Friday, November 9, 2012

NHPCO Presents Awards Celebrating Hospice Palliative Care

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization bosted its 13th annual Clinical Team Conference and Pediatric Intensive this week in Orlando, Florida. More than 1,200 professionals gathered at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel. Throughout the week, NHPCO presented a number of awards celebrating outstanding contributions to hospice and palliative care.

Distinguished Researcher Award
Holly G. Prigerson, PhD, was presented with the NHPCO Distinguished Researcher Award created to recognize an outstanding body of research that has contributed to the enhancement of hospice and palliative care.

Prigerson is internationally known for her work on bereavement and end-of-life care. She is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Center for Psycho-Oncology and Palliative Care Research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Much of Prigerson’s research has been on psychosocial factors that influence the quality of life and care received by terminally ill patients, and factors influencing family caregivers both before and after the death of a loved one.  

Volunteers are the Foundation of Hospice Award
This award recognizes exemplary hospice volunteers in three categories of service: Patient/Family Support; Organizational Support; and Teen Service. The volunteers selected for this recognition best reflect the universal concept of volunteerism in its truest sense: Serving as an inspiration to others.
The 2012 award recipients and their specific areas of service:
  • Chuck Mirasola, a volunteer with the Hospice and Palliative Care Unit at Florida’s Bay Pines VA for “Patient/Family Support.” He has given more than 12,500 hours of volunteer service to the Bay Pines VA, with eight years of service to patients and families on the Hospice and Palliative Care Unit.
  • Richard W. Jett, Jr, CPA, a volunteer with Hospice of East Texas in Tyler for “Organizational Support.” He has been a volunteer for 30 consecutive years – without interruption of service to the hospice. This includes three terms as a board member and one term as board chair.
  • Deanna Wright, a volunteer with Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado in Grand Junction for “Teen Service.” She began her service with hospice at the age of 12 and has been a dedicated volunteer involved in many aspects of the organization for the past six years.

Advancing End-of-life Care Access Award
As part of its efforts to recognize the important work of caring for Veterans, NHPCO presented its inaugural Advancing End-of-life Care Access Award to VITAS Innovative Hospice Care of Dayton.

VITAS of Dayton began its Veterans initiative three and a half years ago to ensure that information about hospice is readily available to Veterans and their families that are facing serious and life-limiting illness. VITAS Innovative Hospice Care of Dayton is a Level IV Partner in the We Honor Veterans program – the highest level a hospice can attain.

“One of the most important things we can do is shine a light on individuals and organizations in the hospice palliative care community who are advancing the field of  hospice and palliative care,” said NHPCO President and CEO J. Donald Schumacher.

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