Hospice of the Western Reserve Veterans Program Earns Top Ranking

by Nate Gradisher, Provider Relations Manager,
Hospice of the Western Reserve  

Hospice of the Western Reserve is honored to be the first hospice organization in Northeast Ohio to achieve “Level 5” status with We Honor Veterans, a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in conjunction with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The distinction is awarded to programs deemed to go “above and beyond” in serving the specialized needs of veterans. 

Hospice of the Western Reserve provides specialized care to veterans facing a life-limiting illness through our Peaceful & Proud program. Last year, we provided care for more than 1,400 veterans and their families. As a Level 5 partner, we place a greater emphasis on staff education and on caring for Vietnam era and combat veterans and also serve as mentors to other hospice programs.

A continuing education program for our hospice care teams incorporates webinars, videos and presentations from the VA and Veterans Service Commissions focusing on issues such as trauma-informed care, PTSD, moral injury, suicide prevention, soul injury and self-awareness.

We offer a specialized program for Vietnam-era veterans, who have distinctive needs shaped by the unique cultural and political climate and social experiences of the era. Through a series of meetings and interviews, Vietnam veterans shared personal insights with us. These learnings are helping us develop a custom program of care for Vietnam veterans and their family caregivers. We are also honored to be a partner in the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, a Department of Defense program that honors Vietnam veterans and their families.

Volunteers play a meaningful role in our Peaceful & Proud program. Through a veteran-to-veteran volunteer initiative, hospice patients are matched with volunteers who can relate to them as fellow service members. Seventy veteran volunteers are currently providing companionship, family caregiver support, assistance with legacy work and support in the final hours. They also participate in Veterans Recognition Ceremonies honoring fellow veterans. Last year, more than 1,000 veterans were recognized, ranging from private ceremonies for hospice patients and their families to large public recognition events honoring veterans in the community. 

For more information on Hospice of the Western Reserve programs, visit hospicewr.org. 

Opinions and claims expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of ScripType Publishing.

Nate Gradisher,
Hospice of the
Western Reserve