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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Franciscan VNS St. Francis Hospice closes ranks to care for dying military vets

INDIANAPOLIS – An estimated 25 percent of those who die every year in the United States are military veterans, many of whom are among the dwindling ranks of those who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

To help provide care and support that reflect the important contributions made by these men and women, Franciscan VNS, St. Francis Hospice, has become a national partner of We Honor Veterans, a pioneering campaign developed by National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

As a partner, VNS St. Francis Hospice is implementing ongoing veteran-centered education for its staff and volunteers to help improve the care they provide to the veterans they proudly serve.  This campaign provides tiered recognition to organizations that demonstrate a systematic commitment to improve care for veterans, using resources to integrate best practices.

By recognizing the unique needs of our nation’s veterans who are facing a life-limiting illness, we are better able to accompany and guide these former service members and their families toward a more peaceful ending,” said VNS Manager Caroline Brackin, RN. “In cases where there might be some specific needs related to a veteran’s military and combat experience, we will find tools to help support them.”

“All hospices are serving veterans but often aren’t aware of that person’s service in the armed forces,” said J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO. “Through We Honor Veterans we are taking a giant step forward in helping hospice and palliative care providers and work more effectively with VA medical facilities in their communities.”

The resources of We Honor Veterans focus on respectful inquiry, compassionate listening, and grateful acknowledgment, coupled with focused education of health care staff caring for veterans.

To learn more about We Honor Veterans or to support this important work via a secure, online donation, please visit