NorthBay Healthcare has earned its first star in a journey toward a four-star distinction in the “We Honor Veterans” programaccording to Ed Lowe, executive director of NorthBay Health at Home and Hospice.
The program is a collaborative partnership between the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and the Department of Veteran Affairs, which joined ranks to empower hospice and non-hospice community partners across America to meet the unique needs of seriously ill veterans and their families at end of life.
There are four levels of distinction the hospice team can achieve, explains Linda Pribble, volunteer and bereavement coordinator for NorthBay Hospice & Bereavement. Each level helps us to become more veteran-focused.
“Some of our employees are veterans, a number of our physicians are veterans, and a number of our volunteers are also veterans,” Linda noted. “Geographically, we have a lot of veterans in the area, and through the ‘We Honor Veterans’ program, we’ve learned how important it is to collect a military health history at hospice admission, because it will help enhance our plan of care. War and trauma have left an impact and people may have different levels of awareness of how this has affected their lives. At end of life, veterans struggle with this last battle, and we’re training our volunteers to help during this difficult time.”
That’s why the decision to become affiliated with the national “We Honor Veterans” program made complete sense, added Ed.
Linda is now working toward earning a second star for NorthBay Hospice & Bereavement, by partnering with Veterans Affairs in Martinez and organizations and individuals in Solano County. “I believe it takes a community in partnership with each other to coordinate services and end-of-life-care for veterans and their families,” she said.