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 (WHV) to foster best care practices for veterans.
In late August, the coastal office of Samaritan Evergreen Hospice was notified that they had achieved level two status with the WHV program. The coastal hospice team, based in Newport, provides hospice care to patients throughout Lincoln County and into Tillamook County.
“This partnership really focuses our attention on fully understanding that patients who are military veterans may have different life experiences and different health risks as a result of their service,” said Theresa Karlik, RN, manager of Samaritan’s coastal hospice team. “By recognizing the unique needs of America’s veterans and their families through the partnership with WHV, we can provide appropriate and compassionate hospice care to every veteran in our program.”
To obtain level two status, Lincoln County’s hospice staff and volunteers had to accomplish several steps. The steps included receiving veteran-centric trainings in such topics as hope and healing; warriors, death and dying; and veteran suicide prevention. Samaritan Evergreen Hospice presented community programs about the We Honor Veterans partnership and will participate in special pinning ceremonies to recognize their veteran patients.
Samaritan Health Services’ veterans representative, Kyle Hatch, also represents Samaritan Evergreen Hospice. He has developed strong connections between Samaritan and veterans’ organizations throughout the region and state to further the goal of providing exceptional care to patients who are veterans.
The Samaritan Evergreen Hospice program in the valley – which is based in Albany to serve 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 in providing end-of-life care.