ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Earl Blumenauer will welcome more than 1,700 hospice and palliative care leaders and industry experts to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization's 28th Annual Management and Leadership Conference being held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. Congressman Blumenauer will address attendees at the opening plenary session and introduce keynote speaker Don Berwick.
Berwick, former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and founding CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, will speak about improving care in the last years of life.
Over the course of three days, conference participants will explore best practices that expand hospice and palliative care service delivery, define excellence, allow organizational leaders to more effectively engage with their staff and communities, and enhance quality throughout the care continuum.
As part of the events throughout the week, NHPCO will present awards to leaders from throughout the field.
Quality Leadership Award
Joan Teno, MD, MS, will receive the inaugural NHPCO Quality Leadership Award in recognition of her work as a researcher and a clinician dedicated to understanding how to measure and improve the quality of care for people at the end of life.
"Recipients of this award must have demonstrated leadership, commitment, and innovation that have significantly contributed to hospice organization excellence and improved hospice and palliative care delivery and outcomes," said J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO.
Teno is a Professor of community Health and Medicine and Associate Director of the Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research at the Brown Medial School. She serves as a Hospice Medical Director, a health services researcher, and board-certified internist with added qualifications in Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine.
Council of States Trailblazer Award
Leaders of state hospice and palliative care organizations met earlier this week where the Council of States Trailblazer Award was presented on Wednesday, April 24. This award recognizes outstanding leadership of a state organization and was given to Kōkua Mau, Hawaii's Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
The organization was honored for its development of an innovative method for improving access to palliative care and increasing quality of care among its providers through relationships building and expanded educational opportunities for private healthcare plans.
"One of the things that we were impressed with was Kōkua Mau, Hawaii's Hospice and Palliative Care Organization's commitment to working collaboratively across the healthcare continuum in the creation of this program that can be used as a model in other states," said Schumacher.
Global Partner Award
The third annual FHSSA Global Partnership Award was presented to Center for Hospice Care/Hospice Foundation of South Bend, Indiana who is partnered with the Palliative Care Association of Uganda, located in Kampala, Uganda.
FHSSA, which began as the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa, an affiliate of NHPCO, supports the development of partnerships between U.S. organizations and African hospice and palliative care providers.
The partnership was recognized for its collaboration on strategic goals, creation of the "Road to Hope" fund which provides financial support to child caregivers so they can continue attending school, and the development of an educational curriculum for Ugandan clergy.
In conjunction with Notre Dame Film School, they developed the award winning documentary "Okuyamba" that highlights the work of palliative care providers in Uganda.
Additional conference plenary speakers appearing include Dan Heath, Senior Fellow at Duke University's CASE Center, and Ellen Goodman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist who is founder of The Conversation Project.