When Disaster Strikes: We’re All Pulling Together to Help

There are two types of disasters: disasters that are prepared for and disasters that are not. Caris Healthcare plans and works meticulously to ensure every crisis lands in the first category. Each month at every Caris Healthcare location the Safety Committee meets to review issues vital to the safety and health of our patients and employees. The Safety Committee includes the Caris administrator or patient care manager and one employee from each discipline. Committee members serve on an annual basis to ensure there’s always a new perspective on safety—from auto accidents to slips and falls and lifting issues for clinical staff. But the agenda also covers disasters we hope we never face: hurricanes, active shooters, floods or fires.

On November 28, the Caris Sevierville office was facing a forest fire two to three miles from the office. The fire started days earlier in the mountainous forests of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and made its way down to destroy hundreds of structures and homes, leaving seven dead.

When Caris staff first heard about the spreading of the fire, they immediately called six patients in the danger zone to see if they wanted to and/or needed help evacuating. Three patients were not under mandatory evacuation orders and chose to shelter in place. The other three patients needed to leave their homes—and soon. Caris staff worked into the next morning to make sure patients had respite beds reserved at local nursing centers and helped ensure they were transported safely.

The next day Caris Social Workers worked with patients to get them safely back to their homes. Caris nurses visited their patients, delivering oxygen masks and assessing the need for back-up oxygen. The Caris Sevierville team continues to monitor the safety needs of patients as some may be without power in the days ahead.

“This fire has been devastating for our community, but we are all pulling together to help,” said Administrator Robin Kountz. “I am proud of the Caris team for their commitment to our patient’s safety. I am also thankful they are safe as well.”

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Exceptional Service

“The Caris hospice team was wonderful! My family could not have asked for any better care than what was given to my father. The nurses would talk to us as if they had no other patients at all. Please don’t change any of the care that you provide.”

—   Janie B.
2014-03-05T21:05:19+00:00
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“The Caris hospice team was wonderful! My family could not have asked for any better care than what was given to my father. The nurses would talk to us as if they had no other patients at all. Please don’t change any of the care that you provide.” —   Janie B.
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Operational Excellence

In 2008, Caris was awarded the prestigious Excellence Award from the Tennessee Center of Performance Excellence.
2014-03-05T21:03:40+00:00
excellence
In 2008, Caris was awarded the prestigious Excellence Award from the Tennessee Center of Performance Excellence.
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Exceptional Service

“I would like to thank the whole Caris team for their thoughtfulness. They made sure about my husband’s dignity and helped us to fulfill his last wishes. The Caris team that cared for Billy and the way you helped us was very special. There was always someone to give us that little touch so we could go that next step.” —   Margie W.
2014-03-05T21:04:53+00:00
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“I would like to thank the whole Caris team for their thoughtfulness. They made sure about my husband’s dignity and helped us to fulfill his last wishes. The Caris team that cared for Billy and the way you helped us was very special. There was always someone to give us that little touch so we could go that next step.” —   Margie W.
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Exceptional Service

“Calling Caris wasn’t giving up on my wife. It was just the opposite – it gave her more.” —   Donald M.
2014-03-05T21:05:58+00:00
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“Calling Caris wasn’t giving up on my wife. It was just the opposite – it gave her more.” —   Donald M.
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Outstanding Patient Care

All Caris hospice teams include a nurse on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
2014-03-05T21:02:00+00:00
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All Caris hospice teams include a nurse on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
excellence

Operational Excellence

In 2011, Caris Director of Family Services David Fleming was awarded the Champion of Excellence award from the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence.
2014-03-05T21:03:23+00:00
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In 2011, Caris Director of Family Services David Fleming was awarded the Champion of Excellence award from the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence.
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Outstanding Patient Care

Eighty-eight percent of Caris employees say they would be likely to recommend Caris as one of the best places to work in the community.
2014-03-03T16:44:28+00:00
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Eighty-eight percent of Caris employees say they would be likely to recommend Caris as one of the best places to work in the community.
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Exceptional Service

“I feel at Caris, we add life to days, not days to live.” —   Dr. Jamie Oakley
2014-03-05T21:06:40+00:00
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“I feel at Caris, we add life to days, not days to live.” —   Dr. Jamie Oakley
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Exceptional Service

