A Special Invite to Make a Difference for Veterans Nationally

On December 19, 2014 I got a call from Rebecca Trout, the manager of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organizations’ We Honor Veteran’s Program (NHPCO). The call was not at all what I had expected. I anticipated a question about our activity level reports or perhaps notification of a change in the program. Instead, Rebecca was calling to invite me to represent Heart ‘n Home at a We Honor Veterans strategic planning meeting at NHPCOs office in Alexandria, VA. The goal of the meeting was to generate ideas and develop a three-year plan to sustain the We Honor Veterans Program. Immediately, I was excited! This was an opportunity to impact end-of-life care for our Veterans on a national level. Of course I wanted to attend! Rebecca explained the details. The meeting was to be held just three weeks later in 2015. So, after many phone calls, emails and texts between myself, Rebecca, and our amazing Senior Leadership Team at Heart ‘n Home my flight was booked and I was ready to go.

When I arrived at NHPCO in Virginia I was immediately greeted with a warm smile by Gwynn Sullivan, Director of Access. She shared how impressed she was with the We Honor Veterans Program that Heart ‘n Home had developed. She also shared her excitement to have me share with NHPCOs senior leadership, VA Leadership, and other community hospice partners how Heart ‘n Home has developed our program and achieved a level four status. They were particularly curious about our program due to the relatively rural areas we serve. Again my excitement increased, but so did my anxiety, no pressure right? I realized very quickly there was no need for anxiety, no need to feel pressure. After all, everyone in the room was there with one purpose in mind, to improve quality end-of-life care for our nation’s Veterans. The purpose and the passion behind it was evident by the enthusiastic collaboration that took place over the next six hours.

Over those six hours were success stories and shared hopes for the future. Initially, we began with peer discussions to identify the components necessary to build and sustain a successful program. Next, we brought our ideas to a small group where we reviewed our ideas from our peer discussions and applied them to more specific goals for the program. Finally, we came together as a large group and determined what goals we wanted to focus on and pursue in the next three years of the program. There were so many great ideas and concepts introduced it was hard to narrow it down to just a few! One theme that was present in each groups’ ideas was the continued need to educate and expand the knowledge of end-of-life care, something that is so often not acknowledged or addressed openly in our culture. Additionally, at the top of our list was the importance of increasing access to care and VA benefits for Veterans. Moving forward, the participants of this meeting will come together on a quarterly basis via conference call to discuss progress made and work toward achieving the goals we developed.

Later that evening, I was able visit the WWII and Korean War Memorials. As I walked through the memorials and read the inscriptions I experienced a myriad of emotions. I was walking through a memorial created to honor the men and women who welcome me and my coworkers into their home every day, the same men and women who fought for the freedoms we now enjoy. Heart ‘n Home and hospices around the country have been given the opportunity to serve the Veterans who served our county. We have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives’ of the Veterans who returned home and honor those who didn’t. As I walked through the memorials, I realized the work we did that day was a privilege, a small expression of gratitude to make sure our Veterans receive the best care possible, every day, every time. I am proud to be a We Honor Veterans partner and look forward to what the future holds for the program and the Veterans it serves.

Learn more about the We Honor Veterans Program.

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Cherise B., LMSW
Medical Social Services
Veteran Committee Leader

 

Cherise B., LMSW
Heart ‘n Home Hospice & Palliative Care, LLC
Meridian, Idaho

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Better End-of-Life Care for Oregon Veterans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 Better End-of-Life Care for Veterans in Oregon

(BEND, OR) Shockingly, one in four dying Americans is a Veteran. That’s 1,800 people a day; more than 680,000 Veterans every year. These heroic Americans deserve recognition for their military service– particularly at the end of life’s journey.  Heart ‘n Home Hospice & Palliative Care in Bend recently reached level four (highest level) within the national We Honor Veterans Program. The goal of these levels is to ensure the very best care is being provided to those who have served our country. Most times, hospice staff are given one of the last opportunities to say thank you and give recognition for a Veterans service.

Through We Honor Veterans, Heart ‘n Home can better understand and serve Veterans at end of life and work more effectively with VA medical facilities in our communities. Also, in cases where there might be specific needs related to the Veteran’s  military service, combat experience, or other traumatic events, Heart ‘n Home will have the tools to help support these Veterans throughout their journey.

The resources of We Honor Veterans focus on respectful inquiry, compassionate listening, and grateful acknowledgment, coupled with Veteran centered education of staff caring for Veterans. Heart ‘n Home staff understand the unique needs of Veterans and are prepared to meet the specific challenges that Veterans and their families may face at the end of life. Heart ‘n Home has embraced their mission to serve America’s Veterans. It’s one way of saying thank you for the sacrifices they have made in serving us. Find more resources for Veterans facing a life-limiting illness.

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Heart ‘n Home Honors Veterans Every Day, Every Time

VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES CAN RECEIVE SPECIALIZED END OF LIFE CARE

Marine Salute_Hospice Honoring Veterans

 

Idaho and Oregon Veterans and their families get relief knowing they are guided toward a more peaceful ending by trained experts that can address their physical, emotional, and spiritual concerns related to the Veteran’s service experience.

One in four dying Americans is a Veteran. That’s 1,800 people a day; more than 680,000 Veterans a year. These heroic Americans deserve recognition for their military service– especially at end of life and Heart ‘n Home provides Pinning and Recognition Ceremonies to all our Veterans.

Heart ‘n Home has partnered with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO/We Honor Veterans) and the VA to honor Veterans with the best Veteran-focused, end-of-life care available.

“All hospices are serving Veterans, but often aren’t aware of that person’s service in the armed forces,” said J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO. “Through We Honor Veterans we are taking a giant step forward in helping hospice and palliative care providers understand and serve Veterans at the end of life and work more effectively with VA medical facilities in their communities.”

America’s Veterans have done everything asked of them in their mission to serve our country and some may have never gotten the welcome home they deserved. Which is why we believe it is never too late to give them a hero’s welcome home.

Contact Heart ‘n Home today at 1-800-HOSPICE, if you or a Veteran you know is in need of additional healthcare support.  For more information visit www.goHOSPICE.com/veterans.

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