News

AMOREM Receives 2024 CAHPS Honors Award 

(Published May 2024)

AMOREM has been named a 2024 Hospice CAHPS Honors Award recipient by HEALTHCAREfirst, a leading provider of CAHPS and bereavement survey programs for home health and hospice agencies. This prestigious annual review recognizes agencies that continuously go above and beyond in providing high-quality care for patients and compassionate caregiver experiences.

The award acknowledges the highest-performing agencies by analyzing the performance of the Hospice Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey satisfaction and quality measures.

To be considered for this award, the hospice agency must have scored above the HEALTHCAREfirst National Performance Score on the Hospice CAHPS Willingness to Recommend question. If that criteria is met, performance is evaluated utilizing a set of 23 additional quality indicator measures. These scores are then compared on a question-by-question basis to a national performance score calculated from all partnering hospices contained in HEALTHCAREfirst’s Hospice CAHPS database.

“We began our Annual Hospice Honors Award program more than ten years ago as a way to highlight those agencies that are truly leading the way in providing and demonstrating quality patient care,” said Jeremy Crow, Head of RCM and CAHPS Survey, Home Health and Hospice. “We congratulate AMOREM on this recognition and are so proud and honored that they have chosen to partner with us in helping drive success for their agency.”

AMOREM’s mission is to provide quality, thoughtful, loving care to patients and support to their families and to offer education and grief support to communities served. This mission is brought to light with the receiving of the 2024 Hospice CAHPS Honors Award. AMOREM teams work tirelessly to ensure that each patient and family are met exactly where they are with quality, compassion and support.

“We are so proud to receive Hospice Honors this year,” says Vice President of Quality and Compliance, Bobbie Self. “This recognizes that AMOREM provides the best patient and caregiver experiences. Being nationally recognized as a hospice honor recipient exhibits AMOREM’s value to exceed the expectations of all those that we serve.”

It is AMOREM’s privilege to be your local, nonprofit, hospice and palliative care provider for more than 40 years, right here at home. To learn more about how AMOREM can improve the quality of your life or to make a referral, please visit www.amoremsupport.org or call 828.754.0101 to speak with one of our local team members.

AMOREM Celebrates Team Members in North Carolina Nurses Honor Gaurd 

(Published May 2024)

“Nursing is a calling, a lifestyle, a way of living. Nurses here today honor [name] and their life as a nurse. They are not remembered by their years as a nurse, but by the difference they made during those years by stepping into people’s lives…”

Members of the North Carolina Nurses Honor Guard (NCNHG) arrive at a fellow nurse’s services, dressed in their traditional white uniform, nurses cap and cape to stand guard an hour before the service and provide comfort and peace to family members and loved ones of the late nurse.

The Nightingale Tribute is recited by attendees, a white rose symbolizing dedication is laid upon a casket or beside an urn, the Nurses Prayer is delivered and a Last Call to Duty is given by the NCNHG signify that a nurse has finished their work here on Earth.

[Name]

A triangle rings.

[Name]

A triangle rings again.

[Name]

A triangle rings for a third and final time.

We officially release you of your nursing duties.”

Upon releasing the nurse from their duties, the NCNHG extinguishes the Florence Nightingale lamp and returns it to the family, providing their condolences.

The NCNHG was created in 2021 by Cindy Glover-Hoxit, who wished to expand the Nurses Honor Guard's reach and accumulate volunteers who would take time to attend and stand guard at a fellow nurse’s funeral or memorial service in North Carolina. The North Carolina chapter has since grown and welcomed several retired and active nurses to the guard.

“Since the inception of the NCNHG in May of 2021,” says Hoxit-Glover, “we have stood humbled and amazed to see God’s work in our ministry. We are thankful for the unwavering support of the NCNHG and for those who have helped our group continue to grow.”

For many AMOREM nurses, it is considered a calling to work in the hospice and palliative care industry. It is yet another call and a tremendous act of love to stand guard at a fellow nurse's end-of-life services.

 

“I joined the NCNHG more than a year ago,” says AMOREM Registered Nurse, Jean-Marie Dean, “I knew that I was supposed to join. It was a calling.”

Dean is an active registered nurse at the nonprofit hospice and palliative medicine provider, AMOREM in North Carolina. She considers the NCNHG to be the last step after hospice for her fellow nurses.

AMOREM Registered Nurse Tracey Campbell also serves on the NCNHG. “It is an honor to serve beside a wonderful group of people and pay tribute to the nurses who have gone before us,” Campbell says.

Dean and Campbell have both been involved with the NCNHG for more than a year. They have recruited several additional nurses from AMOREM to join the honor guard and utilize their free time to give back to the nurses who gave so much of themselves to their communities. Along with nurses, AMOREM chaplains and other team members have also joined the NCNHG to pay tribute to those who have served communities before them.

“We consider it an honor to remember fellow nurses at the time of death,” says Dean. “We provide an extremely dignified service to show how each nurse has contributed to the world. To me, it is spiritual work.”

AMOREM has a mission to provide quality, thoughtful, loving care to patients and support to their families. For AMOREM nurses and team members, this mission stretches well beyond the time that their shift ends. Those who are active members of the NCNHG personify AMOREM’s mission each time that they attend a fellow nurse’s service.

“I cannot express enough gratitude and admiration for the caliber of nurses at AMOREM,” says Chief Clinical Officer, Anna Blanton. “Their unwavering compassion, dedication and expertise make a profound difference in the lives of patients, families and our communities on and off the clock. I am forever thankful for their steadfast commitment to the nursing profession and for their remarkable care.”   

The NCNHG has provided AMOREM staff with the opportunity to touch more lives and to continue transforming the way that people view and experience end-of-life and death.

Tributes by the NCNHG are provided free of cost for families. The NCNHG also provides visits to nurses who are in their final days to present them with a certificate of service, a pin and a blanket with the NCNHG emblem on it. The nurses are transported to their chosen funeral home with the blanket respectfully laid over their bodies at the time of their death.

 “We must always remember why we do what we do,” says Glover-Hoxit, “even the seemingly smallest act of love and compassion has the capability of changing one’s life forever, thus creating a ripple effect that not only influences the lives of those that we serve but has the power to impact everyone influenced by them throughout their entire lifetime.”

It is AMOREM’s privilege to be the only hospice and palliative provider in its service area with a locally governed board of directors and three patient care units available to families and their loved ones. For more than 40 years, AMOREM has served as the area’s local, nonprofit, hospice and palliative medicine provider, bringing more quality, more compassion and more support, right here at home.

To learn more about AMOREM services, visit www.amoremsupport.org or call 828.754.0101 to speak with a team member from the local, nonprofit, hospice and palliative medicine provider.

To learn more about the North Carolina Nurses Honor Guard, please visit them on Facebook by searching North Carolina Nurse Honor Guard.

AMOREM Welcomes Director of Development 

(Published April 2024)

AMOREM welcomes Ashley Edwards, MBA, MA, as its director of development.

“Ashley’s drive and passion for AMOREM’s mission is evident in the way that she interacts with her peers, patients, families and our community,” says Vice President of Community Engagement Kerri McFalls, “We feel so fortunate to have someone of her skill set and caliber at AMOREM. She is already doing wonderful things for the communities that we serve, and I can’t wait to see the impact she will have in the future.”

Edwards formerly held the role of fund development specialist at the Blue Ridge HealthCare Foundation. Her impressive educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in religion and a minor in philosophy from Wayland Baptist University, a Master of Arts in theological studies from Asbury Theological Seminary and a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in leadership and innovation from Northern Kentucky University.

As the director of development at AMOREM, Edwards will be a key component of AMOREM’s Community Engagement Team. She will oversee all aspects of fundraising including annual giving campaigns, endowments, capital campaigns, donor development and retention, planned giving, grants and other non-traditional fundraising efforts.

A big project for Edwards is overseeing AMOREM’s Quality. Compassion. Support. campaign to bring a patient care unit to residents of the High Country. In September of 2023, the organization broke ground on the project and is projected to complete construction by the fall of 2024.

Edwards will continue to pursue potential partners for this $8 million campaign which has already raised more than $5 million toward its goal. 

“I am thrilled to step into this season of exciting growth and opportunity at AMOREM,” says Edwards, “From continuing to compassionately serve twelve counties to building the first patient care unit in the High Country, AMOREM is making a difference through the loving care provided to patients and their families in their communities. It is an honor to join the AMOREM team and become a partner in this impactful work.”

AMOREM has served the communities of Burke and Caldwell counties for more than 40 years and for 10 years in the High Country. AMOREM, a local nonprofit hospice provider, is the product of the merger between Burke Hospice and Palliative Care and Caldwell Hospice Palliative Care. It owns and operates patient care units in Burke and Caldwell counties and is governed by a local board of directors.

If you would like to learn more about contributing to your local, nonprofit, hospice and palliative care provider’s mission, please contact Edwards at aedwards@amoremsupport.org, visit www.amoremsupport.org/donate or call 828.754.0101 to speak with a local team member.

To learn more about AMOREM services or to make a referral, please visit www.amoremsupport.org or call 828.754.0101.

AMOREM Intake and Referral Center Adopts New Name

(Published February 2024)

Effective March 1, AMOREM’s Intake and Referral Center will become the Access and Enrollment Center.

AMOREM’s goal is to extend trust to patients, families and referral partners and to expedite the process to enroll patients in AMOREM services. The department's name change demonstrates health equity which is defined as the attainment of the highest level of health for all people.

“Everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to access their optimal health,” says Access and Enrollment Specialist Team Lead, Jenni Patterson, “regardless of race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, preferred language or any other factors that affect access to care and health outcomes.”

To expedite services, all referrals to AMOREM services, regardless of which service line, will go directly through the Access and Enrollment Center. Specialists on the Access and Enrollment Center team will visit patients and families to evaluate needs, contact an AMOREM provider and determine the appropriate AMOREM program for patients.