“It was so beneficial to have someone with vast experience who could answer our questions so that we could feel that Mom was receiving the best care possible at all times. This service is so important to those whose life is ending as well as their families.” —   Gary M.
2014-03-05T21:04:02+00:00
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“It was so beneficial to have someone with vast experience who could answer our questions so that we could feel that Mom was receiving the best care possible at all times. This service is so important to those whose life is ending as well as their families.” —   Gary M.
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Exceptional Service

“Caris came into my son’s life at a time when he really needed kindness shown to him and I’m really thankful.” —   Roberta M.
2014-03-05T21:06:20+00:00
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“Caris came into my son’s life at a time when he really needed kindness shown to him and I’m really thankful.” —   Roberta M.
excellence

Operational Excellence

In 2010, Caris was honored by a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award visit.
2014-03-05T21:02:51+00:00
excellence
In 2010, Caris was honored by a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award visit.
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Exceptional Service

“Our hospice nurse showed great care while working with my mom, and gave me tremendous support. God bless you all and Caris for doing what you do at the end of someone’s life.” —   Susan T.
2014-03-05T21:05:07+00:00
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“Our hospice nurse showed great care while working with my mom, and gave me tremendous support. God bless you all and Caris for doing what you do at the end of someone’s life.” —   Susan T.
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Outstanding Patient Care

Ninety-three percent of Caris employees say they intend to stay with Caris for the next several years.
2014-03-05T21:02:15+00:00
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Ninety-three percent of Caris employees say they intend to stay with Caris for the next several years.
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Exceptional Service

“Why wait to call? I’d much rather have my husband comfortable for six months than six days.” —   Mallory B.
2014-03-05T21:05:39+00:00
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“Why wait to call? I’d much rather have my husband comfortable for six months than six days.” —   Mallory B.
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Exceptional Service

“It takes special people to bear so many people’s burdens at such a critical time. I wouldn’t have done without Caris.” —   Mallory B.
2014-03-05T21:06:57+00:00
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“It takes special people to bear so many people’s burdens at such a critical time. I wouldn’t have done without Caris.” —   Mallory B.
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Outstanding Patient Care

Caris is grateful and honored to have touched the lives of more than 26,000 patients and their families in the last 10 years.
2014-03-05T21:02:31+00:00
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Caris is grateful and honored to have touched the lives of more than 26,000 patients and their families in the last 10 years.
excellence

Operational Excellence

In 2014, the Caris Myrtle Beach, SC and Somerville, TN offices received the Deyta Hospice Honors Award for achieving the highest levels of patient satisfaction.
2014-04-25T16:09:26+00:00
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In 2014, the Caris Myrtle Beach, SC and Somerville, TN offices received the Deyta Hospice Honors Award for achieving the highest levels of patient satisfaction.
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Exceptional Service

“Caris cares for and makes life easier for my patients and their families at the most difficult time of their lives. Caris helps my patients leave this life comfortably; both psychologically as well as physically.”
– Dr. Burgin Dossett
2014-03-03T16:39:59+00:00
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“Caris cares for and makes life easier for my patients and their families at the most difficult time of their lives. Caris helps my patients leave this life comfortably; both psychologically as well as physically.” – Dr. Burgin Dossett
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Exceptional Service

“I could never have words to tell my gratitude to Caris and their caring and compassionate staff! You are truly angels of mercy!” —   Maria S.
2014-03-05T21:04:23+00:00
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“I could never have words to tell my gratitude to Caris and their caring and compassionate staff! You are truly angels of mercy!” —   Maria S.
excellence

Operational Excellence

In 2014, the Caris Johnson City office was recognized by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization as a Level 4 “We Honor Veterans” partner.
2014-04-25T16:10:07+00:00
excellence
In 2014, the Caris Johnson City office was recognized by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization as a Level 4 “We Honor Veterans” partner.
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Operational Excellence

In 2013, Caris was awarded the Pinnacle Award for Business Excellence in the large business category by the Knoxville Chamber.
2014-03-05T21:03:10+00:00
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In 2013, Caris was awarded the Pinnacle Award for Business Excellence in the large business category by the Knoxville Chamber.