News from We Honor Veterans
Honor Flight, the Movie
Honor Flight is a heartwarming documentary about four living World War II veterans and a Midwest community coming together to give them the trip of a lifetime. Volunteers race against the clock to fly thousands of WWII veterans to Washington, DC to see the memorial constructed for them in 2004, nearly 60 years after their epic struggle.
WHV Partners can host a screening of the movie in your community to raise awareness and support for your program, Honor Flight and We Honor Veterans. For more information about hosting a screening click here!
National Call Center for Homeless Veterans
The National Call Center for Homeless Veterans is an initiative directed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The National Call Center seeks to end rampant homelessness among Veterans by providing those Veterans with job training, housing, health care, and education.
Make the call at 1-877-424-3838 or visit the website.
The Vet Center provides readjustment services for Veterans and their family members in and near their communities. The Vet Center acts as a facilitator between Veterans and other services within the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as providing professional counseling services and outreach to community agencies.
Find out more about the Vet Center here.
We Honor Veterans Program Highlighted
On Friday, March 30, 2012, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, the National Hospice Foundation hosted its 8th Annual Gala. The theme of the evening was:
“Celebrating the Women of Hospice A Salute to Heroines and Humanitarians”
We Honor Veterans was highlighted with a focus on women Veterans. Read more and watch the video.
We Honor Veterans State Survey Results Posted!
In the Fall of 2011, We Honor Veterans program, in collaboration with VA’s Hospice and Palliative Care program, offered community-based hospice providers the opportunity to participate in a national online We Honor Veterans state-specific survey to characterize and benchmark the business relationships between community hospices and VA medical centers.
Hospice and VA Working Together: Relationship Building Suggestions
Many We Honor Veterans Recruits and Partners have asked for ways to progress from Level One through Level Four. A key component of all Levels is to promote, encourage and support successful and sustainable VA-hospice relationships through the development of Hospice-Veteran Partnerships (HVP).
This new resource provides suggestions that can help build relationships between hospices and VA facilities, and increase VA staff confidence when making referrals to community providers. The two-page document describes what “working together” means and why it is important. A chart lists activity Level requirements, side-by-side with what hospice staff and VA staff can do to enhance their ability to provide quality end-of-life care and services for Veterans.
The document has been reviewed with VA’s Hospice and Palliative Care Leadership, and is being distributed to their staff throughout VA, with the goal of ensuring hospices and VA have complementary need a word here.
Review and download your copy of the Relationship Building Suggestions here.
For Immediate Release:
November 8, 2012
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Collaborates with Dignity Memorial® to Expand Reach to Veterans
Dignity Memorial Will Provide Care and Support to Grieving Families Through its Network of Funeral Homes
(Alexandria, Va) – Today, one in four dying Americans is a Veteran. These men and women often carry experiences from their military service that present unique challenges at the end of life. Across America, hospice professionals are enhancing their skills to meet these needs through “We Honor Veterans” (WHV), a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, originally developed in partnership with the Departments of Veterans Affairs..
“We Honor Veterans” is expanding to reach more Veterans through a new collaboration between Dignity Memorial (a network of funeral homes) and NHPCO. The resources and tools have been enhanced to support the education and training available to funeral home professionals across the country.
As the founding WHV Community Partner, Dignity Memorial is the first corporate collaborator to join NHPCO to build on the success of the We Honor Veterans program. This partnership is designated solely for non-hospice organizations that understand the importance of serving Veterans based on their preferences for care and services.
As the nation prepares to honor our nation’s heroes on Veterans Day, November 11, attention to the many needs of Veterans throughout their lives is emphasized.
“Dignity Memorial providers have always been focused on serving our veterans with respect, integrity and dignity. Through the We Honor Veterans program, we hope to assure that every veteran receives such care no matter the service provider they choose. We are honored to be a part of such an incredible and innovative program,” said Diana Vazquez, Director of Hospice and Community Relations for the Dignity Memorial network.
In collaboration with NHPCO, Dignity Memorial will develop four levels of distinction based on the facilities’ involvement with Veteran education and interaction with Veterans and their family members. These levels will ensure that the very best care is being provided to those who have served our country.