“This name change easily identifies what we do,” says Patterson, “and that is to extend the knowledge of how to access services and enroll with AMOREM. We are excited about this change!”

Referrals can be made to the Access and Enrollment Center 24 hours a day, with a goal of admitting patients within 24 hours of receiving the referral.

To learn more about AMOREM services or to make a referral, visit www.amoremsupport.org or call 828.754.0101 to speak with a local team member.

Born in Burke and Caldwell counties, it is AMOREM’s privilege to serve as your local, nonprofit, hospice and palliative care provider for more than 40 years, right here at home.

AMOREM Welcomes Director of Faith Outreach

(Published January 2024)

VALDESE - William Williamson has stepped up to the role of Director of Faith Outreach for AMOREM, formerly Burke Hospice and Palliative Care and Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care.

After the legacy hospice organizations integrated in 2021, it was quickly identified that the organization needed an individual who focused all of their efforts on supporting the robust faith community, said Vice President of Community Engagement Kerri McFalls.

“A director of faith outreach is not a common position in the hospice industry,” McFalls said. “But AMOREM wants to ensure its faith communities that they are a priority for the organization and that they feel supported when any of their congregants need end-of-life care.”

In his role at AMOREM, Williamson will act as a liaison between the organization and all faith communities in AMOREM’s 12-county service area. He will provide ongoing education and support to those who perform religious duties, be a contact for referrals from the faith community and provide spiritual support to patients and families.

“This position is an excellent opportunity to show how much we at AMOREM deeply appreciate the support that people of faith provide us,” said Williamson. “Ultimately like congregations in the area, we are a mission-focused, locally based nonprofit. AMOREM is driven by its mission and values, not by money or profit.”

Previously, Williamson served as AMOREM’s chaplain team lead, supervising spiritual care providers as they spent time with patients at the end of life. Williamson has worked in the hospice industry for more than six years.

“I’m excited to give back to the faith community that has given us volunteers, monetary gifts and even the use of their sanctuaries,” Williamson said. “Through providing education, serving as a link between the medical community and the faith community, and a resource to local clergy, I hope I can help congregations with their missions as they have helped us with ours.”

Williamson received a double major in psychology and religion at Centre College in Kentucky. He then received his Master of Divinity from Harvard. Additionally, he has a master’s degree in patient counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University.

“AMOREM, and the communities it serves, is so fortunate to have William,” McFalls said. “His mission-driven approach to his role and respect for diversity and religious knowledge will prove to be a major asset to those he collaborates with.”

For more than 40 years, AMOREM has proudly served as your local, non-profit hospice provider. To learn more about AMOREM services and opportunities, visit www.amoremsupport.org

AMOREM Named Business of the Year in Burke County

(Published November 2023)

MORGANTON - AMOREM, formerly Burke Hospice and Palliative Care and Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, has been named Business of the Year for 2023 in Burke County by the Burke County Chamber of Commerce.

“AMOREM continues to be the only non-profit hospice with a locally governed Board of Directors,” says Vice President of the Burke Service Area Laura Anderson, “The ability for locals to provide quality and compassionate care to other locals in the community is truly an honor, and we at AMOREM are so appreciative of the kindness that Burke County has shown us for more than 40 years.”

AMOREM has provided quality, thoughtful, loving care to residents of Burke County as well as education and grief support to their families for more than 40 years. The commitment to serve Burke County patient’s physical, spiritual and emotional needs has not wavered.

“We take tremendous pride in providing care and service to our community,” Anderson says. “Our team recognizes the beauty of each Burke County resident’s journey and the privilege that we have to walk alongside them during vulnerable times. It is an honor to support the residents of Burke County.”

AMOREM continues to serve Burke County by transforming the way that people view and experience serious illness and end-of-life and by fostering a culture of compassionate, innovative care. AMOREM remains the only hospice provider in Burke County to offer a patient care unit for its patients. It also is the only hospice and palliative provider that is governed by a local board of directors.

“We are so very honored to receive this award,” says Vice President of Community Engagement Kerri L. McFalls. “Just to know we were nominated is an honor. We have proudly served as the premier hospice and palliative care provider in Burke County since we opened our doors in 1982, as Burke Hospice and Palliative Care. Now, as AMOREM, our name is different but our dedication and commitment to serve our patients and families has not changed. We want to thank our communities for trusting us for more than four decades and inviting us into their homes to care for their loved ones.”

It is AMOREM’s honor to be the definition of local people serving local people. “Thank you to those who nominated AMOREM for this award,” McFalls says. “And thank you to the Burke County Chamber of Commerce for supporting our local non-profits, businesses and organizations.”

To learn more about AMOREM services or to make a referral, visit www.amoremsupport.org or call 828.754.0101 to speak with a local team member.

 

AMOREM Vice President of Finance Retires

(Published November 2023)

LENOIR - After more than 13 years with AMOREM, Vice President of Finance Terry Johnson will transition into retirement.

Airnoi “Noy” Xaysanavongphet , a Burke County native, has been named AMOREM’s new Chief Finance Officer.

“When I first started at AMOREM in March of 2010,” says Johnson, “I quickly saw that this was an organization that fostered a sense of integrity and excellence. The policies, facilities, the numbers and the leadership all made this bold sense of integrity stand out to me. After being in the workforce for almost 50 years, I can proudly say that AMOREM is the best place I have ever worked, and I am honored to be ending my career at such an outstanding organization.”

Johnson’s sense of professionalism and light-hearted character will be missed by his colleagues at the organization. He served closely on AMOREM’s senior leadership team and fostered AMOREM’s values of respect, accountability, integrity, stewardship and excellence.

“I am convinced that every organization needs a financial leader like Terry Johnson,” says Vice President of Business Services, April Moore, “His fun-loving, adventurous spirit paired with his ability to share the story behind the numbers truly is a gift. It has been a privilege working with Terry and I have a feeling that his retirement will be his best adventure yet.”

Johnson will embark on his newest adventure in December of 2023.

“I am pleased to say that my successor at AMOREM, Noy, is not only intelligent, capable and experienced in financial and accounting matters, but she also brings so much energy and joy into her role,” says Johnson, “Her character traits align wonderfully with AMOREM’s mission, vision and values. She will certainly be an asset at AMOREM.”

Xaysanavongphet comes to AMOREM with more than 20 years of experience in the financial and accounting industry. Her previous role as chief financial officer for a family-owned franchise allowed her to grow on a personal and professional level and provided her with a skill set perfectly attuned to AMOREM’s needs.

“I am looking forward to making an impact on the lives of the many people that we serve in the community,” says Xaysanavongphet, “My plan is to ensure that we are good stewards of the resources that our communities have generously blessed us with.”

AMOREM wishes Johnson the best in his newfound retirement.

AMOREM has had the honor of serving its communities for more than 40 years as the premier hospice and palliative care provider. AMOREM has patient care units in Valdese, Hudson and Lenoir and is the only hospice provider in the service area with units available in the communities it serves.

To learn more about AMOREM, or to make a referral, call 828.754.0101 or visit www.amoremsupport.org.

 

AMOREM Breaks Ground on High Country Facility

(Published October 2023)

On Sept. 26, two years after it announced its intent to build a hospice patient care unit to serve the High Country, AMOREM broke ground on its building project.  

The private groundbreaking ceremony and blessing of the land marked a major milestone in the organization's $8 million Quality. Compassion. Support. campaign to bring a hospice patient care unit to residents of the High Country and their families.

“We are so excited to see construction for this project start,” says Vice President of Community Engagement, Kerri McFalls, “The High Country has waited long enough to have its own hospice patient care unit and AMOREM is honored to provide that service. As a non-profit hospice provider, none of this could have been possible without the tremendous support from those in the High Country who have made contributions to AMOREM’s Quality. Compassion. Support. campaign.”

Currently, High Country residents and their families must drive more than an hour to the nearest hospice patient care unit, taking precious moments away from families and their loved ones. In 2020 AMOREM filed a special needs petition with the NC Division of Health Service Regulation to apply for a certificate of need to build a patient care unit in the High Country. The application was approved in 2021.

Since then, AMOREM has raised more than $5 million toward the Quality. Compassion. Support. campaign to build a seven-bed hospice patient care unit with a full-time local staff dedicated to providing compassionate end-of-life care for residents of the High Country.

“When we began providing our full range of services to the High Country more than nine years ago,” says Vice President of Business Services, April Moore, “we were focused on meeting the needs of the community and bringing quality, compassionate palliative medicine and hospice care to the residents of Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties. It was not until we were approached by a group of passionate community members who saw the need that we began thinking about building a patient care unit. This groundbreaking is a celebration of hard work, remarkable generosity and meeting the needs of the High Country Community for years to come. We are so proud to partner with Appalachian Architecture and Greene Construction to turn this dream into a beautiful reality.”

The seven-bed unit will provide a homelike environment with large patient rooms and comfortable family areas in a peaceful setting on Moonstruck Lane in Boone. Appalachian Architecture designed the beautiful facility and Greene Construction will oversee the building of the facility.

“For those interested in making a gift to the campaign, it is not too late,” says McFalls, “No gift is too small, and all are appreciated.”

To learn more about the Quality. Compassion. Support. campaign, visit www.amoremsupport.org/donate/high-country-capital-campaign or call 828.754.0101.

AMOREM Dietary Team Attends Culinary Clinic 

(Published October 2023)

AMOREM’s Lead Dietary Specialist, Tina Avery, and Director of Facility Services, Jeanna Wilson, attended Premier and US Food’s annual culinary clinic where Avery and her team placed second in the clinic’s culinary competition.

This year’s event was titled, Slicing and Dicing with the Director. Culinary teams from all over the United States joined together in Fort Mills, South Carolina, to gain education, collaborate with other dietary teams across the United States and make use of their competitive skills in the culinary industry.

