The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization recently announced that Hospice of the Chesapeake’s We Honor Veterans program has once again been named a Level 5 partner. It is one of only 36 hospices in the nation and continues to be the only partner in Maryland to earn this level of excellence.
Hospice of the Chesapeake first earned the program’s highest level in the beginning of 2019 for its commitment to providing specialized care to veterans facing a life-limiting illness. Aside from existing partner requirements, Level 5 partners place a greater emphasis on staff education and caring for Vietnam-era and combat Veterans. Additionally, Level 5 partners take on the role of regional mentor to other WHV partners working to enhance their programs. The designation is not a one-time honor: Partner organizations must annually demonstrate they are meeting the program’s stringent standards to qualify
“When we set out to create the Level 5 program, we knew that it had to be different to truly showcase the efforts needed to go above and beyond,” said NHPCO President and CEO Edo Banach in a statement to the Level 5 honorees. “Not only have you demonstrated your commitment, but you have helped shape the program and have continued as an example of what all hospice partners should strive to be.”
NHPCO and the Department of Veterans Affairs launched We Honor Veterans in 2010 to address the growing need for Veteran-centered care, especially as Veterans are aging and need access to palliative and hospice care. Hospice of the Chesapeake has been a partner since the program’s inception. On any given day, the organization’s staff and volunteers care for more than 125 veterans in Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties. Its We Honor Veterans program supports veterans and their families with Honor Salutes, the Veteran-to-Veteran Volunteer program; veterans celebrations, educational programs and partnerships with the U. S. Naval Academy, Fort George G. Meade, Anne Arundel County Public Schools and more.
Director of Advancement and Volunteer Services Chris Wilson, who leads the organization’s WHV program, said that it is not only the hard work of team members and volunteers that make this program a success but also the veterans themselves and their families. “We hear story after story about the powerful impact of visits with our Veteran-to-Veteran volunteers and how Honor Salutes bring healing to a Veteran in their final days,” Wilson said. “It is affirmation that we are doing right by these men and women and we are excited that we can continue to serve as mentors to help bring this program to more hospices across this region.”
To learn more about the national program, visit www.wehonorveterans.org. For details on Hospice of the Chesapeake’s program, visit www.hospicechesapeake.org/hospice-supportive-care/care-for-veterans.