Honoring our veterans
Hospice of Chattanooga believes that all those who served in the military, whether in combat or not, should be recognized for that service. America’s veterans and their families comprise about 25% of families served by Hospice of Chattanooga and other hospices across the United States.
- 26 million Veterans are alive today
- 25% of all deaths in the US are Veterans
- More than 1,800 Veterans die each day
- The VA cares for a minority of Veterans at the end of life: 96% die in community care organizations like Hospice of Chattanooga.
We Honor Veterans
Hospice of Chattanooga proudly participates in We Honor Veterans, a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), focused on respectful inquiry, compassionate listening and grateful acknowledgment. By recognizing the unique needs of America’s veterans and their families, community providers like Hospice of Chattanooga are learning how to accompany and guide veterans toward optimal quality of life and a more peaceful ending.
- Promote Veteran-centric educational activities
- Increase organizational capacity to serve Veterans
- Support development of strategic partnerships to better serve area Veterans
- Increase access and improve quality of community services for Veterans
Vet to Vet Program: Veterans Honoring Veterans
Hospice of Chattanooga has implemented an innovative model for serving Veterans at the end of life: the Veteran-to-Veteran (Vet-to-Vet) Volunteer Program. The Vet-to-Vet Volunteer Program pairs veteran volunteers with hospice patients who have been identified as veterans. Once paired with hospice patients who also have military experience, veteran volunteers have the unique ability to relate and connect with veteran patients and their families. Veteran patients or their family member can request that their vet-to-vet volunteer provide a “pinning” ceremony to outwardly acknowledge their service to our country. A staff member along with a veteran volunteer, family and any others that would like to attend, presents the patient with a pin and certificate representative of their branch of service and a hand-made red, white and blue afghan from Hospice of Chattanooga’s volunteer knitters group. Honoring their service and letting our veterans know that we recognize and appreciate their sacrifice can help them find peace at the end of their life’s journey.
National Hospice Leader in Honoring Veterans
In 2009, Hospice of Chattanooga was one of the first 18 hospice organizations in the US to work with the Veterans Administration and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization to better to address special issues that affect Veterans at the end of life. That early process became the We Honor Veterans national initiative. In partnership with the VA, Hospice of Chattanooga has had the honor of assisting thousands of veteran patients at the end of life toward a more peaceful ending, and supports their family caregivers during and following the death of their loved one. The Vet-to-Vet Volunteer Program is a key part of this initiative.