We Honor Veterans Partner Awards
Partnerships are only as strong as the commitment of the organizations involved. The We Honor Veterans partners program strives to elevate community awareness of Veterans and increase their access to hospice and palliative care. Participation in WHV creates and supports long-lasting, sustainable relationships between community hospices and VA facilities.
WHV Partner Awards were established to recognize the exemplary work of organizations that demonstrate leadership and significantly contribute to the development of quality care for Veterans. The inaugural WHV Partner Awards recognize outstanding achievement in the categories of Partnerships, Innovation and Sustainability.
Award for Partnerships: Sutter VNA, Hospice Santa Rosa, California
Sutter VNA, Hospice Santa Rosa has demonstrated the ability to establish solid business relationships to promote the goals of We Honor Veterans, through collaboration on projects, events, and other activities with community and VA partners. Collaborations have made a positive impact in the community.
To establish and build relationships, the staff has worked diligently with a number of VA and other healthcare and country agencies, including: VA Outpatient Clinic and several Medical Centers, The County Vet Connect, The Vets Continuum of Care Committee, Hospitals & Skilled Nursing Facilities, National Alliance on Mental Illness, the County Section On Aging and others.
In explaining the organization’s philosophy about partnerships, they wrote, “Outreach to veterans in our community cannot be sustained without the development of strong partnerships with other like-minded organizations in our community, all striving to improve the quality of life for our veterans and their families in all stage of their lives.”
Award for Innovation: Ambercare Hospice of Albuquerque, New Mexico
Ambercare Hospice successfully created highly engaged staff and volunteers, unique organizational education programs and innovative community outreach activities to ensure Veterans receive care and services based on their preferences. Ambercare Hospice has nine sites serving several surrounding communities and are reaching out to Veterans throughout their service area.
Personnel have volunteered to facilitate the training of staff, community training and meetings, as well as organize the pinnings of our veterans. Veterans have been recruited as volunteers to visit our veteran patients, developing a true brotherhood relationship. They were an active participant in the National PTSD Awareness rally, providing literature and listing of resources and support. A veteran outreach/educational day was created for veterans.
Collaboration is also an important component of their work. Local agencies have agreed to collaborate in providing information regarding benefits, funeral costs/discounts, discounts to veterans and other services available to veterans. Relationships have been developed with Veterans for Peace, Women Veterans of their state, a Veterans Residential Care Home, VA representatives, and numerous nursing homes that have a large veteran census.
* Patsy Black of Ambercare Hospice receives the Innovation Award from Don Schumacher and WHV Program Director Emil Zuberbueler
Award for Sustainability: Hope HealthCare Services of Ft. Myers, Florida
Hope Healthcare Services has the structures and function in place to maintain and increase efforts and commitment to serving Veterans, through planning, policies, and fundraising. Significant, measureable integration of Veteran-centric education, activities, care and services have been developed and integrated into all aspects of the organization.
This hospice began honoring veterans in 2007 with a Veteran-centric care program called “Veterans Access to Life Opportunities & Resources”, also known as VALOR. To ensure Veterans receive quality care, services and recognition, Hope Healthcare’s initial intake software has 22 Veteran-specific questions to provide staff a complete picture of the patient. Twenty four Veterans are trained to serve as volunteers to Veteran patients and all volunteers receive a 45 minute presentation on caring for hospice veterans.
There is active collaboration with four VA Medical Centers. The program also has established relationships with the Red Cross Military Affairs Department, the Veterans Foundation, the Military Officers Association of America, the Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels, Good Will, the County Homeless Coalition and others. The Veterans program coordinator attends quarterly meetings at a VA Medical Center, teaches at another VA, and is in regular contact with the local Vet Clinic. All activities take into account the importance of sustaining a long-term commitment to serving Veterans. Because of these extraordinary efforts, this hospice was one of the first to reach Level Four status.