospice offers from the comfort of their own homes.

Ultimately, the app invites users to contact Carolina Caring and set up a consultation to see how a patient who's recommended might find relief and gain better quality of life.

Dave Cook, Carolina Caring President and CEO, lauds the referral app for helping simplify the process of referring a patient for medical, spiritual, and emotional support.

"The Carolina Caring Referral app joins our telehealth program in enhancing the care we can provide to patients and families through technology. With a few taps of the screen, folks can reach out to us for information, for photos and video, and to request support. Our primary objective is to bring comfort to those we serve, and this app offers yet another innovative way to achieve that goal."

The Carolina Caring Referral app was created in collaboration with health care organizations across the country to help ensure the long-term success of community-based hospice providers.

The app is available by searching for 'Carolina Caring' at the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. It's a free download.