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2023 sisterhood-spotlight-Katherine-Knoble
Katherine Knoble
Director of Community and Volunteer Engagement at Capital Caring Health

As the Director of Community and Volunteer Engagement at Capital Caring Health, Katherine Knoble works to help those in need through her career in healthcare as well as in her plethora of personal volunteer efforts. With over 35 years of experience managing life enrichment programs and volunteer gatherings, Katherine has dedicated her time and energy to improving the quality of life to all those around her. She currently oversees more than 600 volunteers at Capital Caring Health. In this Sisterhood Spotlight, Katherine discusses Capital Caring Health, the caregiver industry, volunteering, and her favorite fall activities.

What is something that Virginia’s Women+girls should know about Capital Caring Health and the caregiver industry?

Capital Caring Health provides advanced illness care to patients of all ages, from pediatrics to geriatrics. Our team consists of volunteers, doctors, nurses, administrative professionals, volunteer managers, finance, social workers, human relations, chaplains and grief support counselors, certified nursing assistants, information technology professionals, nurse practitioners, and other health care professionals. We provide care to more than 1,100 patients each day throughout the DMV area, regardless of their ability to pay. Most of patients live in residential homes or nursing homes; we provide care wherever they call “home.” Capital Caring Health also provides care through two inpatient centers, located in Adler, Virginia and Washington D.C.

It’s an honor to work in the caregiving industry and I hope more will join. The industry needs dedicated and compassionate individuals who want to be part of a mission to care for others. There are so many aspects of working within this industry; there is something for everyone from direct care in clinical roles to fields like communications and even event planning. I have met the most amazing people and made the most amazing lifelong friendships being in healthcare. I encourage others to join our forces. It is a privilege to make a difference in our community while also being able grow your career.

November is Virginia Caregivers Month, what brought you into this field and how has it impacted your personal growth?

Volunteerism is at the heart of caregiving, it’s a way to help make the world a better place. Each of us play an important role. My journey started when I was 14 years old, and I was able to begin volunteering at a nursing home- they called the volunteer role a “candy striper” back then! We dressed in a red and white striped uniform with a perfectly starched white cap. Twice a week I would get my uniform on and volunteer at the nursing home where I helped aging patients with meals, games, companionship, and holding their hand. It was there that I was first exposed to the healthcare environment, and I knew I wanted to help others.  I learned that “helping others” came in many forms and all were valuable. I learned that even a 14-year-old could make a tremendous impact on someone’s life. I treasured those times when a patient was comforted by the simple gesture of holding their hand.

I continued to volunteer throughout my life, and it became a part of the fabric of my being. I attended a service minded Catholic School in Maryland, Regina High School, where the nuns encouraged active volunteerism. Students would journey on the weekends to soup kitchens in DC, travel to nursing homes and other sites in the community to help others. When my daughter joined the ranks of the United States Army, I began volunteering at the USO. It was my way of showing thanks to all those who have helped my daughter and our service members. It is an honor to call myself a “volunteer” and as I continue to volunteer in my community, I know I am making a difference. I now have the honor of overseeing a full department of over 600 service minded volunteers at Capital Caring Health who provide care for patients receiving advanced illness care. These volunteers also provide care to families who are the sole caregivers for their loved ones. I was brought into the Caregiving and Volunteer world at the age of 14 years old and I still remain an honored member of this important work.

You have been recognized for your volunteer work throughout the community, what does volunteering mean to you?

Capital Caring Health has been recognized as a leader in nonprofit advanced illness care and a leader of a powerful volunteer workforce throughout DC, Maryland and Virginia. Our volunteers and our volunteer program have received many wonderful awards for our work. It’s an honor to be recognized and we deeply appreciate the opportunity from First Lady of Virginia, Suzanne Youngkin to share our story on this Sisterhood Spotlight.

To me, volunteering means actively participating in making our community and our world better. It means finding a cause, a purpose, or a person to help and providing service.  In doing so, volunteers connect with likeminded volunteers and form deep friendships. Research shows volunteering helps lower rates of depression and anxiety. Volunteering helps promote a boost in self-confidence, self-esteem and life satisfaction.  Volunteering is a healthy lifestyle.

What impact have volunteers had on Capital Caring Health’s quality service and what would you tell others looking to get involved?

Hospice services were established in the United States in the 1970s by volunteers, and therefore, volunteers are truly “the heart of hospice” even today! Volunteers have a profound impact on Capital Caring Health’s ability to provide the highest quality advanced illness care. Although we can’t change a prognosis, it is the volunteer who truly embraces the ability to change the “moment.” A few examples of how volunteers impact the quality of service include: A loving husband was caring for his wife and wanted to celebrate their 68th wedding anniversary. Because he was the sole caregiver, he didn’t want to leave his wife alone to purchase a cake at the grocery store. Volunteers brought a beautiful anniversary cake and dinner to the couple so they could enjoy “the moment.”  Another example was when a volunteer found out that a family couldn’t afford to purchase all the school supplies needed for their children, the volunteer mobilized others and provided, not only school supplies, but incredible backpacks too. Two of our volunteers who are married, were helping their patient who wanted to continue her love of playing board games, so they all met once a week to play Yahtzee and other games. This brought incredible joy to this patient.

Our volunteers find opportunities to make “moments” special for our patients and families. This is done by finding out what is important to the patient and family, and their special needs or desires. Volunteers then expand on developing ways to provide meaningful visits and support.

What is your favorite fall activity?

I am a people person so I would say my favorite fall activity is anything that involves being around family and friends. I love a crisp walk along the Virginia Beach shoreline or a car ride along Skyline drive to see the gorgeous fall colors. Virginia is home to some of the most beautiful sights in the United States, our Commonwealth is stunning anytime of the year, but I must say, Fall is especially stunning.

About Katherine Knoble

Katherine Knoble is the Director of Community and Volunteer Engagement at Capital Caring Health. She is an avid lover of the beach and ocean, listening to Jimmy Buffet music, and enjoying family and friends. Katherine feels there is no better experience than that of the human connection, she strives to meet new people while retaining her treasured friendships.

Ms. Knoble has over 35 years of experience managing life enrichment programs for aging adults and managing volunteer programs. She also has over 15 years of experience managing volunteers in hospice and creating innovative programming for those facing advanced illness. She has a skill in connecting community groups to the nonprofit mission in an authentic and genuine manner which has earned her several volunteer & community engagement awards. Ms. Knoble would be the first to say the most meaningful award is found in the work by connecting volunteers to a patient in need, it is the “boots on the ground” approach that Ms. Knoble feels is the true award in service.

Additionally, Ms. Knoble has volunteered with the Arthritis Foundation, Alzheimer’s Association, USO, Birthday Wishes for Military, Local Churches, Soup Kitchens, SOME and many other organizations. Her service heart is what she hopes to convey to volunteers she currently manages, as she understands the value of each and every volunteer. Ms. Knoble lives in Clifton, Virginia, she has been married for 33 years, and has two children and one daughter in law -she proudly describes all as “service minded individuals.”

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