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Marisa Williams

A Hug Away
Leading Women

Marisa Williams

A Hug Away

Marisa Williams A Hug Away
The amazing Leading Women of A Hug Away (l-r) Christie Smith (Acting Director of Nursing ), Marisa Williams (Co-Owner), Arsema Aregawi (Business Development) and Valenta Gonzales (Assistant Director of Nursing)
BY Lacey Kupfer Wulf | photo by Candor Pictures

When you are going through a difficult health crisis or preparing for hospice care for yourself or a loved one, getting in-home care from competent, friendly, and experienced professionals is a godsend. At A Hug Away, it’s what the team does every day. Owner Marisa Williams and her sister and part-owner Tikisha Johnson make miracles happen for patients in need.

Changing In-Home Medical and Hospice Care

When you consider hospice care, you probably envision someone nearing the end of life, receiving support to ensure their comfort as they approach their final moments. At A Hug Away, it means so much more. At minimum, Marisa says, “We never want anyone to be alone.” She adds, “I don’t wait until a person is dying to allow them to take advantage of hospice care.”

The only requirement is that the patient has received a prognosis that — without treatment — might lead to death. This prognosis provides valuable services to a wider range of patients and their families. Marisa explains, “I want people to enjoy the many benefits available, including in-home visits with doctors, hospice aides for bathing, light housekeeping and meals, access to free medications and incontinent supplies, visits from a chaplain and social workers, as well as supportive services for the entire family. The great news is that these benefits are included at no additonal cost for all Medicare recipients. We also accept commercial insurance and private pay. Another tremendous service we offer is grief counseling for families after the loved one has transitioned.”

Beginning with Compassion

In 2008, Marisa created A Hug Away Hospice to help the dying wife of an employee. The certified nursing assistant became one of the family’s closest companions, and the patient, initially given a 6-month prognosis, lived for an additional 2 years.

Since that time, A Hug Away has continued to make a positive difference in the lives of patients and their families. Becky White, a client whose mother needed hospice care, says, “Their staff made an extremely difficult time bearable.”

Another customer, Melany Atzenhoffer, says of her experience: “My mother had dementia and was very negative about everything. The hospice aide was the only one that could get her out of that state and actually have her laughing. It was such a joy to hear her laugh again before leaving this earth. It can be a very stressful time, and our aide definitely helped ease our anxieties.”

Bringing Compassion Home

A Hug Away has extended its arms to reach patients well outside the Houston area, recently accepting a new patient located in Austin. However, most of the patients and families reside in Katy, Fort Bend, Houston and other nearby communities.

In addition to offering support to the patient, A Hug Away offers a helping hand to the caregivers and family members as well, linking them to counseling, support groups, and other valuable resources within the company’s wide network. Marisa says, “I’ve been blessed to have met a lot of people in my life who have become a resource for A Hug Away.”

Experiencing Personal Challenges

About a year ago, Marisa and Tikisha found themselves walking in the exact path as many of the families they serve. As a single mother of triplets, Marisa had to balance her demanding career with caring for her own children as well as her aging and ailing parents. As part of the “sandwich generation,” she knew firsthand that the right support could ease the burden of elderly care and make space for making priceless memories.

When her mother needed home care, Marisa found one of her own employees who could assist. “I called my own agency as if I was an outsider, asking my compassionate director of nursing to find someone to care for my mother. The entire staff stayed late into the night to help. . . I got a chance to enjoy my time with both of my parents before they passed away.”

A Hug Away Car Mockup

Bringing Care to the Community, Workplace, and Schools

A Hug Away aims to encompass not just the patient but the entire family through preventive care in health and safety. In fact, the team is starting to do business with local government and schools and has earned new certifications, such as Small Business Enterprise (SBE) and Minority/Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) certification, to serve a wider range of people in the community.

“We’ve perfected what we do in the home; now we want to take it into the workplace. We want to make sure workers come home just as healthy as, or healthier than, when they left.” Marisa says.

In addition, A Hug Away is expanding to serve families with children with special needs, including autism, as well as younger hospice patients. In fact, Marisa proudly says, “We are one of the few in-home care companies that offer hospice support for all ages, both children and adults. We get to be there for them.” As a result, families with children in desperate need of help can receive it and cherish whatever time they have together.

Achieving Excellence

In its 16-year history, A Hug Away has garnered numerous accolades and recognitions. They have won Living Magazine’s Best Home Health Agency and The Katy Times’ Best of Katy award for several consecutive years. In addition, they have earned a Gold Star and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Marisa, a Marine Corps Veteran, has been consistently acknowledged for her business acumen, most notably as the recipient of the Successful & Most Influential Woman of Color award.

With the incredible increase in demand for these types of services, Marisa has her eye on the future and plans to offer franchise opportunities within the next 5 years. If you or a loved one needs at-home medical support or hospice care, A Hug Away is here to offer a helping hand with compassion and expertise.

Marisa Williams A Hug Away

“We understand that caring for a loved one while juggling home, family, and work responsibilities is physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting. The great news is that you are not alone –A Hug Away is here to help, and to make your life much easier.”

SERVICES PROVIDED:

  • Hospice Care
  • In-Home Healthcare
  • Nursing Care
  • THERAPY (P/T, O/T, S/T)
  • Medications
  • Companionship
  • Concierge Care
  • Grief Counseling for Family Members
  • Medical Equipment & Supplies
  • MOST Insurances Accepted
  • Medicare/Medicare Replacement Plans
  • Private Pay
CONTACT

1203 Avenue D
Katy, Texas 77493

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