Military veterans have unique physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual needs that can impact their end-of-life care. Recognizing these special needs, Samaritan Evergreen Hospice has joined a nationwide partnership called We Honor Veterans to foster best care practices for veterans.
Recently, the coastal office of Samaritan Evergreen Hospice achieved level one status with the program. The coastal hospice team, based in Newport, provides hospice care to patients throughout Lincoln County and into Tillamook County.
“As hospice professionals, we strive to provide the best care to every patient. We also recognize that military veterans may have different life experiences and health risks as a result of their service,” said Theresa Karlik, manager of Samaritan’s coastal hospice services. “By becoming familiar with military culture and learning about their challenges, we can provide appropriate and compassionate hospice care to every veteran.”
To obtain level one status, Lincoln County’s hospice staff and volunteers received a minimum of three veteran-centric trainings; developed a process to identify patients with military experience; reviewed a Military History Checklist and Guide; identified the designated hospice and palliative care contact person at the closest Veterans Administration medical center and/or community-based outpatient clinic; among other requirements.
Samaritan Evergreen Hospice, based in Albany and serving Benton, Linn, Marion and Polk counties, has already achieved level four status demonstrating its commitment to increasing access and quality of care for veterans.
We Honor Veterans is a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The program is designed to empower hospice professionals to meet the unique needs of dying veterans. It teaches respectful inquiry, compassionate listening and grateful acknowledgement.