Right Patient, Right Care, Right Time WVU Nursing Alum Malene Davis inspires nurses to support hospice patients Monday, February 1, 2016 If there’s one color Malene Davis does not like, it’s beige. “I had always been told in my MBA classes to be colorful, but don’t be beige,” said Davis, CEO of Capital Caring. “What that meant to me was analyze the situation, understand what matters, then take a principled stance — and always be bold. I’ve tried to live my personal and professional life like that and inspire and motivate others to do the same.” On a recent afternoon, Davis sat at a desk in Hospice Care Corporation’s headquarters in Arthurdale, West Virginia – in a room that previously served as Eleanor Roosevelt’s quarters. Dressed in a bright coral dress, the WVU School of Nursing alum reminisced about her colorful career. She started as a nurse at the former University Hospital, where she cared for oncology, ENT, and neurosurgery patients. “I wondered what would happen to them once they left the hospital,” Davis said. “In these very rural counties, what kind of help would they have at home? That’s a little beyond what the hospital can be concerned about on a daily basis.” With a goal of working in hospital administration, the Preston County native went on to earn her Master of Business Administration from WVU. “At that time, there were not many RN, MBAs,” Davis shared. “They really didn’t know what exactly to do with me. They kept trying to corral me back into the nursing department. I felt like I could make a change in how hospitals were run. That was very ambitious for a 24-year-old. I wanted something that married management and nursing.” Then, one day in 1988, Davis came across an ad – about the size of a Splenda pack – in the Preston County Journal, seeking someone to run a hospice. “It was a start-up, a small group of volunteers who were trying to get a hospice off the ground,” she recalled, referring to Hospice Care Corporation. “So I applied. When I went to interview, the floor was beige, the walls were beige, the pants of every person interviewing me were beige. It was a Forrest Gump moment, as in ‘Run, Malene, run!’” Encouraged by her father, Davis took the job. She served as president and CEO of Hospice Care Corporation for 19 years. “Being in Eleanor’s place, I used to sit here and wonder, ‘What would Eleanor think about how Arthurdale turned out?’ Here she was, a woman of means, but she had this spirit about her. She really wanted people to be able to do better. That’s what developing and creating Hospice Care Corporation meant to me.” A trailblazer at heart, Davis feels compelled to make sure everyone knows that hospice care is available and that they’re entitled to it. She did that in West Virginia: Hospice Care Corporation is the largest hospice in the state, serving 12 counties. “I feel people should get the care they need – the right patient, the right care, the right time,” she noted. In 2006, inspired by her success in building a solid hospice foundation in West Virginia, Davis moved to Washington, D.C., to help Capital Caring with its goals. Davis led with her vision of developing a strong hospice in the nation’s capital – one that could serve as an example to the country for how hospice care should be. “We went to work right away to figure out how to expand access to hospice care and ensure we were providing the highest quality care available,” she said. In the years since, Davis has led Capital Caring in tremendous growth, doubling the number of patients and families the organization serves. Davis credits success to a focus on quality, outcomes, and accountability. “We’ve been very innovative,” said Davis, who is past president of the WVU School of Nursing Alumni Association. “That’s something I encourage nurses to do – think out of the proverbial box. Think about ways you can improve how people are cared for, the way systems run. Nurses are so good about that because they’re so resourceful.” In 2008, Davis and Hospice Care Corporation created at the WVU School of Nursing the first national endowed lectureship focused on pain and palliative care – the Perry G. Fine Pain and Palliative Care Lecture Series. The endowed lectureship is the only one in the country that partners a community-based hospice and a major university, bringing national and international pain management experts to the state. “We always reach out to students because it’s nationally known that there’s not enough teaching in hospice and palliative care for medical and nursing students,” explained Davis, who is a member of the WVU Alumni Association Board of Directors. “Hospice is palliative care, but not all palliative care is hospice care. Palliative care is about pain and symptom management. That can and should be carried out while people are going through active treatment. When things are coming to an end and cure is no longer a realistic goal, there is always more we can do to reduce the burden of advanced illness for both patient and family. Comfort, support, and closure are principle goals of hospice care. “A person is not just made up of a biological being in the disease state, but there’s the psychosocial part, the spiritual part that needs to be attended and nurtured as well,” she added. “Most people, if they were to describe where they want to be at the end of life, they want to be at home, wherever they call home.” Nurses, Davis stressed, are an integral part of the interdisciplinary team that provides palliative and hospice care. “There is an incalculable value of bedside nursing,” Davis said. “Being mindful of patients and their families is at the core, always, of everything we do. When time is of the essence – when you have more yesterdays than tomorrows – then you don’t want people wasting your time. You want your issues addressed by some great people who deliver TLC.” How does someone who’s dedicated her life’s work to hospice care stay positive? “People ask, ‘Isn’t that depressing?’” Davis recalled. “I’ve always focused on the honor and the privilege to learn the patient’s story. I am inspired by those stories on a daily basis because families write in. People say, ‘I don’t know what we would have done without you.’ When you focus on that, you’re repeatedly just filled up with inspiration and great desire to change the course of despair and suffering for people.” For more information: Contact: Tara Curtis, 304-581-1772 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it April Henry
Hospice Care Corporation is kicking off its 7th Annual “Hearts for Hospice Care” fundraiser to increase awareness and raise money for patients who need hospice services. The theme of this year’s campaign is “Give Local.” The campaign will run through the entire the month of February with the support of local businesses, organizations and individuals here in North Central West Virginia.

