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Hospice Volunteer Program Targets Veteran Population

| Date Posted: 7/17/2013

PINEHURST – Barbara Bane, Volunteer Services assistant for FirstHealth Hospice & Palliative Care, understands the special needs of veterans. Her father served in the military and was a prisoner of war in Germany during World War II. 

Because of her father’s sacrifices, Bane is passionate about veterans’ issues and is motivated to assist in developing a quality Hospice program for veteran volunteers.

“Because the family is the unit of care for Hospice services, we want to make sure we also address special needs that family members of veterans may have,” she says.

One way of accomplishing that goal involves the Veteran-to-Veteran Volunteer Services program for FirstHealth Hospice & Palliative Care. Training will begin in September.

An information session on volunteer opportunities for interested veterans who feel they can make a difference in the FirstHealth program will be held Thursday, July 25, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the Hospice & Palliative Care campus. Veterans of all ages, as well as active military, are invited to register for the free class by contacting FirstHealth Hospice & Palliative Care Volunteer Services at (910) 715-6000.  Refreshments will be served.

“It’s part of our ‘We Honor Veterans’ initiative,” says Volunteer Services manager Susanne Martínez. “We recognize that veterans share a common culture, and we’re working to improve our ability to address their specific needs through a more targeted volunteer assignment when one is requested.” 

According to Martínez, more than 25 percent of FirstHealth Hospice’s patients are veterans. “We would love to identify 10 to 15 veteran volunteers who are interested in helping us get the program started,” she says.

More veteran volunteers will be needed once the program is established, but Bane and Martínez feel 10 to 15 would be a good starting number. 

“Even 10 volunteers giving two to four hours a week can make a big difference in a lot of lives,” says Bane.

Veteran-to-Veteran volunteers will be asked to be available for patient support one day a week for up to four hours. Comprehensive training, ongoing support and mentorship will be provided.

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