NHPCO Announces Winners of National Volunteer Awards
84-YEAR-OLD VOLUNTEER VETERAN FROM IDAHO WINS NATIONAL RECOGNITION
Heart ‘n Home Hospice headquartered in Fruitland, Idaho, is honored to announce that one of their volunteers, Jerry Haines, will be one of four people honored nationally in a special ceremony November 5th. Gerald “Jerry” Haines, born in 1936, has dedicated his life to service. He spent 25 years serving his country, retiring at age 41 as a Major in the Army National Guard.
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Volunteers are the Foundation of Hospice Awards. Each year, a group of four outstanding hospice volunteers, who best reflect the universal concept of volunteerism in its truest sense—serving as an inspiration to others, are chosen by a national committee of professional peers. The honorees have made significant contributions to hospice programs in the areas of care delivery, organizational support, and teamwork.
Jerry began volunteering with Heart ‘n Home Hospice in 2014 as a Veteran Volunteer. He has been, and continues to be, tremendous support to local Veterans facing end of life. Jerry is a retired US Army Major who has given to his country and fellowman. He still finds time to give back to the community that he calls home in many ways. Jerry has participated in hundreds of our We Honor Veterans Pinning and Recognition Ceremonies. His favorite part is seeing the surprised looks and then happy smiles as he pins the American Flag on their shirt. He says, “I’ve never been involved in something so amazing, as to honor someone for what they’ve done and not only are they there, but their family and friends are there, and it is actually showing honor to their relative at that time in their life.” He attends in his uniform, gives a salute, and after reading a meaningful piece – pins an American flag on the patient’s shirt. There have even been a few circumstances where the two soldiers have found that they have crossed paths at some point while serving in the military, which aided in providing a safe space to venture into uncomfortable territory. Resulting in a more peaceful death. Jerry has helped trained other Veteran Volunteers in being able to identify the needs of our Veteran patients based on their military experience. Patients are moved by his words, sharing things such as, “All this for me? I wasn’t in the worst of it.” “I’ve never been thanked by my family, thank you.” “Can we do this for my son who died in the war to honor his memory.” Jerry has helped our Veteran patients by facilitating such exploration and healing that has added value to their lives and brought comfort and peace to the patient and their family. Jerry has assisted in helping provide a simulated environment setting for teaching purposes to train our staff in working with Veteran patients at end of life. Jerry has a way of connecting with our patients and their families and to the service they provided to our country. Jerry has directly impacted our mission to never let any person die alone by sitting with patients at the bedside when they have no family or family cannot be present.
Todd Stice, Co-President of Heart ‘n Home shares, “Congratulations Jerry, what an achievement! You have had a fulfilling and meaningful life before retirement in serving our great country, which we are so grateful for. It did not end with retirement as you have spent your time fulfilling others and bringing meaning to them in such a profound way. It is a humbling thing to be in your presence, your gratitude and humility for those that have served our country. We thank you for choosing Heart ‘n Home as a place for your volunteering of your time, it has made us better.”Senators Risch and Crapo also commended Jerry for this honor.
NHPCO is the leading organization representing integrated, person-centered healthcare, NHPCO gives ongoing inspiration, practical guidance, and legislative representation to hospice and palliative care providers so they can enrich experiences for patients and ease caregiving responsibilities and emotional stress for families. On November 5th Jerry, his wife Trudy, and family will be going to Orlando, Florida to accept his award at the NHPCO Interdisciplinary Conference at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center.
Learn more about volunteering with hospice.