Las Vegas seemed like an unlikely place to be thinking and talking about hospice and palliative care. However, last week, about twenty hospice providers sat in a classroom at a Roseman University auditorium to discuss the present and future of hospice and palliative care in Nevada. Not far from the glitz of The Strip, and concurrent with the World Series of Poker, we discussed the joys and challenges of providing serious illness and end-of-life care in Nevada. Different providers—large and small, for-profit and nonprofit—shared openly. We were also honored to be joined by Sue Negreen of the California Hospice and Palliative Care Association.
We spoke about the fact that we are facing more challenges today than in the past. Being a hospice provider is far more complex than it was four decades ago. Oversight, scrutiny and increasing compliance demands are only a few of these things that concern us all. We’re all facing ongoing change. That said, we should never forget that with change comes a valuable opportunity for us to innovate and continually examine what we do, how we do it, and what the needs are of those we serve.
I want to be clear about the fact that innovation is not about recreating the wheel. We have the tools we need—that bottled passion and compassion, and four decades of experience meeting the needs of patients and families. The work that all of us are doing, ultimately, is about the people we serve, and the passion for them is what keeps us united and moving forward in our shared mission. I’m so pleased to see that passion firsthand.
|The first stop on Edo’s Listening Tour – Las Vegas.|
While in Las Vegas, we also had the opportunity to visit with two engaged NHPCO members. Both are providing excellent, thoughtful care to patients and their families. Little touches like a painted window at one site make all the difference in a patient’s last days. The people providing care at both programs—clearly passionate about their difficult work—make the biggest difference of all.
During one visit, we watched a chef at an inpatient center lovingly prepare lunch for her residents, who she looked in after earlier in the day to make sure that she was making them something they would want and enjoy. Now, that is patient-centered care.
|Edo views a memorial sidewalk at an inpatient facility in Las Vegas.|
We had the opportunity to meet with one of the provider site’s senior leadership team. We learned about their robust palliative care program and their commitment to high-quality, innovative hospice care.
|The NHPCO team meets with the senior leadership team at a Las Vegas area hospice and palliative care provider.|
They say that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. I can assure you that what we learned in Vegas will not stay there; that we continue to learn from our friends and members, and grow as an association that is attuned to the needs of those who we serve and their patients. Thank you, Las Vegas. On to Chicago and Austin.
There’s still time to register to attend one of the free Summer Listen Tour sessions.