Four Heartland Hospice Agencies Achieve Top "We Honor Veterans" Status

TOLEDO, Ohio, Jan. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Heartland Hospice in Baltimore, Maryland; Fairfax, Virginia; West Branch, Michigan; and Macon, Georgia achieved Level Four status within the We Honor Veterans Program.

We Honor Veterans was launched by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help improve the care veterans receive from hospice and palliative care providers.

"I know the importance of Heartland's initiative to better serve these United States veterans," Mike Reed, Vice President and General Manager of Heartland Home Health Care and Hospice said. "I am a veteran myself, and I believe we not only care for the mind, body and spirit of our veterans, but that Heartland is a home health care and hospice provider trained to care specifically for veterans." 

The We Honor Veterans campaign provides four tiers of recognition to organizations that demonstrate a systematic commitment to improving care for veterans. Heartland achieved Level Four status, the highest level of recognition, after proving its ability to increase access and provide quality care for veterans in the community.  In order to reach this level of acknowledgement, Heartland was tasked with learning more about caring for veterans, declaring a commitment to honoring veterans at the end of life, providing education for hospice staff and volunteers on caring for veterans and partnering with the VA at the local, regional and national level to ensure the unique needs of veterans are met.  As a Level Four provider, our agencies also measure quality outcomes of our veterans, aiming to continually improve the care that is provided to this demographic.

Heartland's participation in We Honor Veterans has brought many veterans together through common histories. One such story took place at an assisted living facility in Virginia where hospice patient Sgt. Ward Wheeler was reunited with a former WWII U.S. Army buddy with whom he had lost touch.  They lived at the same assisted living facility, but had no idea of the coincidence until Heartland hosted a pinning ceremony in their honor.  "If it hadn't been for Heartland and We Honor Veterans, they would have never known," Sgt. Wheeler's daughter said of the chance encounter.  After discovering each other at the ceremony, the old friends headed back to their rooms to catch up over a game of cards.

Nationally, there are currently 67 hospice agencies to achieve Level Four status in the We Honor Veterans Program.  Heartland Hospice in Baltimore was the first agency in Maryland to reach this distinct honor. 

To learn more about the We Honor Veterans initiative, the steps that our agencies have taken to receive this acknowledgement or to see where other Heartland agencies are at in the process of achieving this honor, visit www.wehonorveterans.org.

SOURCE Heartland Hospice



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