Of all the Americans who will die this year, one in four will be a Veteran. Five years ago, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veteran Affairs launched We Honor Veterans to address the growing need for Veteran-centered care as our servicemen and servicewomen age and need access to hospice and palliative care. This highly successful initiative will continue on as NHPCO has been awarded a two-year contract with the VA to further develop and expand the WHV program. Today, thousands of hospice and community-based healthcare organizations across the United States are committed to understanding and addressing the unique needs of Veterans with advanced illness as WHV partners.
To commemorate the program’s five year anniversary, a special celebratory event will take place on Wednesday, October 14th, at NHPCO’s 16th Clinical Team Conference and Pediatric Intensive in Grapevine, Texas. At the celebration, a national ‘Award of Excellence’ will be presented to one of WHV’s outstanding partners. The award recognizes the extraordinary investment, commitment, and achievement of a hospice organization that is providing quality end-of-life care to Veterans and their families.
Since its inception, WHV has successfully grown to include the involvement of over half of the hospice community nationwide, the fastest growing program in the history of NHPCO. It now extends its efforts to include non-hospice community health care providers. WHV provides education, resources, and technical assistance to educate hospice and other health care organizations caring for veterans whose military service, combat experience, or other traumatic events may resurface or play a pivotal role in their end-of-life experience.
“It begins with ‘Are you a Veteran?’ and builds on this with knowing what to do when the answer is ‘yes’,” says Dr. Scott Shreve, National Program Director, Hospice and Palliative Care, Department of Veterans Affairs. “Through the Department of Veterans Affairs’ collaboration with NHPCO, seriously ill Veterans in and outside VA are being thanked for their service and receiving care from teams trained to deal with Veteran-specific issues because of We Honor Veterans.”
“We are proud of the tremendous growth and success of We Honor Veterans because it reflects the commitment our hospice and other partners have to providing quality end-of-life care to our nation’s Veterans,” says NHPCO President and CEO J. Donald Schumacher. “It is an honor to work closely with the VA and our partners to ensure that the men and women, who have given so selflessly, receive the support and compassionate care they deserve.”
The WHV program was recognized for its accomplishments in supporting Veterans by the American Society of Association Executives with a 2015 Power of A Summit Award. The Power of A Summit Awards are ASAE’s highest honor for associations. The video below celebrates this award from ASAE.