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Veterans at the End of Life

(4/20/12) It surprises many Americans to learn that 25 percent of all deaths in the US are Veterans.

That’s 1,800 people a day; more than 680,000 Veterans every year. These heroic Americans deserve recognition for their military service– particularly at the end of life’s journey. A new resource will help healthcare professionals honor our Veterans.

Black River Memorial Hospice is collaborating with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), to launch We Honor Veterans, a pioneering campaign to help improve the care Veterans receive from hospice.

By recognizing the unique needs of our nation’s Veterans who are facing a life-limiting illness, hospice care providers will be able to accompany and guide America’s Veterans and their families toward a more peaceful ending. And in cases where there might be some specific needs related to the Veteran’s military service, combat experience or other traumatic events, providers will find tools to help support those they are caring for.


The resources of We Honor Veterans focus on respectful inquiry, compassionate listening, and grateful acknowledgment, coupled with Veteran-centric education of staff caring for Veterans.A newly launched website,, provides hospice and palliative care providers, state hospice organizations, and Hospice Veteran Partnerships with tools and resources that will encourage them to:

  • Learn more about caring for Veterans
  • Declare a commitment to honoring Veterans at the end of life
  • Partner with VA at the local, regional and national level
  • Assess their current ability to serve Veterans
  • Provide education for hospice staff and volunteers
  • Measure quality and outcomes for continued improvement


Black River Memorial Hospice Manager, Ellen Ness, chose to be a part of this program because, “We knew there were special needs that needed to be addressed with our patients who are veterans. This program tied directly into our strategic plan to provide excellent patient care, especially for this population.”


To learn more about We Honor Veterans or to support this important work via a secure, online donation, please visit





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