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Carolina Caring: Helping Those with a Serious Illness

Dana Killian | Carolina Caring
Dana Killian | Carolina Caring

Good palliative care is the difference between being at peace and feeling powerless. For those with a serious illness, finding peace can be especially challenging. But, with expert treatment and support from a specially trained healthcare team, patients have more control over their treatments and a better quality of life.

Improving the Lives of Those Living with a Serious Illness

For more than 40 years, Carolina Caring has been improving the lives of those with serious illness. As one of the state’s original three hospice providers, it has deep roots in the Carolinas and has grown its expert team exponentially. With providers on call 24 hours per day and 7 days a week, the nonprofit offers patients and families hope by supporting them throughout their journey.

Our Mission is to Improve Quality of Life Through Innovative Partnerships

Carolina Caring’s President and CEO, Dana Killian, joined the organization in 2020. Early in her career, she developed a passion for holistic care and recognized the challenges of navigating the healthcare system. When she joined Carolina Caring, she quickly collaborated with community partners to explore better ways to serve patients and access to care through innovative partnerships. She is passionate about protecting and expanding healthcare access to all who need it, better engaging with the community to improve quality of life and achieve equity of care.

“It is refreshing to work for an organization that is so focused on the whole patient,” says Killian. “Our teams not only attend to medical needs, but they also look for creative and meaningful ways to improve the lives of those they care for.”

Caring is in our DNA

From organizing a special covenant ceremony for a young man with a terminal diagnosis, to singing to our patients during their last days and helping a young mother spend as much time as possible with her seriously ill child, Carolina Caring’s team is inspired to make each moment special for patients and families.

New Program Expands Services to Vulnerable Patients

As Killian continues to see how a coordinated approach to serious illness care benefits our patients, she has been eager to develop new programs to expand the services we provide to some of the community’s most vulnerable residents. When she spoke with local paramedics and found that many patients were calling 9-1-1 who simply needed primary care services, she moved quickly to help launch Carolina Caring House Calls, so patients who have trouble travelling to a doctor’s office can get the care they need at home.

Overcoming Challenges

Carolina Caring’s journey has had many challenges, including overcoming common misconceptions surrounding hospice and palliative care, which often present a tremendous roadblock in delivering the right level of care at the right time, and staffing – stemming from burnout levels experienced during COVID and the great resignation phenomenon. As a recipient of Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work for the fourth year in a row. (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022), Killian and her team continue to push for greater levels of workplace engagement while nurturing an environment of diversity and inclusion.

Evolving Around Technology

With technology like remote patient monitoring, Carolina Caring continues innovating and improving the way people live. The organization is preparing to launch this technology to monitor patients’ vitals – including blood pressure, weight, and oxygen saturation levels. This enables Carolina Caring to keep an eye on how well they are doing while also providing them with peace of mind knowing their condition is not unnoticed by those who care for them.

Pearls of Wisdom

As a piece of advice for the budding aspirants willing to enter the healthcare space, Dana shared, “The holistic care we provide is not only the best way to deliver healthcare, but it is also rewarding and fulfilling.”

Those who work in the serious illness space often develop strong relationships with patients that last through their most difficult moments. It’s an honor walking alongside patients and families as they go through these tough times together,” she added.

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