Thursday, May 24, 2012

Memorial Day is a Time of Remembrance

Memorial Day is Monday, May 28. For many Americans, this day marks the beginning of summer. Yet, Memorial Day has a much more significant meaning. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, an organization familiar with the issues involved in loss and grief, offers some thoughts to consider as America celebrates this important holiday.

In addition to the festive events of the day, such as picnics, concerts and parades, Memorial Day provides an opportunity to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our nation. It allows us to show support to the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives in defense of freedom and our country.

In recent years, Americans serving in conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have been lost. For their families and loved ones – who may be our neighbors, friends and coworkers – grief may be fresh and painful. Memorial Day is a time we should reach out and comfort them and let them know that we recognize and honor the sacrifice their loved one has made.

Additionally, this day of remembrance is particularly meaningful to our nation’s Veterans who, amidst Memorial Day activities, deserve support and recognition of their service and the losses they may have experienced.

U.S. Veterans may be mourning brothers and sisters in arms who were lost during World War II, Korea, or Vietnam.  Past traumatic memories and losses are often rekindled. This is a natural part of grieving and calls for our compassion and support.

Hospice organizations throughout the country are answering the call to serve our Veterans through NHPCO’s We Honor Veterans initiative. They know that supporting those around us can be as simple as lending an ear or holding a hand.

Additionally, hospice and palliative care professionals, who deal with loss on a daily basis, remind us that sharing the range of thoughts, emotions and reactions we experience is important. Whether it is pride or shame, grief or hope, fear or fatigue, it is healthy to acknowledge what we are feeling.

In supporting those who are grieving – whether it is a recent loss or one from years past – we honor those who have sacrificed so much.

NHPCO’s Caring Connections offers information about grief at

Monday, May 14, 2012

What about Schools? Creating Systems to Support Children, Families, and Communities

NHPCO invites you to share the May 2012 issue of our ChiPPS E-newsletter offering a PDF collection of articles that explore some issues involving schools and the role of pediatric palliative and hospice care in creating systems to support children, families, and the community. The goal in this edition of the newsletter is to help encourage a dialogue with educators and school personnel to help them to work more closely and more effectively with providers of pediatric palliative and hospice care to meet the complex needs of children with life-threatening or life-limiting diseases and their family members.
ChiPPS is NHPCO's pediatric workgroup and we invite you to share the May 2012 e-newsletter and look over other resources available at

Thank you to all those who contributed articles to this edition of the newsletter.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Reaffirming Hospice through a New National Campaign Begun by NHPCO

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization has contracted with Hill + Knowlton Strategies to develop and launch a “Reaffirming Hospice Campaign.” This national campaign will reinforce the vital importance and quality of hospice to policy makers, healthcare professionals, and baby boomers.

This one-year campaign begins later this month with a qualitative research phase and focus groups. The campaign will then move on to quantitative research, campaign development and execution over the subsequent several months. The first phase of the campaign will help policy makers gain a thorough understanding of the complex issues surrounding hospice care delivery, so decisions made are both fiscally sound and programmatically correct. The second phase will focus on motivating healthcare professionals to refer to hospice earlier while motivating consumers to request it.
Read NHPCO's press release online.