Military veterans have unique physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual needs that can impact their end-of-life care. Recognizing these special needs, Samaritan Evergreen Hospice has joined a nationwide partnership called We Honor Veterans (WHV) to foster best care practices for veterans. In late August, the coastal office of Samaritan Evergreen Hospice was notified that they had achieved level two status with the WHV program. The coastal hospice team, based in Newport, provides hospice care to patients throughout Lincoln County and
into Tillamook County.
“This partnership really focuses our attention on fully understanding that patients
who are military veterans may have different life experiences and different health
risks as a result of their service,” said Theresa Karlik, RN, manager of Samaritan’s
coastal hospice team. “By recognizing the unique needs of America’s veterans and
their families through the partnership with WHV, we can provide appropriate and
compassionate hospice care to every veteran in our program.”
To obtain level two status, Lincoln County’s hospice staff and volunteers had to
accomplish several steps. The steps included receiving veteran-centric trainings in
such topics as hope and healing; warriors, death and dying; and veteran suicide
prevention. Samaritan Evergreen Hospice presented community programs about the
We Honor Veterans partnership and will participate in special pinning ceremonies to
recognize their veteran patients.
Samaritan Health Services’ veterans representative, Kyle Hatch, also represents
Samaritan Evergreen Hospice. He has developed strong connections between
Samaritan and veterans’ organizations throughout the region and state to further the
goal of providing exceptional care to patients who are veterans.
The Samaritan Evergreen Hospice program in the valley – which is based in Albany to
serve Benton, Linn, Marion and Polk counties – has already achieved level four status,
demonstrating its commitment to increasing access and quality of care for veterans.
We Honor Veterans is a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care
Organization and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The program is designed to
empower hospice professionals to meet the unique needs of dying veterans. It teaches
respectful inquiry, compassionate listening and grateful acknowledgement in
providing end-of-life care.