“There is always a culinary competition at the end of the clinic,” says Wilson, “this year, they created ‘chaos in the kitchen’ and broke up teams so that different organizations had the opportunity to work with one another.”

The competition portion of the clinic included three hands-on skill demonstrations with executive chefs from three different food vendors. After the demonstrations, teams made up of members from various organizations planned, prepped and executed culinary specialties to compete against one another.

“Everyone in attendance had an absolute blast,” says Avery, “My team, the ‘dream team’ won second place! We are so thankful for AMOREM for investing in our dietary team and providing us with the opportunity to fine-tune our skills each year. We will certainly bring our A-game again next year!”

To learn more about AMOREM services, call 828.754.0101 or visit www.amoremsupport.org.

 

AMOREM Partners with YourChange Mobile App 

(Published August 2023)

AMOREM, formerly Burke Hospice and Palliative Care and Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, has partnered with the mobile app, YourChange, to make it easy for community members to donate to the organization’s Quality, Compassion, Support campaign.

AMOREM has already raised more than $4.8 million toward its capital campaign to bring a patient care unit to the High Country. The patient care unit will be located on Moonstruck Lane in Boone, off Archie Carroll Road. The unit will have 7 beds in a home-like environment for patients and families that call the High Country home.

“Currently, High Country patients and their families must travel more than an hour to reach the closest patient care unit,” says Director of Development, Jake Benfield. “By utilizing our partnership with YourChange, individuals can easily donate to help bring a unit to the High Country.”

Each time that you use your credit or debit card, YourChange automatically rounds up your spare change for you. When your spare change equals $5, the mobile app will donate those funds to AMOREM.

AMOREM staff have tested the secure app themselves.

“Three people on my team have been using the YourChange app for a little more than two weeks and we have already raised more than $50 to AMOREM’s campaign,” says Benfield. “Can you imagine the impact that we can all have on this project if we all rounded up our change?”

Signing up for YourChange is simple. Download the app on your smartphone or tablet, safely and securely link your debit or credit card to the app, select AMOREM as the nonprofit organization of your choice and begin rounding up your spare change.  

Download the mobile app today to see how YourChange can bring more to the High Country.  

For more information about AMOREM’s Quality, Compassion, Support campaign, visit www.amoremsupport.org/donate/high-country-capital-campaign.

For an instructional video about the YourChange mobile app, visit https://youtu.be/myvxtL7odK0.

 

Two Members of AMOREM Community Engagement Team Receive Promotions

(Published August 2023)

MORGANTON- Two members of AMOREM’s Community Engagement Team have recently been promoted.

Lisa Caviness has been promoted to serve as the director of public relations and Molly Fitzgerald has been promoted to serve as the digital content specialist.

“Lisa and Molly have proven to be valuable assets to AMOREM,” says Vice President of Community Engagement, Kerri McFalls, “Lisa has dedicated more than a decade of her career to our organization and has grown tremendously over the years. We are so fortunate that she shares her talents with us. And from the time that she was hired, Molly has proven herself time and time again, often taking on more than her assigned responsibilities. Both ladies work hard to ensure that AMOREM’s mission is at the forefront of what we do.”

Since joining the company more than a decade ago, Caviness has served as the public relations and marketing coordinator. Specifically, she maintained the brand’s integrity and facilitated all marketing and design elements both internally and externally.

Caviness will now be responsible for directing the public relations team and implementing the organization’s marketing strategies, communications and public relations activities to ensure that the organization reaches its marketing goals each year.

“It has been a privilege to serve in public relations for AMOREM for nearly 11 years,” says Caviness, “I take seriously the responsibility of sharing with our communities the life-enhancing services provided by AMOREM, and I am excited to explore the increased capacity of our public relations team.”

During her tenure with AMOREM, Caviness has been credited with a variety of impressive accomplishments, including her receival of six awards from the Carolinas Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society in 2022 for her outstanding work.

Fitzgerald joined the organization in 2022 as a marketing specialist where she assisted the public relations and marketing team in any capacity that was needed. Quickly, Fitzgerald began to take on more responsibility in the realm of content creation and blossomed into a new role entirely.

“Because of the incredible support and mentorship that AMOREM has provided,” says Fitzgerald, “I have been able to finetune my skillset and create an incredibly impactful role within our organization.”

In her new role, Fitzgerald will focus heavily on the organization’s digital content production. Her new responsibilities will include audio and video production, written content for print and digital formats and educational content that is accessible to communities served.

Both Caviness and Fitzgerald are valuable assets to the Community Engagement Team and will continue to provide AMOREM’s communities with the resources and education necessary.

Caviness and Fitzgerald can both be reached by phone at 828.754.0101.

To learn more about AMOREM services, visit www.amoremsupport.org or call 828.754.0101.

 

 

 

AMOREM Patient Shares Special Moments with Ted Nugent

(Published June 2023)

MORGANTON- An AMOREM patient has formed an end-of-life friendship with Ted Nugent.

Steve Taylor has been under AMOREM’s care since November of 2022, with a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

When Taylor’s AMOREM Medical Social Worker, Katie Bradshaw, began working with Taylor, she wanted to do something to bring joy to him and his family so, she asked him if he could talk to anyone in the world, who would it be?

“He initially told me that he’d like to meet God,” says Bradshaw, “I told him that I personally couldn’t make that happen but that I would do everything possible to help him meet and speak with someone who is earthside.”

Taylor expressed that he would love to speak with Ted Nugent. Nugent shares many of the values, morals and beliefs that Taylor holds close to his own heart. Nugent is also an avid hunter, just like Taylor.                                                               

"Steve’s wife, Vivian, and I tried contacting Ted on our own but, we were afraid that it was too much of a shot in the dark,” says Bradshaw.

To supplement their own efforts, Bradshaw and the Taylors applied to the Dream Foundation in hopes that the organization could assist with arranging an interaction between Taylor and Nugent. To their amazement, their own efforts were what worked to get a response from Nugent.

Nugent called Taylor one afternoon while he was filming a portion of his podcast, Spirit Campfire, and recorded the phone conversation live, for other fans to witness and hear.

As Nugent begins talking to Taylor, he says, “I am so honored that you would call me during these difficult times. The Nugent family and everyone that I know right now is praying for you.”

Nugent also acknowledges that he understands that Taylor was unable to get out and hunt this season. He tells Taylor that he will get an address from Taylor’s wife and send them some deer meat, so that they can enjoy the rewards of a good hunt.

As Nugent wraps the conversation up, Taylor begins to cry tears of gratitude and Nugent promises to keep Taylor’s number and call to check in on him periodically.

“I personally know of at least three times that Ted and Steve have spoken since the initial phone call,” says Bradshaw. 

When Bradshaw returned for a visit with Taylor after the initial phone call, she asked him what it was like to speak with Nugent. Taylor looked at her with teary eyes and a smile and simply said, “Thank you.”

To view Nugent’s podcast featuring Steve Taylor, visit https://americasvoice.news/video/Dm4SuK8FdGv9hDs/.

To learn more about AMOREM services, call 828.754.0101 or visit www.amoremsupport.org.

 

 

 

Right at Home in Burke County

Your non-profit hospice provider 

(Published May 2023)

MORGANTON ­-- As a Burke County native with 13 years of hospice experience, it is an honor to utilize my knowledge to serve my community as the vice president of the Burke Service Area at AMOREM, formerly Burke Hospice and Palliative Care and Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care.

In my role at AMOREM, I direct and supervise day-to-day operations in AMOREM’s Burke service area. My goal is to share my commitment to the hospice philosophy while representing AMOREM within my community. I strive to coordinate interactions within our service area to facilitate continuity of care and quality services for those that AMOREM has the privilege to serve.

Since 1974, the hospice care grassroots movement has moved throughout America, with a philosophy centered around care being rendered in the home of patients and families. Understanding the importance of the national value of keeping families together, AMOREM provides care within whatever setting a patient and their family may consider home. This includes but is not limited to, private residences, skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities. Regardless of location, AMOREM’s teams are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to meet the needs of our patients and their families.

When a patient’s needs exceed the scope of care in the home, inpatient care may be offered in one of AMOREM’s patient care units. Inpatient hospice care has been offered in Burke County since the 1990’s and fortunately, our Burke County community continues to have access to the Valdese patient care unit. AMOREM is proud to be the only hospice organization to offer a local patient care unit. 

Beginning as a volunteer program, AMOREM has been providing end-of-life care to Burke County residents since 1981. As a community-owned, non-profit hospice, AMOREM has had the privilege to serve approximately half of Burke County’s residents during their end-of-life journey; serving nearly 480 Burke residents last year.

In 2021, Burke Hospice and Palliative Care and Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care merged to create AMOREM with the vision to transform the way that people view and experience serious illness and end-of-life care while fostering a culture of compassionate, innovative care. The two legacy organizations coming together has allowed AMOREM to strengthen its presence in the community and have a larger impact on patients, their families and the community at large. AMOREM remains your local, community-owned hospice that provides expanded resources for you and your family.

AMOREM utilizes an interdisciplinary team to create a holistic approach to enable patients to live the remainder of their lives with dignity. While every end-of-life experience is different and unique, life becomes more precious when it is limited. For this reason, AMOREM focuses on the goals of care of both the patient and family with a specific focus on the quality of life.

AMOREM is governed by a 15-member local volunteer board of directors, many of whom were appointed from both legacy organizations. The current chair of AMOREM’s board of directors, Jordan Greene, is a Burke County native. Like many of the organization’s board members, there are numerous AMOREM team members from the legacy Burke organization who have continued to provide quality, compassionate support to their community while building and growing their careers at the organization.

It is an honor and a true privilege to serve as the Vice President of the Burke Service Area at AMOREM, the only non-profit hospice care provider in the Burke area.

