Heartland ProMedica Hospice Receives Level 4 We Honor Veterans Distinction
Heartland ProMedica Hospice Serving Central WI was recently recognized for its work in achieving We Honor Veterans (WHV) Level 4 status. A program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veteran Affairs, WHV recognizes the unique needs of veterans and their families at the end of life and integrates those considerations into education and care.
According to Agency Veteran Liaison Amanda Cottrell, Heartland ProMedica has chosen to partner with the WHV program because 25% of the hospice patients they serve are veterans. “We are committed to supporting veterans and educating our staff and community members about how we can continue to provide the best possible care for veterans at end of life,” she said.
This distinction acknowledges Heartland ProMedica’s intensity of staff and volunteer training, delivery of care, and community involvement, according to Cottrell. “The Level 4 WHV requirements include providing educational presentations and events both internally and externally, conducting employee WHV orientations, ongoing training for our employees and volunteers, tracking and recognizing veteran demographics, cultivating relationships with our County Veteran Service Officers, and developing performance improvement plans to better serve our patients and families,” said Cottrell.
Heartland ProMedica staff are specifically trained in listening and supporting veteran’s needs. “Respecting whether or not our veteran patients are open to sharing their experiences is crucial,” said Cottrell. “Not only does our team learn about veteran service-related myths, but we are also trained to be sensitive to the potential triggers that could be difficult for the veteran patient or his or her family,” she said.
Cottrell noted that soul injury and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are common among Heartland ProMedica veteran patients. “We have to be able to identify these things and respond appropriately,” she said. “For example, we are purposeful in our approach to veterans who have their backs to us. We also have to understand and educate about why some veterans prefer not to be recognized,” she said.
In addition to her role as agency veteran liaison, Cottrell also serves as volunteer coordinator. Veteran volunteers are an integral part of Heartland ProMedica’s volunteer program. “We are always looking for veterans to join our program,” said Cottrell. “Many of our veterans wish to spend valuable time sharing with another veteran, especially as their life is ending. There’s a different level of comfort that veterans have with one another and we’ve found some powerful healing has taken place through veteran-to-veteran volunteer visits,” she said. To learn more about Heartland ProMedica volunteer opportunities, please call 715-344-4541 or email Amanda.firstname.lastname@example.org