Virtual Conference Enables More than 5,000 Hospice Volunteers to Attend National Event
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Aug. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- All over the country hospice volunteers gathered on Thursday to learn how to better care for the patients and families they serve. In groups ranging in size from two to 300, hospices hosted their volunteers as part of a week-long conference designed to enhance the skillful and compassionate care that volunteers provide to seriously ill patients and their family caregivers.
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization's Volunteer Leadership Virtual Conference, July 30-August 3, 2012, used live hybrid webcasting and webinar technology to deliver with plenary, concurrent and ignite sessions as well as an exhibit hall and networking to more than 700 hospice sites via a specially-created portal http://ignite.nhpco.org. Each hospice site could invite as many people as they chose to view the event. Four days of the conference featured content for hospice volunteer leaders, with August 2nd devoted exclusively to hospice volunteers.
Preliminary information indicates that on average, each site hosted 1,200 people each of the first three days of the event and more than 5,000 volunteers on August 2nd.
"Hospice volunteers play an integral part in the care and support provided to hospice patients and families," according to J Donald Schumacher, President and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. "The nation's 458,000 volunteers provide more than 21 million hours of service every year. "
NHPCO's 2011 "Facts and Figures on Hospice Care in America" reports that 5.2% of all clinical care hours – time spent with individuals and families – was provided by hospice volunteers. The report also states that most of these volunteers (59.3%) assisted with direct patient care; 28.3% provided patient care support and 21.5 provided general support to programs. Additionally, the typical hospice volunteer devoted 46.7 hours of service over the course of the year with patient care volunteers making, on average, 20 visits to hospice patients.
Vice President, Communications
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SOURCE National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization