VA Recognized for Efforts to Improve Care for Dying
Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Operations and Management William Schoenhard accepts the 2011 Global Vision Award from Master of Ceremonies Brad Garrett. —Photo courtesy of the National Hospice Foundation
The National Hospice Foundation presented its Global Vision Award to the Veterans Health Administration recently for its groundbreaking efforts to improve end-of-life care for all Veterans through the We Honor Veterans Campaign.
This national campaign, conducted by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with The Department of Veterans Affairs, works with community hospice programs to improve the quality of care provided to Veterans who are dying.
“We are proud to honor the Veterans Health Administration for the powerful role it has played in working with the hospice community to ensure that Veterans and their families have the most appropriate care at the end of life,” said J. Donald Schumacher, National Hospice Foundation president and CEO.
The We Honor Veterans campaign was launched in September 2010 and has already received commitments from more than 500 community hospices to improve the care they provide to Veterans. Participation in this pioneering campaign empowers these providers with tools and resources, and also enables them to partner with VA facilities to better understand and meet the end-of-life needs of Veterans, as well as the needs of their families.
“We Honor Veterans takes many important lessons learned and teaches care providers the importance of respectful inquiry, compassionate listening, and grateful acknowledgment,” Schumacher said. “Having the skills necessary to comfort patients who have a history of military service and, in some cases, physical or psychological trauma is a passion shared by VA and the entire hospice community. This award recognizes VA’s amazing accomplishments in serving our Nation’s heroes at the end of life.”
Scott T. Shreve, VA’s director of Hospice and Palliative Care, noted that VA “has transformed its health care system to include reliable access to quality palliative care.”
He added: “The We Honor Veterans campaign provides the venue for partnering and capacity building. This is important, since the model of hospice care for Veterans often includes VA care, as well as care provided in the Veteran’s home by a community hospice.”
The Veterans Health Administration, the 262,000-employee component of VA, is comprised of 152 hospitals nationwide, more than 900 outpatient clinics or mobile clinics, and 270 readjustment counseling Vet Centers.
The Global Vision Award recognizes the efforts of an individual or organization whose dedication and innovation to program development and delivery profoundly affects the care and well-being of people around the world. Awardees demonstrate an extraordinary vision for caring that has a far-reaching impact and creates a lasting change in communities. The Global Vision Award celebrates efforts to harness innovation, raise the potential of human endeavors, and leverage resources to improve caring.