PINEHURST— It may surprise many people to learn that 25 percent of those who die every year in the U.S. are veterans. To help provide care and support that reflect the important contributions made by these men and women, FirstHealth Hospice & Palliative Care has become a national partner of We Honor Veterans, a pioneering campaign developed by National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
As a We Honor Veterans partner, FirstHealth Hospice will implement ongoing veteran-centered education for its staff and volunteers to help improve the care they provide to the veterans they serve.
The nation is seeing many of the veterans who served in World War II and Korea pass away — and the number of deaths of Vietnam veterans is beginning to rise. The We Honor Veterans campaign provides tiered recognition to organizations that demonstrate a systematic commitment to improving care for veterans. “Partners” can assess their ability to serve veterans and, using resources provided as part of the campaign, integrate best practices for providing end-of-life care to veterans into their organization.
“By recognizing the unique needs of our nation’s veterans who are facing a life-limiting illness, FirstHealth Hospice is better able to accompany and guide veterans and their families toward a more peaceful ending,” says Charlotte Patterson, director of FirstHealth Hospice & Palliative Care. “And in cases where there might be some specific needs related to the veteran’s military service, combat experience or other traumatic events, FirstHealth Hospice will provide the necessary tools and resources to help support those we are caring for.”
“All hospices are serving veterans but often aren’t aware of that person’s service in the armed forces,” says J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO. “Through We Honor Veterans,we are taking a giant step forward in helping hospice and palliative care providers understand and serve veterans at the end of life and work more effectively with VA medical facilities in their communities.
“The VA shares a common goal with our nation’s hospices, and that is to provide the best possible care specifically tailored for veterans, meeting their goals of care in their preferred setting. As we focus on working together and unite our services and skills, We Honor Veterans will channel our combined strengths directly to veterans – wherever they are receiving care.”
The resources of We Honor Veterans focus on respectful inquiry, compassionate listening and grateful acknowledgment coupled with veteran-centric education of health care staff caring for veterans. To learn more about We Honor Veterans, please visit www.wehonorveterans.org.
“America’s veterans have done everything asked of them in their mission to serve our country, and we believe it is never too late to give them a hero’s welcome home,” Schumacher adds. “Now it is time that we step up, acquire the necessary skills and fulfill our mission to serve these men and women with the dignity they deserve.”