When W.A. Payne was a student at the University of Southern Mississippi in 1974, he leased a one-room office in Hattiesburg to provide home health services in South Mississippi.
From those humble beginnings, Camellia Home Health and Hospice was launched and now boasts 16 home health locations covering 30 counties in Mississippi, five Louisiana parishes and the six greater metropolitan Atlanta counties of DeKalb, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, Fayette and Douglas.
Additionally, the company has eight hospice locations that serve several areas of Mississippi and Louisiana.
“My father helped open home health agencies throughout Mississippi and Alabama, did consulting work across the country when home health was in its infancy across the country,” said Camellia president Abb Payne. “He chose to do it on his own.”
Camellia offers a broad range of services that respond to the needs of its patients, communities and all associated healthcare providers. Abb Payne says there is a distinguishing characteristic that sets Camellia apart from the competition.
“Our services allow those most in need, the frail and the elderly, to receive award-winning care directly in their own home,” he said.
In 1994, Camellia Home Health and Hospice was awarded the Outstanding Award for Quality in Care for Mississippi by the Institutes for Quality in Health, an organization that is charged with ensuring quality in healthcare for the federal government. Similarly, Louisiana and Florida’s regulatory bodies awarded the company with the same outstanding performance awards.
He attributes Camellia’s recognized success to the company’s work staff.
“Without question, the reason that we have been successful over our long history is because of our great team members,” Abb Payne said. “They always put our patients and their families first, always strive to continually improve and always show pride in the job that they do.
“We are truly fortunate to have a group of people who come together to serve the common good of all of our communities, large and small.”
While Camillia has established a long history of exceptional care to its patients, Payne remains proud of the company’s commitment to providing its employees with a comfortable work environment. The company has been named one of the Mississippi Business Journal’s Best Places to Work for three consecutive cycles.
“Without question, our success is a direct result of the quality of all Camellia’s hundreds of clinicians and support personnel, their contributions to healthcare and society at large,” he said. “Their unwavering dedication to put our patients needs’ first at all times is exceptional.”
The concept of hospice as an interdisciplinary approach to providing comprehensive end of life care began in Great Britain. It provides support and care for terminally ill patients and their families near the end of a patient’s life. The goal of hospice, says Payne, is to help provide relief from the physical pain and symptoms of terminal illness and to provide support for the emotional, spiritual and physical end of life.
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