Springtime – a reminder of what matters…

Categories: Opinion.

Pictured above are the gardens of the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC,
the location for this year’s NHPCO Leadership and Advocacy Conference.

Spring is a time for renewal, for growth, and for change. I am often reminded of this when I see the first daffodils shoot up in March or April. I live in the country and call myself a “gentleman farmer.” I enjoy planting seeds and seeing them grow. But there’s something special about a perennial that comes back each year with simple nurturing and a little love.

As loyal NHPCO blog readers know, I can take Moana or Physics and apply it to Hospice. But this time, my analogy is not a stretch! You see, perennials adapt and live from one year to the next through a form of vegetative reproduction (which sounds racier than it is) rather than seeding. Perennials bounce back when the conditions are again suitable—and they do it because they have adapted to the environment.

So it is with hospice. We planted the seeds long ago and have evolved and adapted to changing needs of our country ever since. HIV and AIDS, dementia, disasters, opioids…we have seen and done it all. And now, while everybody else is planting the seeds of person centered, interdisciplinary, coordinated/managed/integrated care, our community’s already there— ready to show folks how it is done. We don’t survive because we stay still, but because we have continually adapted to change. So let’s keep moving.

As you will see at this year’s Leadership and Advocacy Conference (April 15 – 17, 2019 in Washington, DC), we are leading person-centered care. We have been managing care for over 40 years. We do provide person centered, interdisciplinary care, and we are experts. We welcome the annuals to our garden. Heaven knows, there is so much need for this kind of care – and so many people who might benefit from the skills we have mastered.

As a field, we will continue to evolve, but the bedrock will always be the perennial hospice and palliative care providers that have been doing this and coming back for over 40 years.

Happy Spring. I hope to see you at this year’s conference.


Note: Online registration for the 2019 Leadership and Advocacy Conference is available thru March 29. Onsite registration will also be available.


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