 

 

AMOREM Patient Receives Phone Call from Peyton Manning

(Published April 2023)

MORGANTON ­-- Peyton Manning made a special phone call on March 3 to one of his biggest fans, Tammy Haga.

Haga was admitted to AMOREM services in early February with a diagnosis of metastatic bone cancer. Not long after meeting Haga, her AMOREM care team learned of her admiration for NFL legend, Peyton Manning.

“Tammy had endless amounts of collectibles,” says her AMOREM Medical Social Worker, Mary Beucler, “She had everything from bobbleheads to bracelets, jerseys to cereal boxes. She even had a printed biography of Manning that she had read several times.”

Haga mentioned to her AMOREM care team that she had made multiple attempts to meet Manning throughout her life. She traveled to football games in hopes of an autograph at the minimum, but her attempts were never successful.

“When Tammy came into our care at AMOREM, we knew that we had to do everything in our power to make an interaction with Peyton Manning happen,” says Beucler.

Haga and her family told Beucler, and other members of her care team, about the Dream Foundation, whose mission is to serve terminally-ill adults and their families by providing end-of-life Dreams that offer inspiration, comfort and closure. Haga had attempted once before to fulfill a wish through the Dream Foundation but, at the time, there was no result.

Haga and Beucler applied for a Dream together by filling out an application and attaching a photograph of Haga to the application letter. Shortly after the submission of the application, Haga became imminent. She was still able to converse with family and loved ones, however, she was entering the dying process.

Beucler informed the Dream Foundation of Haga’s health status, and the foundation notified her that Haga’s application had been expedited. Beucler knew that this was not a guarantee but, it gave her hope that Haga’s wish might come true.

“The hope that the family had was absolutely contagious,” says Beucler, “I started to truly believe that an interaction was going to happen because of their enthusiasm.”

 The day after Haga’s Dream application had been expedited, she received a phone call from Peyton Manning himself.

“Words cannot describe the happiness that we felt while we watched Tammy speak with Peyton Manning,” says Haga’s cousin, Elaine Long, “You could see the overwhelming joy that it brought Tammy. We were beyond ecstatic to witness this special moment.”

Haga was able to converse at the time that Manning called her, and she knew exactly who she was speaking with on the other end of the line. Haga was able to tell Manning how much she loved him, and he expressed to her that he would be praying for her and her family.

Before the call ended, Manning gave Haga one of his most famous calls, an Omaha, which brought Haga a sense of peace that the AMOREM care team had never witnessed from her before.

“This family will forever be grateful to the Dream Foundation for making this dream a reality and to the AMOREM staff who worked so hard to help make Tammy’s dream come true,” says Long.

In loving memory of Tammy Haga.

April 6, 1962 – March 5, 2023.

To learn more about AMOREM services, call 828.754.0101 or visit www.amoremsupport.org.

 

 

AMOREM Introduces Award System for Team Members

(Published March 2023)

VALDESE- AMOREM’s Culture and Talent team has introduced a new award system to its team members.

Individuals who have shown quality care, compassion and support to patients and their families, as well as to their fellow team members and community members, are eligible to receive the Because of AMOREM award.

“This award is designed for those who are making a substantial difference in the course of someone’s life,” says Director of Learning and Engagement, Britt Abernathy. “Many of our team members at AMOREM are impacting patients, families, caregivers, team members, referral sources and community members in ways that are changing the trajectory of lives. We believe that these individuals deserve recognition for the ways that they have touched others.”

The first recipient of the Because of AMOREM award is Chuck Crisp, FNP-C. Crisp was nominated by fellow RN Tracy Campbell, who says that Chuck was one of the primary reasons that she applied for a position at AMOREM.

 “My dad was admitted to hospice services,” says Campbell, “at that time, I was a new nurse who hadn’t had any experience with hospice. Chuck happened to be my father’s nurse. When I told Chuck that I was a nurse as well, he allowed me to be a key part of my father’s care plan. With me being a brand-new nurse and the daughter of a man who was dying, this was extremely meaningful to me.”

Crisp’s selfless dedication to Campbell and her family touched Campbell so deeply that she changed the path of her career and applied to be a hospice nurse at AMOREM’s Valdese patient care unit.

“Over the past 12 years, I have been fortunate enough to serve in various roles at AMOREM,” says Crisp. “It is rewarding to know that our mission in providing care and support to others can be so impactful that it changes the lives of others and makes others want to join this amazing organization. I am honored and humbled to be selected as the first recipient of the Because of AMOREM award.”

The idea for the Because of AMOREM award was conceived after Abernathy heard Campbell’s story about Crisp during a new-hire orientation. Abernathy was so moved by Campbell’s words that she wanted to do something to recognize the kind of care that Crisp provided. Abernathy knew that there were many more team members, like Crisp, who deserved this kind of recognition.

“My intention for this system is to publicly recognize those team members in our organization who are thinking outside of the box and providing that ‘whatever it takes’ kind of care,” says Abernathy. “My hope is to have so many nominations each month that it is hard to keep up with. I know that is a reality because I know the kind of naturally giving team members that we are lucky enough to have at AMOREM.”

To learn more about staff happenings, visit www.amoremsupport.org/about/events-happenings.

To learn more about AMOREM services, call 828.754.0101, 1-844-4AMOREM or visit www.amoremsupport.org.

 

AMOREM Patient Finds Housing After Living Nearly a Decade in a Camper 

(Published March 2023)

BOONE - Willard Cordell, an AMOREM hospice patient, lived in a camper for nearly a decade before several High Country organizations, including AMOREM, helped him find comfortable housing.

AMOREM first met Cordell when his wife was admitted to hospice services through the organization. AMOREM’s clinical team would travel to the family’s camper to provide comfort care to Cordell’s wife. Concerned about the Cordell’s living situation, AMOREM staff wanted to find conventional housing for the Cordell family, but Willard and his wife were unwilling to move without their dog Scruffy.

Due to Cordell’s wife’s progressing illness, it was necessary for her to be transported to the AMOREM patient care unit in Hudson to receive inpatient hospice care.

“AMOREM helped my wife so much,” says Cordell, “She was able to do whatever she wanted to do, and I was able to go down and spend time with her in the patient care unit.”

Years ago, Cordell and his wife built a home near Beech Mountain with an A-frame and a large porch to enjoy the mountain views. Unfortunately, the house underwent significant damage throughout the years deeming it unlivable.

The Cordell’s purchased an RV to park and live in near the property that the home is on. Tragically, the RV caught fire due to an electrical issue just days after the couple purchased it, leaving the Cordell’s and their dog homeless.

Cordell, who never seems to be defeated, was assisted by Edie Tugman in purchasing a smaller camper that the Cordell family could move into. 

“We did whatever it took,” says Cordell, “and we were happy to do so.”

When Cordell, his wife and Scruffy shared the camper, they would lay a garden hose in the sunlight to warm water for showering, they withstood freezing nights and days without power and climbed into a loft-style bed each night to sleep. 

“My wife and I lived a rough life but, we didn’t mind it one bit,” Cordell said. We enjoyed it, really. We knew that we wanted to build a home to leave behind for our son so, that’s exactly what we did.”

After nearly a decade of living in the camper, Cordell was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and was admitted to hospice services through AMOREM.

Scruffy and Cordell’s wife died within days of each other which left Cordell alone in the camper, anxiously awaiting the cold winter weather.

With a coordinated effort between Elise Kellogg, AMOREM medical social worker, Graham Doege, service coordinator at the Boone Hospitality House, Edie Tugman, mayor pro tem of Boone and Myra Dobbins with Watauga Village Apartments, Cordell was placed on a 200-person waitlist for an apartment in the High Country.

“Willard’s story broke everyone’s heart,” says Doege, “Once the news of Willard spread, the entire community came together and went above and beyond to help him.”

With the dedication and persistence of Doege, Kellogg, Tugman and Dobbins, Cordell was able to climb his way to the top of the 200-person waitlist. He was placed in an apartment in the High Country that, unlike the camper, boasted warm running water, a full-sized bed, a full kitchen and a living area with enough space for Cordell and Kellogg to play guitar together while others danced and tapped their feet to the rhythm of Johnny Cash. The home was fully furnished for Cordell with items thrifted and purchased by generous individuals.

As Kellogg fishes around for her guitar pick, Cordell expresses immense gratitude for Dobbins, Tugman, Doege, Kellogg and every other individual who has shown a willingness to help him during his journey.

“Look around this place!”, Cordell says as he extends an arm outward, “What more could

 anyone possibly ask for? This place has everything that I could have ever asked for and so much more.”

With a wink in his eye, Cordell leans to Kellogg and says, “Well, let’s play us some music!”

To hear Cordell and Kellogg play Johnny Cash songs in his new apartment, visit the AMOREM YouTube Channel at https://youtube.com/@amorem_bhpc_chpc.

To learn more about AMOREM services, visit www.amoremsupport.org or call 828.754.0101.

 

AMOREM Named Watauga County's Large Business of the Year  

(Published January 2023)

AMOREM, formerly Burke Hospice and Palliative Care and Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, was named Large Business of the Year at the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce annual luncheon.

Nominations were submitted by community members, with winners selected by the Chamber’s Business Development committee. Organizations were awarded based on criteria that included staying power, growth in sales and/or workforce, innovative products and services, strong response to adversity, contributions to community-oriented projects and use of local resources in business operations.

“AMOREM is very honored to be named Large Business of the Year by the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce,” says Carol Smith, vice president of the High Country service area. “We strive to deliver the best care possible in a holistic manner with a team of highly trained professionals.”

AMOREM has provided end-of-life care and support in the High Country for nine years through homecare hospice services, community and inpatient palliative care at Appalachian Regional HealthCare System. In the nine years of service in the High Country, AMOREM has had the privilege to serve more than 1,200 residents in Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties. All AMOREM staff serving the High Country live in the communities served.