The goal for this year’s campaign is $10,000, which benefits patient care for Hospice Care Corporation is a local, free standing, community based 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation hospice for more than 33 years. All proceeds raised will pay for local patients and families who do not have insurance or the ability to pay for hospice care services. Last year, the campaign netted over $4,000 so there is a lot of opportunity for more participation and support at all levels.

The “Hearts for Hospice Care” fundraiser is very important because it is supported by local businesses, individuals and organizations. And, even though this campaign looks similar to national in-store run by many organizations fighting various diseases; however, all of the money that is raised stays right here in our local West Virginia communities. One dollar or more donated by many can make a big difference in our loved ones and neighbors lives who need end-of-life care.

“We’ve have all been encouraged to “Shop Local” so, we need to “Give Local” too. “By supporting locally-based businesses, we are strengthening our local economic base and investing in the lives of those we know, said Cynthia Woodyard, Vice President of Public Affairs and Access for Hospice Care Corporation. “It’s the right thing to do,” Woodyard added.

Local businesses, organizations and individuals are encouraged to participate. Here’s how it works. You can support Hospice Care’s mission through a corporate sponsorship or allow your customers to donate $1 or more and proudly honor their loved one on a heart displayed in your business. All contributions are tax deductible. Hospice Care provides you with all of the materials free of charge to participate.

For more information or to participate please contact Christina Smith at (304) 599-3105 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Hospice Care Corporation is a free standing, community based 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation serving 12 counties in West Virginia for over 33 years.
Eighth Annual Perry G. Fine, M.D. Pain Lecture Series MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The Eighth Annual Perry G. Fine, M.D. Pain Lecture Series will be held on Monday, September, 28, 2015, at the WVU Erickson Alumni Center in Morgantown, West Virginia. The lecture series will address a critical topic for end-of-life care entitled, “Pain Medicine and Palliative Care: Bridging the Gap”. This continuing education lecture series will inform medical professionals about cost-effective and efficient ways of optimizing care for patients with advanced medical illnesses. In addition, participants will be able to integrate their expertise in interventional pain care using an interdisciplinary team approach for providing care. The series will also feature new evidence-based strategies for opioid rotation that will improve therapeutic outcomes for patients with chronic pain. Presenters include: • Perry G. Fine, M.D., professor of Anesthesiology at the University of Utah’s Pain Management Center and former professor of Anesthesiology at the WVU School of Medicine. He also serves as strategic advisor for Capital Caring in Washington, D.C.; • Michael G. Byas-Smith, M.D., medical director for the Adler Center for Caring and the Center for Pain and Palliative Care for Capital Caring in Washington, D.C.; • Ms. Malene Smith Davis, M.B.A., M.S.N., Chief Executive Officer of Capital Caring and Founding President for Hospice Care Corporation. The series is hosted by Hospice Care Corporation and the WVU Health Sciences Office of Continuing Education. This event is free to the public and provides continuing education units for physicians, nurses and social workers. It also provides an opportunity for networking among healthcare professionals from around the region. Networking will begin at 5 p.m. with light refreshments and opening remarks promptly at 5:25 p.m. To register, please contact Wendy Kerekes at Hospice Care Corporation at 304-599-4200, or email her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .