Hospice named We Honor Veterans partner

It may surprise many people to learn that 25 percent of those who die every year in the U.S. are veterans, according to a press release from Grand County Hospice.

To help provide care and support that reflect the important contributions made by these men and women, Grand County Hospice 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, Grand County Hospice will implement ongoing Veteran-centered education for their staff and volunteers to help improve the care they provide to the veterans they proudly serve, said the hospice. 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, Grand County Hospice is better able to accompany and guide veterans and their families toward a more peaceful ending. And in cases where there might be some specific needs related to the veteran’s military service, combat experience or other traumatic events, Grand County Hospice will find tools to help support those they are caring for, according to the hospice.

“We thank Grand County Hospice for partnering in the We Honor Veterans program,” said NHPCO President and CEO Edo Banach. “We Honor Veterans partners are committed to providing quality veteran-centric care to the veteran patients they serve. They understand how a veteran’s military service, combat experience or other traumatic events, could impact their end-of-life experience.”

“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. 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,” added Banach.

To start things off right, Grand County Hospice hosted a regional training delivered by the VA Western Colorado Health Care System, addressing the end-of-life care needs of the Vietnam veteran. Mary Jo Hughes, Hospice and Palliative Care program manager, Dr. Terrance Coombs, Palliative Care psychologist and Charles Grimsley, VA chaplain; provided the training specific to veteran health issues, such as suicide and PTSD, according to the hospice.

Local organization representatives in attendance were from Moab Regional Hospital, Canyonlands Care Center and Community Nursing Services.

To learn more about Grand County Hospice or to support our local, community-driven mission through a donation, contact Jessica Walsh at 435-719-3772.