“In developing We Honor Veterans, we have learned so much about what makes the end of life so unique for each veteran. Reaching out to those outside of the hospice community means that we can share all that we have learned about how to meet those needs in a supportive, meaningful and respectful way. We’re so pleased that Dignity Memorial has joined us in that pursuit,” said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of NHPCO.
To learn more about the We Honor Veterans program, please visit: www.WeHonorVeterans.org.
NHPCO, Vice President of Communications
For Immediate Release
May 23, 2012
Memorial Day is a Time of Remembrance
NHPCO Encourages People to Offer Support and Understanding
Memorial Day is Monday, May 28. For many Americans, this day marks the beginning of summer. Yet, Memorial Day has a much more significant meaning. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, an organization familiar with the issues involved in loss and grief, offer some thoughts to consider as America celebrates this important holiday.
In addition to the festive events of the day, such as picnics, concerts and parades, Memorial Day provides an opportunity to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our nation. It allows us to show support to the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives in defense of freedom and our country.
In recent years, Americans serving in conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have been lost. For their families and loved ones – who may be our neighbors, friends and coworkers – grief may be fresh and painful. Memorial Day is a time we should reach out and comfort them and let them know that we recognize and honor the sacrifice their loved one has made.
Additionally, this day of remembrance is particularly meaningful to our nation’s Veterans who, amidst Memorial Day activities, deserve support and recognition of their service and the losses they may have experienced.
U.S. Veterans may be mourning brothers and sisters in arms who were lost during World War II, Korea, or Vietnam. Past traumatic memories and losses are often rekindled. This is a natural part of grieving and calls for our compassion and support.
Hospice organizations throughout the country are answering the call to serve our Veterans through NHPCO’s We Honor Veterans initiative. They know that supporting those around us can be as simple as lending an ear or holding a hand.
Additionally, hospice and palliative care professionals, who deal with loss on a daily basis, remind us that sharing the range of thoughts, emotions and reactions we experience is important. Whether it is pride or shame, grief or hope, fear or fatigue, it is healthy to acknowledge what we are feeling.
In supporting those who are grieving – whether it is a recent loss or one from years past – we honor those who have sacrificed so much.
Please remember that NHPCO’s Caring Connections offers information about grief at www.caringinfo.org/grief.
Thank you for all you do,
J. Donald Schumacher
President and CEO
For Immediate Release:
November 7, 2011
Veterans Day: Honoring America’s Veterans Includes Caring at Life’s End
We Honor Veterans Program Helping Hospices Better Care for Veterans
(Alexandria, Va) – It surprises many Americans to learn that 25 percent of all deaths in the US are Veterans. That’s 1,800 people a day; more than 680,000 Veteran deaths every year. As the nation honors these American heroes for their military service on Veterans Day, November 11, it’s important to remember that they also deserve recognition and compassionate care at the end of life’s journey.
An innovative program, We Honor Veterans, is helping healthcare professionals honor our Veterans.
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs launched We Honor Veterans a pioneering campaign to help improve the care dying Veterans receive from the nation’s hospice and palliative care providers.
By recognizing the unique needs of our nation’s Veterans who are facing a life-limiting illness, hospice and palliative care providers are able to accompany and guide these men and woman towards a more peaceful ending. For Veterans who experienced combat service or other trauma, this can be particularly important as experiences from the past may resurface at the end of life.
“All hospices are serving Veterans but often aren’t aware of that person’s service in the armed forces. Through We Honor Veterans we are taking a giant step forward in helping hospice and palliative care professionals and volunteers understand and serve Veterans at the end of life,” said J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO. “It is time that we step up and acquire the necessary skills and fulfill our mission to serve these men and women with the dignity they deserve.”
More than 1,000 hospice organizations across the country have joined We Honor Veterans and are increasing their skills and capacity for serving Veterans. Activities range from utilizing a military history checklist at admission, recognition events like pinning ceremonies and certificate presentations, to outreach to other community organizations.
Additionally, WHV is helping hospices work more effectively with VA medical facilities in their communities.
As we celebrate our nation’s heroes this Veterans Day – and every day of the year – we must not forget that it is never too late to give them a hero’s welcome home.
Learn more at www.WeHonorVeterans.org.
NHPCO Vice President, Communications