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Updated: 01/02/2014 10:25:57AM

Cornerstone Hospice earns Level 4 designation for veterans program

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Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care has attained the highest level of accreditation, Level 4 status, with the We Honor Veterans program, a national initiative in collaboration with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Department of Veterans Affairs.“Cornerstone Hospice now serves 80 new military veterans each month with our specialized end-of-life care,” said Chuck Lee, CEO of Cornerstone Hospice. “The achievement of the ‘fourth star’ demonstrates Cornerstone’s commitment to providing the best level of care to men and women who have sacrificed so much for our nation.”

Established in 2010, the Cornerstone Salutes! program honors local veterans with a ceremony, led by a specially-trained U.S. veteran volunteer, tailor-made for the veteran patient and family. During the ceremony, the veteran patient is presented with a special pin and certificate of appreciation. Approximately 40-50 ceremonial pinnings are held each month throughout Cornerstone Hospice’s seven-county region.

Additionally, Cornerstone’s interdisciplinary teams are specially trained to provide medical, spiritual, social and administrative support to veterans and their families.

As an accredited partner with the national We Honor Veterans initiative, Cornerstone Hospice has completed specific activities using practical resources designed to increase ability the organization’s service to veterans and their families.

• Cornerstone Hospice developed a booklet for veterans and their families which provides an overview of the resources and benefits available to them;

• Cornerstone Hospice’s social workers have been trained to specifically assist the veterans with access to those VA services;

• A dedicated e-mail has been created for veterans and family members in Cornerstone’s care to be able to access the Veterans Program Team directly with a variety of questions and requests for support;

• Cornerstone Hospice has led training sessions for veteran volunteers, internal staff and partner medical facilities such nursing homes, assisted living facilities that focused on the specific diseases and conditions of military veterans which may differ depending on which war they served in.

“We have now gone through all of the training required to make sure we meet all U.S. veterans’ end-of-life needs,” said Alex Newsom, a former combat medic in the U.S. Army during the Persian Gulf War and now Cornerstone Hospice’s Veterans Program Supervisor. “As a veteran, I would want to know that, when the time comes, I am served by a program that is dedicated to providing medical care and support that is appropriate to my specific needs.”

Cornerstone Hospice is among more than 2,100 hospices that are We Honor Veterans partners and one of only 106 hospice agencies to have attained Level 4 status.

“On behalf of We Honor Veterans Program, we are grateful for the commitment and service that Cornerstone Hospice is providing Veterans and their families. We congratulate the staff at Cornerstone Hospice for achieving the We Honor Veterans Level 4 Partner recognition,” said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.