Claire Harper Claire Harper | April 26, 2021 | People
Majestic Hospice founders Shaunda Joseph, CFO (left), and Katurah Cody, CEO
From grief stemmed an admirable passion project for two Atlanta nurse practitioners. Now, they hope to change the face of hospice with Majestic Hospice—and honor their loved ones in doing so.
2017 is a year Katurah Cody and Shaunda Joseph will never forget. The two colleagues-turned-friends, who met while working in the neurosurgery ICU, lost their mother and grandmother, respectively, in hospice, just mere months apart. “While my mom was in hospice, I noticed some challenges that families faced with choosing hospice services,” says Cody, a cardiac surgery and coronary care ICU nurse practitioner. “The biggest thing was educating the family and the patient on what hospice is and the extent of help that patient would require from family members,” she adds.
That experience encouraged the women to change the image of hospice care, and less than three years later, the two friends founded Majestic Hospice in July 2020 (majestichospice.com). “We don’t want it to be business as usual,” says Cody. “When hospice is mentioned, there’s always a negative connotation, but no one wants to talk about it. We really want to educate people on what hospice is,” she says.
It’s their unique backgrounds as clinicians, added with their personal experiences, that sets them up for success. “We want to show people that, having been on both sides, we are sympathetic and empathetic to those pondering the idea of hospice,” says Cody. “We see death and dying more than we care to, but that makes us different from other hospice agencies.”
Currently offering home hospice, these two have some very big and inspiring plans for future services. Most notable is Lyons Legacy, Majestic Hospice’s nonprofit on behalf of Cody’s late mother. “For instances where it’s the family’s sole provider who’s in hospice, Lyons will step in for those patients instantly, whether it’s buying groceries, making a mortgage payment, paying a utility bill or something of that nature,” says the CEO.
It’s passion that drives the empowering women’s new venture. “At the end of the day, we want to honor our loved ones who transitioned and make hospice the best we can make it,” shares Joseph, who actively works as a neurology and neurocritical care nurse practitioner. “Changing the face of hospice care starts with us,” adds Cody. We have no doubt the inspiring Atlantans can get the job done.
Photography by: PHOTO BY KIMBERLY EVANS