About Us Video Transcript

Hospice of Davidson County Introduction and Tour Video Link


Laura Owen: The pandemic has changed all of our lives forever and how we think about how well we live, what our priorities are, but also we think about death and dying in a different way. As sad, and tragic, and concerning as the pandemic is, it’s given our organization a tremendous opportunity to really be in focus with our community and other human service providers, and come forward as the experts in end of life care. And in providing our expertise and services for a very supportive passing. We’ve been serving Davidson County residents at end of life for over 35 years and we’ve stayed true to our mission and our guiding principles which are to alleviate suffering of all kinds, whether that’s physical, emotional, psychosocial, spiritual.

When I joined Hospice of Davidson County we were caring for under 60 patients a day and had I think 41 full and part-time staff and we had a really wonderful home care program and a very small facility program at that time, and fortunately our community recognized the need to actually have an inpatient unit or the Hinkle Hospice House and under Gary Drake’s leadership and verve and drive we were able to obtain the certificate of need to build this 12-bed unit.

So our 12-bed unit is centered on 35-plus acres and it’s very rural and pastoral, like the lives of most of the individuals we care for, and they love it here. We have exterior spaces, we have beautiful gardens. Jane Whitehurst and Jan Scott did an incredible job on the interior decor and we’ve since had a refresh and updates throughout the facility, but it’s very home-like, it’s not institutional.


Christa Young: So many times people, they don’t think about death as part of life. I mean we’re all going to experience it one day and it’s good to know what those options are, you know, kind of know what everybody’s wishes are for their end of life. So being able to meet with families and talk to them about that, get to know the patients, what they want, so we can help them achieve their goals – whether it’s getting married or getting to go on a last fishing trip, we want to be able to do that for them, and so education is so important. Sometimes people think that hospice speeds up that natural death process but it doesn’t, actually it’s been proven that hospice can help patients live longer and have a better quality of life.


Dr. Lana Riemann: Hospice is a very in-person, high-touch type of care and everything about the pandemic forced us all to be less in person and less high-touch and so the agency’s willingness to look at ways to do things differently and the staff’s willingness to try those things, you know to do things that were totally foreign to them in terms of how they were going to care for people, but knowing they still wanted patients to be cared for and they wanted to be cared for safely and well, and realizing that trying new things was the only way to do that, and have an outcome similar to what they could have had without a pandemic.


Jennifer King: Going out to patient homes that whole process changed, we had to change what nurses had available to them so that they could safely go out and see patients. We had to change our protocols to go into nursing facilities, we had to change our protocols here at the hospice house, all of that had to change while we were in COVID-19.


Christa Young: So I first learned about hospice when my grandpa was sick. I never knew what hospice was until I experienced it. He got to stay at home, his family was there, the hospice nurse, and the CNAs, the social worker,  they all came to us and provided such great support and I knew then that I wanted to do that.

So COVID-19 has definitely been hard, we’re used to being in the homes, being at the bedside, being in the hospitals, in the nursing homes, but something that was very helpful was our Tap Cloud, our telehealth service, especially for our facility patients because we were not getting to go in there and see them, so having that option, to be able to stay in touch with our patients, with their families, and then the times that we did get to go in, I can’t tell you how many times families appreciated it – if I was there I was on the phone, I was doing a video so they could see their loved ones, they didn’t get to see them for a year and to me that’s that’s important.


Laura Owen: You’re connecting family members from across the world through that platform so that they can be up to date and communicating with the care team and with their loved one. Our organization was was really ahead of the curve because the fall before the pandemic we implemented a telehealth program and had our staff trained, now as we’re still living with the pandemic there’s a surging and growing need for grief bereavement and counseling services, more than once I’ve heard someone say, “I have my life back, I can live again”. One of the greatest gifts of hospice is that we help those that are left behind we help them resolve their loss, cherish it, but we enable them to continue to contribute fully and live fully in their communities.


Dr. Lana Riemann: The thing I admire most about Hospice of Davidson County is the agency’s ability to be a part of the community and also able to give care that you might think you had to go far away from home to get.