STUART — On Aug. 8, Treasure Coast Hospice announced that it has earned the highest distinction as a Level 5 We Honor Veterans partner, placing the local program among the Top 5% of more than 3,300 We Honor Veterans programs across the nation. In Florida, Treasure Coast Hospice is one of only 13 hospices to achieve Level 5 status.
We Honor Veterans is a collaborative program between the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The goal of the program is to ensure veterans receive the compassionate care they need at the end of life and that support is available for their families. During the past year, Treasure Coast Hospice cared for 550 veterans residing in Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties.
“Achieving the Level 5 distinction demonstrates Treasure Coast Hospice’s deep commitment to understanding and addressing the unique needs of veterans as they age and providing them with the compassionate care and support that they deserve,” said CEO Jackie Kendrick, CHPCA. “We are proud to be recognized at this elite level and honored that our team will now share their expertise as a regional mentor to others in order to further increase access and services to veterans in our community.”
To earn the Level 5 We Honor Veterans distinction, Treasure Coast Hospice expanded its outreach to veterans by fostering a high level of collaboration among veteran organizations, healthcare partners and other community groups in order to provide veterans with increased services and improved access to care. Level 5 also places greater emphasis on staff education, specifically how to support Vietnam-era veterans and those dealing with isolation or symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
A vital component to the We Honor Veterans program is the role of Veteran Volunteers. Treasure Coast Hospice veteran volunteers are paired with patients who have served in the military, giving them an opportunity to connect with one another and create an environment where life reflection and healing may occur. Veteran volunteers provide companionship and support, grateful recognition, and a comforting presence to fellow veterans and their families at the end of life.
“Veteran volunteers are helping us reach more veterans, especially those who live in assisted living residences or senior communities,” said Volunteer Manager Tolliver Darville. “Thanks to the support of our veteran volunteers, Treasure Coast Hospice has been able to expand important Level 5 initiatives such as pinning ceremonies and Veteran Cafés or Coffee with a Veteran gatherings.”
Treasure Coast Hospice is a nonprofit community organization of skilled professionals and dedicated volunteers whose mission is to provide access to compassionate, caring, expert and professional hospice and grief support services to patients and families at the end of life. Founded in 1982, Treasure Coast Hospice has grown to serve 3,000 patients annually in Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties. Thanks to the generous support of our community, the Treasure Coast Hospice Foundation is able to fund comprehensive hospice and grief support programs for Treasure Coast Hospice, including three inpatient units for those who need a higher level of care, music therapy, a pediatric program, individual and group bereavement services and Camp Good Grief for children who have experienced the loss of a loved one.