For nearly 40 years, Angela Hospice has lived Blessed Mary Angela’s example of tender support for the sick, aged, and neglected. Started in a small office at Madonna University by Felician and registered nurse Sr. Mary Giovanni, the Angela Hospice Care Center was the first freestanding inpatient hospice facility in Michigan.
One of the special populations Angela Hospice has the honor to serve are Veterans; nearly one in four hospice patients is a veteran. Over the past 10 years, the Angela Hospice We Honor Veterans program has achieved many milestones, most recently earning the fourth of a five-level certification.
We Honor Veterans is a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization that offers hospice organizations the opportunity to achieve progressive partnership levels that increase knowledge and capacity to serve veterans and demonstrate an active commitment to this population.
“I got the email and it said in the subject line, ‘Congratulations.’ I screamed, I was so excited,” said Teri Schmitchen, Director of Integrative Therapies and Volunteer Services, and chair of the We Honor Veterans program at Angela Hospice. “I couldn't be
prouder of this team for achieving Level Four.”
Among other qualifications, the We Honor Veterans Level Four requires that organizations integrate veteran-specific content into staff and volunteer education; conduct at least three veteran-specific presentations in community, healthcare and veteran-organization venues; conduct veteran-specific intake procedures; monitor and evaluate the demographics of veterans served by the organization; develop procedures for transitioning veterans across venues of care; and implement one or more Performance Improvement Projects including veteran-specific items.
The We Honor Veterans program resonates with Teri whose father fought in the Korean War. “I have a deep place in my heart for veterans and the respect they deserve for the sacrifices they've made,” she said.
Since its inception, the Angela Hospice We Honor Veterans program has served hundreds of veterans from all branches of the military and remains committed to recognizing and meeting the unique needs of the men and women who gave so much for our country.