Homeland Hospice recently earned its fourth star out of a five-star ranking system for its quality of care for veterans through the national We Honor Veterans program. We Honor Veterans, created by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), works to improve the quality of health care for all veterans. Homeland Hospice is a nonprofit hospice program that serves communities throughout Central Pennsylvania.
“We are honored to recognize the service and sacrifice of our veterans,” says Laurie Murry, Volunteer Coordinator for Homeland Hospice. “The program is part of our organization’s tradition of caring for those who have bravely served our country.”
Homeland was founded 155 years ago as the Society for the Home for the Friendless to help women and children destitute in the aftermath of the Civil War.
Homeland’s involvement in the We Honor Veterans program began nine years ago to recognize the service of veterans during their end-of-life journey. Hospice organizations earn their “stars” by completing education and engagement activities for each level. The star rating system provides Department of Veterans Affairs staff, as well as local veterans, an easy way to identify hospice organizations that are committed to providing compassionate care specific to the needs of veterans and their families.
As a We Honor Veterans partner, Homeland has opportunities to learn from other organizations as well as access a bank of valuable resources like information on pinning ceremonies, which is one of the unique ways Homeland honors veterans.
“The program is an excellent source of new ideas for us,” Laurie says. “We continue to find innovative ways to improve our work and educate our staff to better serve our veterans.”
Through its collaboration with the We Honor Veterans program, Homeland has formed a strong working relationship with the Lebanon VA Medical Center and participates in the National Wreaths Across America Day program. Each December, Homeland partners with the Dauphin County Coroner’s Office to place ceremonial wreaths and flags representing each branch of the military, soldiers missing in action and prisoners of war on the fence outlining the Dauphin County Cemetery, also known as a Potter’s Field. Nationally, wreath-laying ceremonies are held at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as more than 2,500 locations in all 50 states, at sea and abroad.
While Homeland Hospice is proud of its four-star ranking, the organization has already begun working to expand its efforts to earn five stars. This work includes expanding partnerships within the community and serving as a mentor to other hospice organizations that are new to the program.
“I am humbled by the sacrifices of our veterans,” Laurie adds. “I look forward to enhancing our work and spreading the news about this inspiring program.”
To learn more, please contact Homeland Hospice at (717) 221-7890.