In 2022, AMOREM constructed a palliative care center on Moonstruck Lane in Boone to provide its highly trained professionals with a permanent workspace, keeping them close to High Country patients and their families. The palliative care center is a hub for clinical and palliative care staff and features a community meeting room that can be rented at a low cost to other community organizations and teams.

AMOREM is in the public phase of a capital campaign to bring a patient care unit to the High Country. Currently, patients and families must drive an hour or more to the closest patient care unit, interfering with those precious moments that families and patients should be able to spend with one another. More than $4.7 million has been raised toward the organization’s $8 million goal, through corporate gifts and private donors in the High Country.

”We appreciate the support that we continue to receive from the High Country community.” Smith says.

The 8,460-square foot patient care unit will have seven beds with a full-time local staff dedicated to providing compassionate end-of-life care for residents of Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties.

AMOREM is honored for the opportunity to provide quality, thoughtful and loving care to the High Country and will continue to grow its mission of quality, compassion and support in the area.

To learn more about AMOREM services or the High Country capital campaign, visit www.amoremsupport.org or call 828.754.0101

 

AMOREM Launches Public Phase of $8M Capital Campaign 

(Published January 2023)

AMOREM, formerly Burke Hospice and Palliative Care and Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, is rolling out the public phase of an $8 million capital campaign to build a patient care unit in the High Country. The organization has served the High Country for nine years through homecare and inpatient palliative medicine at Watauga Medical Center.

The hospice and palliative care organization has already raised $4.6 million towards the capital campaign through corporate and private donations. Donors include Watauga County, Ashe County, Blue Ridge Energy, ECR Software Corporation, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, SkyLine/SkyBest and a $1.5M donation from the SECU Foundation. Several private donors also have contributed to the $4.6 million raised.

“For four decades we have been committed to serving the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of terminally ill patients and those that they love,” says CEO, Cathy Swanson. “Seeing a growing need for a patient care unit in the High Country, the state approved our request for a Certificate of Need to build a seven-bed patient care unit.”

The High Country requested that AMOREM build a patient care unit in their community because, without one, patients and their families must drive one to two hours to reach the closest patient care unit, taking away precious time that could be spent with loved ones. AMOREM’s Legacy Caldwell opened the first hospice patient care unit in the state in 1989, granting them the most experience in hospice in-patient care in North Carolina.

“Our family didn’t know the impact that a hospice patient care unit could have on our lives until the need for one suddenly arose in 2019,” says Capital Campaign Co-chairperson, Evalyn Pierce. “Our father was thankful for the compassion and support shown not only to him, but to our family. This inspired our effort to bring a patient care unit to the High Country in his memory.”

The 8,460-square foot patient care unit will have seven beds with a full-time local staff dedicated to providing compassionate end-of-life care for residents of Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties. The home-like environment will provide large patient rooms and comfortable family areas in a peaceful setting just off Archie Carroll Road on Moonstruck Lane in Boone.

“Over the past several months a group of concerned individuals has partnered with AMOREM to bring a state-of-the-art patient care unit to the High Country,” says Capital Campaign Co-chairperson, Anne-Marie Yates. “We’ve now come to the most important phase of enhancing hospice care in our area- fundraising. Please give prayerful consideration as you review the giving opportunities for the High Country Capital Campaign.”

There are still several named gift opportunities available for donors including reception areas, covered entries and other opportunities. Contact Kerri McFalls, vice president of community engagement, at 828.754.0101 or kmcfalls@amoremsupport.org to learn more about named gift opportunities.

AMOREM is a community owned, non-profit provider. Your tax-deductible gift will bring more quality, more compassion and more support to the High Country. To learn more about the High Country Capital Campaign, visit www.amoremsupport.org or call 828.754.0101 and remember that your gift is an act of love.

AMOREM Team Receives Six Awards at Charleston Conference 

(Published December 2022)

LENOIR - AMOREM’s Public Relations Coordinator, Lisa Caviness, and Marketing Specialist, Molly Fitzgerald, attended the Carolinas Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society 2022 Resilience Reset Conference to receive six awards for their Community Engagement Team's marketing efforts. CHPRMS members compete in more than a dozen categories and a panel of marketing communications professionals from other states chooses the winners.

AMOREM’s public relations and marketing team plays a key role in providing information and education to patients, families and the communities served.

“We work very hard to ensure that the communities we serve have all of the information and resources that they may need,” says Fitzgerald. “We are honored to have received six awards for the work that our team has done over the last year. This kind of recognition reminds us that our communities are receiving the resources and education that they need from us and that they are interacting positively with the information that we provide.”

The team was awarded four Golden Wallies for the organization’s website, logo, capital campaign case statement and care ad series. The team also received two Golden Tusk awards for their jobs campaign and their capital campaign.

“Our team is excited and humbled by the recognition from our peers in healthcare marketing throughout the Carolinas,” says Caviness. “It is truly an honor to promote the excellence delivered by the entire AMOREM team.”

During the conference, Caviness and Fitzgerald participated in breakout sessions and workshops provided by industry leading key-note speakers at the CHPRMS conference.

“We left the conference with so many new ideas and techniques that we are excited to begin working with,” says Fitzgerald. “We will continue to deliver the best information and resources to our communities and are thankful for the knowledge gained and the support from our leaders who made our attendance possible.” 

Other AMOREM staff who contributed to the award-winning projects include April Moore, vice president of business services and Kerri L. McFalls, vice president of community engagement. Outside consultants that contributed include NickGreene.com, MESH Design, VanNoppen Marketing and Teleios Collaborative Network. 

 

AMOREM's Valdese Patient Care Unit Reopening

(Published December 2022)

VALDESE- AMOREM’s Valdese Patient Care Unit will reopen on December 3, 2022.

“I am honored to help announce the reopening of the Valdese Patient Care Unit,” says AMOREM Board of Directors Chairperson, Jordan Greene. “The compassionate care that patients, families and loved ones have been accustomed to receiving in the Valdese Patient Care Unit has always been one of the organization's most important endeavors. As AMOREM continues to work through staffing shortages, the goal of reopening all facilities was never lost.”

The Valdese Patient Care Unit suspended operations in December of 2021 due to staffing shortages. To ensure the care provided to patients and families outside of the patient care units was not jeopardized, the organization chose to consolidate its patient care unit efforts into one, 12-bed, unit located in Hudson. AMOREM chose to keep this location open because it is the most centrally located within the organization’s 12-county service area. The Valdese campus, including administrative and outreach offices, remained open and home care remained active.

“The national healthcare staffing shortage has been challenging so we are especially grateful to have hired and trained the needed staff to reopen the Valdese Patient Care Unit,” says AMOREM CEO, Cathy Swanson. “Although residents of Burke and nearby counties have received hospice inpatient care at our facility in Hudson, it is always best for patients and their family members to be close to home.”

During 2021, AMOREM made a capital investment to upgrade its Valdese campus, including the computer infrastructure and facility repairs. Updates will continue as the unit opens and begins to accept patients.

“The Board of Directors are extremely proud of all our staff as they have worked tirelessly to provide outstanding care through this unconventional time. The future of AMOREM is bright and I am proud to be part of this exemplary organization,” says Greene.

If you would like more information about AMOREM services or would like to make a referral, please call 828.754.0101 or visit www.amoremsupport.org.

 

AMOREM Board of Directors

(Published November 2022)

LENOIR – The AMOREM Board of Directors recently approved a slate of new officers to its executive committee.

The new officer appointments include Jordan Greene as the newly elected chairman, Dr. Gregory Jones, vice chairman, Peg Broyhill, secretary, and Rob Hinman as treasurer. Both Greene and Jones reside in Burke County and Broyhill and Hinman are Caldwell County residents.

In May of 2021, with a desire to maintain local, community-based hospice care, Burke Hospice and Palliative Care and Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care integrated to form AMOREM. Members of the two separate boards that represented each legacy organization formed the AMOREM Board of Directors.

At the time of the integration, Marc Carpenter, who served as the board chairperson for Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, was named the first chairperson of the AMOREM Board of Directors.  Carpenter served on the Caldwell board for more than 30 years, with the last nine of those as the board chairperson.

“I have had the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors at AMOREM for over 30 years including for the last nine years as Chairperson,” Carpenter said. “I consider my time spent on the AMOREM, and previously the Caldwell Hospice Board, as one of the highest honors of my life. Working with the other dedicated board members and the outstanding AMOREM CEO and staff has been very rewarding and educational. I am so proud of the excellent level of care provided by the AMOREM staff and the incredibly positive reputation the organization has earned in the communities we serve. Further, I am excited to continue to serve on the Board with the current slate of officers who I think will assist in leading AMOREM to greater expansion of services in the future.”

Greene, who served on the legacy Burke’s board of directors, honored Carpenter at a recent board meeting for his many years of service and dedication to the organization.

“I am honored to be selected as the Board Chairman for AMOREM,” Greene says. “I want to thank Marc for his past and continued commitment and dedication to the organization. I am excited to assist our incredible staff and board members through the ever-changing healthcare landscape. Our goals of the highest quality patient support will continue to be the primary focus while we grow through our service areas.” 

For more information about AMOREM or to make a hospice or palliative medicine referral, please visit www.amoremsupport.org or call 878.754.0101.

 

AMOREM Welcomes Jeri Ward as Director of Growth

(Published November 2022)

VALDESE- Former AMOREM Outreach Specialist, Jeri Ward, steps into director of growth position.

“We are thrilled to see Jeri step into the director of growth role,” says Vice President of Community Engagement, Kerri McFalls. “Jeri’s passion for end-of-life care is evident in her dedication to AMOREM’s mission and the communities we serve. I feel confident that she will help grow our organization and the reach we have within our communities.”

