Thursday, December 1, 2016

December 1 is World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day is a global initiative to raise awareness, fight prejudice, and improve education about HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. World AIDS Day is December 1. Around the world, about 37 million people are living with HIV. In the United States, about 44,000 people get infected with HIV every year.

In recognition of World AIDS Day on December 1, the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion encourages everyone to get tested for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. In the United States, about 1 in 8 people who has HIV doesn’t know it. The only way to know for sure whether or not you have HIV is to get tested. You could have HIV and still feel healthy. 

Everyone ages 15 to 65 needs to get tested at least once. Some people may need to get tested more often. To find an HIV testing location near you, text your ZIP code to KNOWIT (566948) or use this online locator (http://locator.aids.gov).

HIV is passed from one person to another by:
  • Having unprotected sex with a person who has HIV
  • Sharing needles with someone who has HIV
  • Breastfeeding, pregnancy, or childbirth if the mother has HIV
  • Getting a transfusion of blood that’s infected with HIV (very rare in the United States)
Learn more about HIV/AIDS and how to prevent this disease from the following websites:

Monday, November 28, 2016

Save on 2017 Webinar Packages

NHPCO Webinars bring you and your staff expert guidance from nationally recognized authorities on important topics of the day — at rates as low as $67 per Webinar. Order your 2017 webinar package by 12/31/2016 in order to take advantage of the early-bird package pricing. 

Two Webinars are offered each month — with one focusing on an interdisciplinary topic and the other on a quality or regulatory topic. The topics are generated and vetted by your peers so you can be assured that the content is relevant to the field. The annual calendar is developed with input from several NHPCO Committees as well as from the Educational Needs Assessment Survey. The calendar of 2017 Webinars is available online.

New this year, a MP4 recording will be included with your Webinar purchase giving you the opportunity for staff to listen to the valuable discussions after the original presentation (CE/CME is only available for participation in the live Webinar broadcast and not for those who listen to the MP4).

Member Rates for Webinars that include MP4s
  • 24-Webinar Package:  $1,625 if you order by 12/31/16; $1,829 afterwards.
  • 12-Webinar Package:  $865 if you order by 12/31/16; $975 afterwards.
  • 6-Webinar Package:  $460 if you order by 12/31/16; $515 afterwards.
  • Single Webinars:  $85 if you order by 12/31/16; $95 afterwards.
For Webinar details or to register, visit nhpco.org/webinar. Or download our 2017 Webinar Early Bird Order Form – but you must get it in by December 31, 2016 to get the early bird savings.

 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

This Thanksgiving Talk about the Care You Would Want

A family is gathered by the bedside of a loved one who has been seriously ill, and now is likely near the end of life. Each member of the family has a different idea of what should be done and what their loved one would have wanted. That’s the point when they realize they should have planned ahead and talked about what they each would want in a medical crisis.

Heartbreaking scenes like this happen far too often.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization is encouraging families to spend time when they may be gathered for the holidays, to talk about the care they would or would not want. This is particularly important if a family is coping with a serious or life-limiting illness of a loved one.

Having discussions about one’s health care wishes is part of advance care planning.

Advance care planning involves making decisions about the care you would want to receive in a medical crisis that might be the result of a serious illness or an unexpected accident.  Advance care planning also involves deciding who will speak for you if you are not able to speak for yourself. An essential part of advance care planning involves having these important conversations with your loved ones.

Advance care planning also includes:
•    Deciding what types of treatment you would or would not want should you be diagnosed with a life-limiting illness or faced with a serious medical crisis.
•    Sharing your personal values and beliefs with your loved ones.
•     Completing an advance directive to put into writing what types of treatment you would or would not want.
•     Designating a person as your health care power of attorney (sometimes called a health care proxy) to speak for you if you cannot speak for yourself.

NHPCO’s CaringInfo.org offers free state-specific advance directive forms and free information to help families talk about the care they would want. Visit caringinfo.org/planningahead.


Watch NHPCO's video on advance care planning.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Post-Election Recap from NHPCO

Hear from the leaders of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization's Health Policy Team, Jon Keyserling and Sharon Scribner Pearce, on their takeaways from this election.  They discuss some of the outcomes of the election, what we might expect in the first 100 days and offer insight and advice for the hospice and palliative care community.

A major point to emphasize is that hospice and palliative care benefit from support on both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill and end-of-life care had not been an issue of debate during the election campaign season.

Listen to the Special Election Podcast.

Post-election Podcast

Other NHPCO Podcasts look at a number of relevant regulatory and compliance issues that are important for hospice providers. Listen to these podcasts via itunes, GooglePlay and Stitcher. Or find them on the NHPCO website at www.nhpco.org/podcast.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Hospice Volunteers Honored for Outstanding Service

NHPCO recognized five outstanding volunteers at the organization’s event, The Intensives, hosted in Hollywood, Florida, October 31 through November 2. The Volunteers are the Foundation of Hospice Awards were created by NHPCO’s National Council of Hospice and Palliative Professionals to recognize hospice volunteers who best reflect the universal concept of volunteerism in its truest sense—serving as an inspiration to others.

Chosen from more than 200 nominations, this year’s dedicated honorees were:

Clyde Day, a volunteer with Peterson Hospice in Kerrville, Texas, honored for organization support. In 1984, Clyde worked with other community members to donate their time and raise money to start Heart of the Hills Hospice in Kerrville. He helped negotiated the agreement between Peterson Memorial Hospital and the Hills Hospice which was the beginning of Peterson Hospice where he currently volunteers. Day’s service has included visiting patients, delivering flowers, sweeping floors, building shelves in the Thrift Store, as well as serving on the Board.

