We Honor Veterans, a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), has released the Trauma-Informed Care for Veterans on Hospice Initiative Final Report. This report summarizes feedback and data from the grant-funded, innovative pilot-program which was aimed at improving access to telemental health services for Veterans receiving hospice care.
This pilot initiative, mandated by Congress, supported efforts to improve access to key resources and services available from the VA such as palliative telemental health services, more uniform and routine Veteran care planning to address trauma-informed care elements (e.g., screening for PTSD and suicidal ideation), and using established curricula to improve hospice staff expertise in identifying and addressing the suffering associated with PTSD, moral injury, and suicide prevention.
The report provides qualitative and quantitative data on Veteran patient services and staff training. The data show that the training resulted in an increase in the number of hospices who have a mental health provider available to treat Veteran issues within two days of diagnosis and hospices currently collaborating with a VA mental health provider via telehealth. Over the course of the program, 3,594 provider staff members were trained on trauma-informed care for Veterans.
“The Trauma-Informed Care for Veterans on Hospice Initiative was a wonderful development in our longstanding relationship with the VA. Through the We Honor Veterans program and our ongoing collaborative efforts with the Council of States, we are strengthening the connections local hospices have with their local VA facilities to ensure the Veterans in their care receive the appropriate, safe, and trauma-informed care they deserve,” said NHPCO President and CEO Edo Banach.
The organizations that received grant funding to participate in this initiative are:
- Association for Home and Hospice Care of North Carolina (AHHC)
- California Hospice and Palliative Care Association (CHAPCA)
- Care Solutions Network of Ohio
- Georgia Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (GHPCO)
- Home Health and Hospice Association of Utah (HHAU)
- Hospice and Palliative Care Association of New York State
- Hospice-Veteran Partnership of Nevada
- Illinois Hospice & Palliative Care Organization
- Louisiana-Mississippi Hospice & Palliative Care Organization’s VA Taskforce
- Maine Hospice Council, Inc
- Ohio Council for Home Care and Hospice (OCHCH) & The Center for Community Based Care (CCBC)
- Pennsylvania Hospice and Palliative Care Network
- The South Carolina Home Care & Hospice Association (SCHCHA)
- Texas & New Mexico Hospice Organization/Hospice Veterans Partnership
Additional resources and education for providers caring for Veterans that have been impacted by trauma are available on the Trauma-Informed Care page of the We Honor Veterans website.
We Honor Veterans, a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), invites hospices, state hospice organizations, Hospice-Veteran Partnerships and VA facilities to join a pioneering program focused on respectful inquiry, compassionate listening, and grateful acknowledgment. By recognizing the unique needs of America’s Veterans and their families, community providers, in partnership with VA staff, will learn how to accompany and guide them through their life stories toward a more peaceful ending.