One out of every four dying Americans is a Veteran. Veterans often carry experiences from their service that present unique challenges, and unfortunately, many of them may not know about or have access to hospice and palliative care. In an effort to address these concerns and respond to the needs of Veterans, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2010 to create a program called, We Honor Veterans.
We Honor Veterans Achievements 2012 is a report recently published by NHPCO and the VA that highlights the achievements of the We Honor Veterans program along with powerful examples of Veterans who have benefitted from WHV.
Participating hospices across the country receive tools and resources that allow them to assess their current ability to serve Veterans and access Veteran-centric educational resources for their staff. These include: a military check-list which serves to identify Veterans and their needs, Veteran-to-Veteran volunteer programs, Hospice-Veteran Partnerships between hospices and Veteran facilities and state organizations, pinning/recognition ceremonies in which the Veteran receives a special WHV pin in honor of their service, as well as educational and networking opportunities among Partners.
Currently, more than 1,900 hospices have joined as WHV Partners, an increase of 300 programs since the report was written. Through these Partners community education efforts, 4,351 educational presentations have been made, reaching 111,842 participants.
We knew there was a huge need to fill with Veterans end-of-life care, and we are grateful for the tremendous number of hospices that have embraced and partnered with the program. They show us every single day what it means to compassionately care for the men and women who served this country, said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
The Hospice and Palliative Care Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs recently was awarded the prestigious Circle of Life Award Citation of Honor by the American Hospital Association. This Citation is in recognition of their many achievements including the We Honor Veterans program. The Circle of Life Awards honor innovative programs in palliative and end-of-life care.
The next phase of the WHV program is to expand its Partner opportunities to healthcare providers outside of hospice who provide end-of-life care for Veterans and their families so that they may benefit from the Veteran-centric resources the program offers.
To view the report and learn more about We Honor Veterans, visit: www.wehonorveterans.org.