Karen Jackson, a volunteer with Suncoast Hospice / Empath Health in Clearwater, Florida, was honored for Specialized Volunteer Service primarily for her work with the hospice’s perinatal loss doula program for which she has served since it began in 2004. With more than 1,600 hours of service, she has often served as the “voice” of the program, playing an instrumental role in public speaking events, attending advisory board meetings, and presenting the program at local and national events and conferences.

Ryan Regan, a young volunteer with Suncoast Hospice / Empath Health in Clearwater, Florida, was recognized for his contributions to the hospice’s Teen Volunteer Program. Since January 2014 he has contributed more than 1,000 volunteer service hours in support of more than 240 families. Regan was selected to serve as one of six members of the Suncoast Hospice Teen Volunteer Regional Leadership Board/North County. He is active in the recruitment of teen volunteers and serves as a mentor to young people coming into the volunteer program.

Colonel Patsy Thompson, a volunteer with Sutter Care at Home Hospice in Roseville, California, was honored for Specialized Volunteer Service. In her twentieth year of volunteering for the hospice, she began by visiting patients with her spouse and their dog Pretzel. Now, Thompson has taken the lead of the “We Honor Our Veterans” ceremony program where she has been honored by the community and continues to serve with gusto.

Ingrid Watt, another volunteer with Suncoast Hospice / Empath Health in Clearwater, was recognized in the Patient and Family Support category.  She began her volunteer journey with Suncoast Hospice in 1993 and has provided over 2,900 hours of service in caregiver relief, transportation, Transitions Companion visits, and bereavement support for patients and their families. Through her volunteer work, she has become a Reiki Master and uses this therapeutic technique in her work with patients.

“Volunteers play an integral role in hospice care and each and every one deserves recognition and the highest accolades.  From direct patient support and caregiver relief to board service and community outreach and education,  hospice volunteers selflessly give of their time to serve patients and families who are facing end-of-life challenges and are integral to the hospice programs for which they serve,” said J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO.

The awards were presented by NCHPP Chair Rex Allen and NCHPP Vice-Chair Sandi Huster who also serves as the section leader for the Volunteer/Volunteer Management Section.


L to R: Rex Allen, award recipient Ingrid Watt with Kathy Robel of Suncoast Hospice/Empath Health, and Sandi Huster.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Lyle's Hawaiian Dream

Dream Foundation Provides Trip of a Lifetime to Young Man with Advanced Illness

Te National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization released a new video today as part of the “Moments of Life: Made Possible by Hospice” public awareness campaign.  The video features Lyle Romans, a 21 year-old with terminal lung disease and dermatomyositis.  “Lyle’s Hawaiian Dream” shows Lyle and his foster family on a journey from his home in Oregon to the beautiful beaches of Waikiki, Hawaii.  His trip was made possible by Dream Foundation, the only national dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults. 

Lyle, who has lived with the Dobbs family since he was 18 years-old, was an active teenager.  In his senior year, he was diagnosed with lung disease and since then his health has continued to decline.  He has lost 80% of his lungs due to scarring and cysts. He no longer has the ability to walk or move his neck and he is losing his sight.  Lyle’s dream was to go to Hawaii to see and experience the natural beauty of the islands before his sight was completely gone. Dream Foundation stepped in to make Lyle’s Dream of a Hawaiian vacation a reality.   Lyle and his family visited the island of Oahu in June.  

In the video, Lyle can be seen enjoying the sights of Oahu including the famous Halona Blowhole and Sea Life Park Hawaii.  Palliative care helped stabilize Lyle enough to be at home with his family and strong enough to enjoy this trip.  

Lyle’s video is part of the “Moments of Life” public awareness campaign launched by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in 2014.  The campaign features stories from hospices and palliative care programs across the United States of patients and families experiencing hospice and palliative care first hand.   The “Moments of Life” website has information available on palliative care.

Lyle's Hawaiian Dream

 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

“Hospice Helps Everyone” Message Reaching Latino Communities


The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s “Moments of Life: Made Possible by Hospice” campaign has released a new video translated in Spanish and showcases the benefits of hospice care. “Un Baile Para Gloria” features Gloria, an 85 year-old Latina and former schoolteacher from Pueblo, Colorado, who suffers from COPD, a condition that confines her to her home. The video which was first produced in English, was translated to Spanish to use for outreach in the Latino community where hospice utilization is disproportionately low.

Gloria is cared for by Sangre de Cristo Hospice. The video features a special event her care team organized to honor her love of culture, music, dance, and prayer. Gloria’s care team honors her Latino heritage as well. One of Gloria’s caregivers, Carolina, is bilingual and speaks Spanish with Gloria during her visits. Carolina helps Gloria with her baths and showers. Having a caregiver who can speak to the patient in their native tongue can add ease to a situation that can be very stressful and uncomfortable.

“We are thrilled to release this video that highlights the benefits hospice can provide to all communities including the Latino population,” says NHPCO President and CEO, J. Donald Schumacher. “Many hospice providers serve diverse populations and it’s essential to understand each community’s end-of-life cultural beliefs and attitudes."

 According to Tarrah Schreiner, chief executive officer at Sangre de Cristo Hospice, many people on the team can speak Spanish.  Southern Colorado has a large Latino population and the organization services several Latino families like Gloria’s.

To support the work of hospice providers that service Latino communities, NHPCO’s Latino Outreach Guide is available online, free of charge. The guide outlines key principles and insights to help hospices better serve this diverse community.  

Gloria’s video is part of the “Moments of Life” public awareness campaign launched by NHPCO in 2014. The campaign features stories from hospices and palliative care programs across the United States of patients and families experiencing hospice and palliative care first hand. The “Moments of Life” website includes information in Spanish that helps explain hospice care and advance care planning. 
Gloria pictured with the Grupo Xochitl dance troop.