Ward began her journey with AMOREM as an outreach specialist in the summer of 2022. Prior to joining AMOREM, Ward was a hospital donation specialist with Life Connection of Ohio. The end-of-life specialist is also the founder and executive director of Stroke of Luck, which provides education and advocacy for stroke survivors, their families and the general public.

“I could not be more thrilled to accept this position,” says Ward. “AMOREM’s mission and values align with my own personal beliefs towards end-of-life care, and I am humbled to serve in this capacity.”

Ward’s position at AMOREM involves providing consistent leadership, direction and accountability to outreach specialists, strategic planning to ensure organizational growth goals are met and setting developmental goals for the growth team members. Along with her role as director of growth, Ward spends days off volunteering for AMOREM with the hope to create a space in which she can be a light to others and help them die with dignity.

“I am committed to growing AMOREM and our partner collaborations to allow more families to experience death with grace and compassion and to make their final moments dignified.”

 

AMOREM Nurses Define Acts of Love

(Published November 2022)

When Burke Hospice and Palliative Care and Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care merged in the spring of 2021, they chose to rename the hospice and palliative care organization, ‘AMOREM’.

The Latin word AMOREM translates in the English language to “the act of love”. The name AMOREM is a direct representation of the organization’s mission to provide quality, thoughtful, loving care to patients, support to their families and to offer education and grief support to the communities served.

“AMOREM is a team and each person’s role within the organization is an integral part of providing exceptional care to our patients and their families,” says Amber Smith, RNCC, “My act of love is kindness. If you have a kind heart and enjoy a team approach to care, AMOREM is the place for you.”

Maintaining a kind heart assists in fostering the AMOREM culture of trust and allows each situation to be responded to in an ethical manner. The combination of utilizing a team approach to care and holding space for kindness ensures that AMOREM can make every effort to exceed the expectations of those who the organization serves; including patients, families, referral sources and communities.

“This is a different type of nursing,” says Kelley Chapman, RNCC, “I spent my whole nursing career making patients better and, in this job, you are spending all of your time making patients comfortable and preparing them for death. It is still so rewarding. Just being able to be there for patients and families during such vulnerable times and moments makes this job and your profession as a nurse meaningful and worthwhile.”

A nursing career with AMOREM allows for a personable environment with patients and their families in a home setting- wherever they may call home. It allows nurses to build a rapport with patients and families by meeting them where they are.

Chapman says, “I know, for the most part, we are not with these patients for long and that is more reason to form a relationship and meet them where they are. The main goal is to provide comfort and understanding of the transition from life to death. My act of love is caring for my patients and knowing that I have brought ease to their lives.”

If you are a nurse who wishes to transform the way that people view and experience serious illness and end-of-life and who wishes to foster a culture of compassionate, innovative care, visit www.amoremsupport.org/careers to define your act of love today.

 

AMOREM's Veteran Voices

(Published November 2022)

This Veterans Day, and every day at AMOREM, team members are committed to honor those who made the ultimate and selfless sacrifice to defend our freedom. AMOREM teams work diligently to ensure that the organization remains a sanctuary where veterans can access the care, resources and support they deserve.

This year, AMOREM’s Community Engagement Team has launched Veteran Voices; a series of podcasts that introduce stories from veteran patients, volunteers, staff and family members within the AMOREM community. Today, six stories are available for listening. A new story will be added to AMOREM’s YouTube channel each month for a year as we continue to honor the veterans that we have the privilege to know.

“The goal of these podcasts is to provide veterans and their families with a platform on which they can share their stories,” says AMOREM Marketing Specialist, Molly Fitzgerald. “As a community we can listen to these stories to honor and commemorate the veterans who are in our own communities. We have archived the voices of our veterans so that they may always be honored and never be forgotten.”

Veteran Voices allows the military community and public to share a vulnerable and open space with one another. It provides room for laughter, tears and above all- empathy for those who have nobly served our country, as few honestly understand the complexities of our veterans’ service.

AMOREM gratefully recognizes the sacrifices that our veterans have made in defense of freedom. Honoring our nation’s veterans includes supporting them throughout their entire lives, especially at the end of life. AMOREM makes an effort to provide volunteers who are veterans to hospice patients who also have served our country. This brings a special perspective that helps relate to the end-of-life needs that are unique to veterans. AMOREM addresses these needs through its We Honor Veterans program offering individualized support for veterans who are taken under its care.

“Our veterans mean so much to us. Join us today in taking the time to listen and learn through our Veteran Voices project,” says Fitzgerald. “Thank you, veterans. We love you and we are so glad that you are here with us today.”

If you are a veteran interested in supporting other veterans through our Veterans Honoring Veterans program, visit www.amoremsupport.org/volunteer or contact Cyndi Akins, Megan Parillo, Lorie Fidler or Crystal Burch at 828.754.0101.

To listen to AMOREM’s Veteran Voices podcasts visit AMOREM’s YouTube channel.

 

AMOREM Voted Best Hospice of Burke and Caldwell County

(Published October 2022)

AMOREM, formerly Burke Hospice and Palliative Care and Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, was voted Best Hospice in the Best of Burke County survey and the Best of Caldwell County survey.

 “We are honored to provide excellent serious illness and end-of-life care to the residents of the Caldwell and Burke service areas for more than 40 years. We began as your community-owned, nonprofit, provider and remain the same today. Thank you for voting AMOREM, formerly Burke Hospice and Palliative Care and Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, as the BEST,” says AMOREM CEO, Cathy Swanson.

AMOREM has provided quality, thoughtful, loving care to patients and support to their families in the Burke and Caldwell service areas with the commitment to serve the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and families.

“We take great pride in providing compassionate care and quality services to those in our communities. Our team recognizes the beauty of each individual’s journey and the privilege it is to walk alongside our patients and their families. It is an honor to support the citizens of our communities during such a sacred time,” says Vice President of the Burke Service Area, Laura Anderson.

AMOREM honorably serves Burke and Caldwell communities, transforms the way that people view and experience serious illness and end-of-life and fosters a culture of compassionate, innovative care. AMOREM is grateful to the Burke and Caldwell communities for voting the organization as the best hospice provider in both counties.

To learn more about AMOREM or to make a hospice or palliative care referral, visit www.amoremsupport.org or call 828-754-0101.

 

AMOREM's Thrifts & Gifts Store Remains at Valdese Location

(Published October 2022)

VALDESE­- AMOREM’s Valdese-based thrift store will remain at its current location on Main Street for another year.

“The thrift store is a valuable asset to AMOREM,” says April Moore, vice president of business services. “Money raised from its sales help to support the delivery of excellent patient care, regardless of a patient’s ability to pay.”

AMOREM, formerly Burke Hospice and Palliative Care and Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, is the premier local non-profit hospice and palliative organization to serve the area. Sales from Thrifts & Gifts support AMOREM’s mission to provide quality, thoughtful, loving care to patients and support to their families as well as offering education and grief support to communities served.

“We are thankful for the opportunity to remain in our Valdese location for one more year,” says Moore. “We love being a part of the community and appreciate the support.”  

AMOREM is still seeking a new location for Thrifts & Gifts. Moore said the ideal location would be a building that has high visibility, four to six thousand square feet with a loading dock and store front windows. While Thrifts & Gifts has been successful in its current Valdese location, Moore said AMOREM is open to other areas within Burke County.

 If anyone knows of a great location and has a heart for hospice, contact Vice President of Business Services, April Moore, at amoore@amoremsupport.org.

For more information on AMOREM visit www.amoremsupport.org.

 

AMOREM Receives $50K Matching Grant from HCCF

(Published October 2022)

BANNER ELK - AMOREM, formerly Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care and Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, receives a $50k matching grant from the High Country Charitable Foundation.

The HCCF was the first to make a pledge last fall towards AMOREM’s capital campaign to build a patient care unit in the High Country. Through different named opportunities for Avery County families and individuals, along with general contributions to the campaign, the match was made.

“We appreciate the foundation’s support in being the first to take the step towards the completion of this important project,” says Vice President of Community Engagement Kerri McFalls “The impact of the foundation’s gift will live on for many years as patients and families utilize the patient care unit on Moonstruck Lane in Boone.,”

The HCCF is committed to raising funds, along with donating time and talent to meet the needs of their neighbors. The foundation operates with integrity and transparency with the goal of generating the biggest impact for the community.

HCCF states, “We can all make a difference, and there are so many ways. We need to keep our eyes open for the opportunities put in front of us, no matter how small, and accept every chance that we have to do something good.”

AMOREM has raised more than $4.3 million towards its High Country capital campaign. The new patient care unit will have seven beds with a full-time local staff dedicated to providing compassionate end-of-life care for residents of Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties.

Director of Development Jake Benfield expresses, “It is overwhelming to see the impact that our community has had on this meaningful campaign. We are honored by the support that we are receiving toward our capital campaign.”

AMOREM Welcomes Director of Development, Jake Benfield

(Published September 2022)

VALDESE – AMOREM welcomes Jake Benfield as its new director of development.

“We are thrilled to have Jake join AMOREM,” said Kerri McFalls, vice president of community engagement for AMOREM. “Jake recently completed his internship with AMOREM as a student with Appalachian State University. We knew right away that we wanted to retain him. He brings energy, enthusiasm and passion for AMOREM’s mission. Jake is a valuable resource not only to AMOREM but to those that we serve.”

Benfield spent the summer of 2022 interning for AMOREM CEO, Cathy Swanson. In the fall, he returned to the High Country to complete his degree in Health Care Management at ASU.

 In his development role, Benfield will be a part of AMOREM’s Community Engagement Team. He will oversee all aspects of fundraising and grant writing for AMOREM, McFalls said.

“After working alongside the Senior Leadership Team in the summer, I was highly impressed with AMOREM’s Community Engagement Team and its fundraising efforts,” Benfield said. “I accepted this opportunity without hesitation.”

Benfield knew that he wanted to further his professional development with AMOREM where he could provide the same quality, compassion and support to his community that AMOREM provided to his very own grandparents.

  “Jake already plays a big role in AMOREM’s fundraising efforts,” McFalls said. “We are currently in the middle of a capital campaign to build a patient care unit in Boone. With Jake’s help, we have raised more than $4.3 million toward our $8 million goal.”

Benfield extends his gratitude to Cathy Swanson, the Community Engagement Team and the families who entrust AMOREM with their loved one’s care.

If you are interested in learning more about AMOREM services, events and news, visit www.amoremsupport.org.

AMOREM Welcomes Marketing Specialist, Molly Fitzgerald

(Published September 2022)

VALDESE- AMOREM, formerly Burke Hospice and Palliative Care and Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, welcomes marketing specialist, Molly Fitzgerald, to its community engagement team.

“I had been seeking a team that supported professional growth, creative collaboration and who really stood behind their mission,” says Fitzgerald. “I knew that I had found exactly that when I met the community engagement team at AMOREM.”

In May of 2020, Fitzgerald received her B.A. in Communications with a focus in Journalism and a minor in Creative Writing from High Point University. Fitzgerald has a passion for multimedia storytelling and has hit the ground running to share AMOREM stories with the community.

“Molly is a breath of fresh air and a valuable addition to AMOREM’s community engagement team,” says Vice President of Community Engagement Kerri McFalls. “Driven by her passion to share the stories of AMOREM’s excellent care, she has already implemented several new, innovative marketing programs and initiatives. Her creative skills and talents couple well with our department, and we feel fortunate to have her on the team.”

Fitzgerald’s role at AMOREM involves conducting education campaigns to reach goals, publishing social media content to engage with the community, writing regular press releases and establishing special projects that enrich AMOREM’s mission and community outreach goals. She and the community engagement team aim to educate the community, referral sources and patients and families on the services provided by AMOREM to connect resources with those who need them.

“I am grateful to be in the unique position to share the stories of our organization, staff, volunteers and patients,” Fitzgerald said. “It is nothing short of an honor.”

To learn more about AMOREM services and events, visit www.amoremsupport.org.

AMOREM Welcomes Volunteer Coordinator, Lorie Fidler, to High Country Campus

(Published September 2022)

High Country - AMOREM, formerly Burke Hospice and Palliative Care and Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, warmly welcomes Lorie Fidler, BA, as volunteer and outreach coordinator for the High Country service area.

“I researched AMOREM and instantly saw the love, compassion and support that AMOREM has for those that they serve, and I knew that this role would be the best fit,” says Fidler.

Fidler received her BA in Sociology with a concentration in Medical Sociology from University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Prior to AMOREM, Fidler was the Life Enrichment Director in the memory care community at Deerfield Assisted Living. Her role at Deerfield is where her love for the geriatric population was born and where it blossomed into the passion that she holds today.

“I am excited and grateful to have this opportunity,” says Fidler. “I am able to continue doing what I love most by bringing joy to others, working with the community and by making someone’s daily life a bit easier.”

Volunteering creates the opportunity to bring joy to others and to oneself within a community environment. AMOREM offers many outlets for volunteers to operate within such as a volunTEEN program, veteran volunteering, adult volunteering and several other options. There is opportunity for everyone to show quality, compassion and support at AMOREM.

In partnership with AMOREM staff, volunteers serve an essential role in supporting patients and families, administrative teams and the community. AMOREM will host volunteer training in November of 2022 for adults who are interested in becoming hospice volunteers. Attendance will be mandatory at each session. To reserve a spot, volunteers must complete an application at www.amoremsupport.org/volunteer.

For more information or to register for the next adult volunteer training opportunity, visit www.amoremsupport.org/volunteer or contact Cyndi Akins, Megan Parillo or Lorie Fidler at 828.754.0101. You may also email them at cakins@amoremsupport.org, mparillo@amoremsupport.org or lfidler@amoremsupport.org.

AMOREM Team Attends Communication Training in Oncology

(Published September 2022)

Valdese- AMOREM’s Director of Faith Outreach, Rev. Curtis Singleton and Director of Palliative Medicine, Freda Cowan, DNP, FNP-BC and ACHPN, attended a spiritual care communication training for oncology patients.

AMOREM, formerly Burke Hospice and Palliative Care and Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care has committed to provide spiritual support to all the patients and families it serves.

The Interprofessional Communication Curriculum conference was hosted by City of Hope and the National Cancer Institute and was held in Portland, Oregon. The continued education course was designed to educate participants from all disciplines on the benefits of spiritual care. Six educators, each from different disciplines, led attendees through coursework and engaging learning opportunities.

“Research, or what we like to call ‘settled science’, has proven that spiritual care is a vital part of end-of-life care,” says Singleton.

Not only is spiritual care essential in hospice, but it is also essential for palliative medicine patients and those utilizing grief support services. The practice and engagement at the ICC conference will invite all disciplines into the necessity of spiritual care in their practices.

“We were involved in group sessions with nurse practitioners, social workers and chaplains from all over the United States, including Hawaii,” says Cowan. “The main focus was communication among professionals within the community and patients with serious illness.”

During their coursework at the conference, Cowan and Singleton participated in role playing exercises, case studies, verbal, written and logical styles of learning that related to different domains across all stages of cancer.

Singleton and Cowan will now embark on a year-long project where they will educate each discipline of AMOREM on spiritual care needs and produce measurable outcomes.

“The ICC conference will prove to be of benefit to all clinicians, staff, patients and their families when all disciplines begin implementing the basics of spiritual care into their practices” states Singleton.

 

Dietary Team Attends Fort Mill Culinary Show Bringing Home Silver Medal

(Published September 2022)

HUDSON – AMOREM Dietary team members, Tina Avery and Jason Markland recently attended a culinary clinic hosted by Premier and US Foods in Fort Mill, South Carolina, where they received a silver medal for their achievements in the clinic’s cooking competition.

Avery and Markland, who work within AMOREM’s patient care units' commercial kitchens, attended the clinic and learned to cut down waste, cost and labor during the food making process. AMOREM’s dietary duo has implemented plans in their commercial kitchen based on the knowledge that they gained from the clinic to ensure efficient and quality food for AMOREM’s patients and families.

“Using the skills that we learned through the clinic, Jason and I plan on creating a ‘food waste pyramid’ and a ‘choose your own meal day’ to make sure that we are wasting as little food as possible,” Avery says.

Along with valuable lessons to bring to AMOREM kitchens, Avery and Markland competed in a mock Chopped competition at the US Foods facility in Fort Mills. Avery and Markland received a mystery ingredient basket and were required to formulate a meal using the secret ingredients.

“We most certainly received the hardest basket of ingredients,” exclaimed Markland.

Despite the challenge of creating a meal on the fly, Markland and Avery put their creative minds together and formulated a Philly steak quinoa bowl. The creative streak from both Markland and Avery led them to receive a silver medal.

“This was truly an amazing learning experience, and it was all made possible by AMOREM investing in their staff,” says Avery.

Avery intends to attend clinics regularly with the dietary team so that they continue to bring quality food to AMOREM’s patients and families in the most efficient, low-waste, way. Markland and Avery are eager to further their education in the kitchen, gain access to new recipe concepts and to compete once again.

“Next year we’re bringing home the gold!”, Markland bantered.

 

 

 

SECU Foundation announces $1.5 million commitment for new hospice initiative in Boone

(Published March 2022)

The SECU Foundation recently announced a significant grant of $1.5 million to AMOREM, the recent integration of Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care and Burke Hospice and Palliative Care. The Foundation’s commitment will go toward the construction of a new hospice patient care unit – the AMOREM SECU Patient Care Unit of the High Country. The new site will help expand AMOREM’s services and increase access to respite and end-of-life care for patients and families from Watauga, Ashe and Avery counties.

“As strong advocates for hospice care in our state, SECU is proud to support AMOREM’s goal to bring residential hospice services for patients living in this area,” said SECU Foundation Executive Director Jama Campbell. “We hope others will join our efforts to help AMOREM and the medical community provide this option of specialized care locally, offering a welcome reprieve for families who often face financial and emotional hardships when trying to coordinate care and spend quality time with their loved ones.”

The coming together of two hospice care providers to create AMOREM has helped maintain a legacy of community-based hospice care and made an even greater impact on serious illness and end-of-life care in the communities served. AMOREM projects that the future Boone unit will serve 1,150 patients from the High Country region in the first three years of operation.

“We are excited to see this project move forward,” said AMOREM CEO Cathy Swanson. “The High Country deserves a patient care unit, and the need is evident. AMOREM is extremely grateful to the SECU Foundation for helping make this possible. This patient care unit will have a lasting impact on the community and make a difference in the lives of the patients and families that we serve in the High Country.”

AMOREM hopes to begin construction of the High Country patient care unit in late summer.

In 1988, AMOREM (then Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care) opened the first hospice patient care unit in the state of North Carolina. In addition to the unit in Lenoir, AMOREM also operates units in Hudson and Valdese.

For more information about the building project or the campaign to raise funds in support, please contact Vice President of Community Engagement Kerri McFalls or Director of Development Brittany Bonn.

 

About SECU and the SECU Foundation

A not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members, SECU has provided employees of the state of North Carolina and their families with consumer financial services for more than 84 years. SECU is the second largest credit union in the U.S. with more than $51 billion in assets and serves more than 2.6 million members through 274 branch offices, more than 1,100 ATMs, 24/7 member services via phone, www.ncsecu.org and a mobile App. The SECU Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization funded by the contributions of SECU members, promotes local community development in North Carolina primarily through high impact projects in the areas of housing, education, healthcare and human services. Since 2004, SECU Foundation has made a collective financial commitment of more than $216 million for initiatives to benefit North Carolinians statewide.

 

Cathy Swanson, AMOREM CEO, discusses what's changing and what is not. Click here!

 

 

AMOREM: Burke and Caldwell Integration Update

(Published July 2021)

A local hospice and palliative care provider has filled its key leadership positions and appointed a board of directors. 

On May 1 Burke Hospice & Palliative Care and Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care officially integrated to become one provider. The new group’s name is AMOREM.

Cathy Swanson, chief executive officer of AMOREM, said the non-profit’s board of directors has been appointed.

Directors that represent both the original Caldwell and Burke Hospice boards have been appointed to the new AMOREM board. “By coming together and forming one organization we are able to keep local voices on our new board to ensure our communities have equitable representation,” Swanson said.

The 15-member board is comprised of eight individuals from Caldwell, six from Burke and one representative from the High Country service area. The board split is included in the organization’s by-laws.

Marc Carpenter, previous board chairman for the Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care Board of Directors, serves in the same role for Amorem’s board of Directors. Dr. Gregory Jones, previous board chair for Burke Hospice & Palliative Care, has been elected vice chairman.

“The intent behind the integration is to retain the integrity and vision of our community-owned hospice organizations,” Swanson said. “The vision for the collaborative partnership is to integrate two like-minded providers in order to have a greater impact on serious illness and end-of-life care in the communities served.”

The previous boards for both organizations voted unanimously to bring the two providers together.

Prior to the integration, leadership at both Burke and Caldwell were contacted by other hospice organizations that wanted to merge with or acquire the local providers. Those offers did not align with the vision to remain locally owned and managed.

“By bringing the Burke and Caldwell organizations together we maintain the legacy of community-based hospice care,” Swanson said. “As Amorem, we will offer our communities more quality, more compassion and more support.”

In addition to the board of directors, Swanson also has announced her senior leadership team. Three staff members from the legacy Burke team and seven staff members from the legacy Caldwell team fill the positions.

Swanson previously served as the CEO for Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care for more than 30 years.

The new “look” of the organization also has been released. The AMOREM logo was inspired by the Flower of Life symbol for creation and connectedness, representing both the secular and the sacred as a bridge of the spirit and the body. AMOREM – which is Latin for the act of love – was chosen as the name because of its meaning.

“The transition for our patients and their families will be seamless,” Swanson said. “Access to excellent care remains the top priority.”

In addition to the Valdese campus, patient care units also are located in Hudson and Lenoir and plans to open a unit in the High Country are in progress.

The complete integration process will take about 12 to 18 months to complete.  “A master integration plan was developed to ensure collaboration and a smooth transition,” Swanson said. “As a part of that master plan, action teams made up of both legacy Caldwell and legacy Burke staff were created to ensure best practices for the new organization are developed.”

Swanson said infrastructure details are nearly complete and there are no plans to close any of the locations or have a reduction in force. “We have highly qualified individuals and have used our internal people and resources to fill current and new positions,” she said.

Since the integration went live on May 1, the turnover rate for staff has remained at 2.5% or lower. “We are extremely pleased with how well everyone is working together,” Swanson said. “There are lots of changes, but the excitement level is high.”

Since the integration, the organization has already invested in capital improvements to the Valdese campus. The computer infrastructure has been upgraded and much-needed facility repairs are underway. Future plans include major renovations and updates to the patient care unit and other buildings on the campus.

To make a hospice or palliative medicine referral, call the Burke office at 828.879.1601 or the Caldwell office at 828.754.0101.

AMOREM’s Board of Directors:

  • Marc Carpenter, chairperson
  • Dr. Gregory Jones, vice chairperson
  • Peg Broyhill, secretary
  • Jordan Greene, treasurer
  • Dr. David Burnette
  • Rich DeAugustinis
  • David Gray
  • Rob Hinman
  • Jared Huffman
  • Mack Jarvis
  • David Lackey
  • Rhonda Lee
  • Tamra Starnes
  • Wongalee Thomas
  • Janet Winkler

AMOREM’s senior leadership team:

  • Cathy Swanson, Chief Executive Officer
  • Dr. Julia Sherrill, Chief Medical Officer
  • Carol Smith, Vice President of High Country Service Area
  • Bobbie Self, Vice President of Quality and Compliance
  • Jacquita White Blount, Vice President of Burke Service Area
  • April Moore, Vice President of Business Services
  • Kathy Tunstill, Vice President of Nursing Services
  • Anna Blanton, Vice President of Support Services
  • Kerri L. McFalls, Vice President of Community Engagement
  • Terry Johnson, Vice President of Finance

 

AMOREM: Burke and Caldwell Integration Update

(Published June 2021)

Effective May 1, Burke Hospice & Palliative Care and Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care officially integrated to become one provider. The new group has been named AMOREM.  

“As AMOREM, we will offer our communities more quality, more compassion and more support,” said Cathy Swanson, CEO of AMOREM.  

Swanson previously served as the CEO for Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care for more than 30 years. 
“Amorem – which is Latin for the act of love – was chosen as the name for the organization because of its meaning,” Swanson said.  

The decision to integrate the two providers was made by leadership at both Burke and Caldwell in October 2020. The separate board of directors from each organization approved the decision.  

“The transition for our patients and their families will be seamless,” Swanson said. “Access to excellent care remains the top priority.” 

Marc Carpenter, previous board chairman for the Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care Board of Directors, serves in the same role for AMOREM’s Board of Directors. Dr. Gregory Jones, previous board chair for Burke Hospice & Palliative Care, has been appointed the vice chairman. 

“The vision for the collaborative partnership is to integrate two like-minded community-owned hospice and palliative medicine providers in order to have a greater impact on serious illness and end-of-life care in the communities served,” Swanson said.   

Since the announcement of the intent to merge last fall, leadership from both organizations have partnered to develop an integration plan, which will take place over the next 12 to 18 months. Some departments have already begun the integration process, Swanson said. Swanson said details on infrastructure are still in process but there are no plans to close any of the locations or have a reduction in force.

To make a hospice or palliative medicine referral, call the Burke office at 828.879.1601 or the Caldwell office at 828.754.0101.  

Burke Caldwell Integration Update

(Published May 2021)

Effective May 1, Burke Hospice & Palliative Care and Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care officially integrated to become one provider.

The name for the new organization will be released in June.

In October 2020, leadership from the two separate organizations informed staff of the intent to integrate. The separate board of directors from each organization approved the decision.

Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care CEO Cathy Swanson will serve as the CEO of the new organization. She has served as the Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care CEO for 31 years.

“The vision for the collaborative partnership is to integrate two like-minded community-owned hospice and palliative medicine providers in order to have a greater impact on serious illness and end-of-life care in the communities served,” Swanson said. 

Since the announcement of the intent to merge last fall, leadership from both organizations have partnered to develop an integration plan, which will take place over the next 12 to 18 months.  Some departments have already begun the integration process, Swanson said.

There are no plans to close any of the locations or have a reduction in force, she added.

For the time being, referral and admission processes at the two locations will remain the same and patient care will continue at the same level of excellence.  

“The transition will be seamless for our patients and families,” Swanson said. “Both organizations have a long history of outstanding patient care and that won’t change. We are excited about the future of our new organization and to be the leader in community-based palliative medicine and hospice care for this area.”

The Burke office can be reached at 828.879.1601 and the Caldwell office can be reached at 828.754.0101.

Intent to Integrate for Greater Impact

(Published October 8, 2020)

VALDESE/LENOIR—Burke Hospice & Palliative Care and Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care announced to employees, volunteers and donors on Thursday that the two organizations are exploring the possibility of becoming one organization.  

Both boards of directors approved the decision.

Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care Board of Directors Chairperson Marc Carpenter said the two organizations already mirror each other in many ways and feels the unity between the two will benefit the communities and people served. 

“We are excited about the possibility of joining with Burke Hospice & Palliative Care to form one organization that will increase our ability to meet the needs of our communities,” Carpenter said. “We share very similar missions, visions and values and feel this integration will provide a number of advantages to both organizations that will ensure our communities continue to receive the expert care they expect and deserve.”

The vision for the collaborative partnership is to integrate two like-minded community-owned hospice and palliative medicine providers in order to have a greater impact on serious illness and end-of-life care in the communities served. 

“Both of these programs have long placed importance on providing care and compassion to those facing life-limiting illness,” said Burke Hospice & Palliative Care Executive Director Myschell Pearson. “As healthcare continually evolves, so must local hospice organizations. The similarities in how we approach servanthood, desire to protect the integrity of what hospice was meant to be from inception, and dedication to preserve true community-based hospice and palliative care can be more concretely secured through the integration of the two agencies. We look forward to developing a new legacy of top-quality compassion and care for all those in the communities we serve.”

Burke Hospice & Palliative Care Chairperson Greg Jones, MD, a radiation oncologist, has worked with both organizations in multiple capacities for nearly 30 years. He describes the two providers as regional leaders in hospice and palliative care. As a referring physician to both organizations, Dr. Jones said both groups place emphasis on patient care and priority to communicate with referring physicians and/or other individuals involved in the patient’s care.

“In our exploration of this possibility, we have observed a mutuality of goals and purpose that should lead to a firm stand for years to come,” Dr. Jones said. “I feel certain that the people of our extensive service area will continue to be pleased by the outstanding patient and family care that a unified organization will be able to provide and the new consolidated entity will be stronger and more secure into the future as a result of the alliance.”

Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care CEO Cathy Swanson, who would serve the same role in the new partnership, said the peer organizations have a long history of working well together. “For nearly four decades we’ve had a collaborative and supportive relationship with Burke Hospice & Palliative Care,” Swanson said. “A future partnership will be built on a strong foundation of trust and mutual respect. Together, we can ensure excellent care for people dealing with serious illnesses.” 

A timeline has yet to be finalized but leadership at both organizations expect to complete the legal partnership sometime in 2021. Should the two providers combine into one organization, a new name will be announced for the group. 

There are no plans to close any of the locations and infrastructure details are still being determined.