SSM Hospice of the Good Samaritan is pleased to announce it has received Level 4 status, the highest level of achievement of the We Honor Veterans (WHV) program. The goal of the WHV program is to provide better care for veterans by recognizing that their end-of-life needs may be different than those of non-veterans. The SSM Hospice staff has achieved this four-star recognition by focusing on increased access and improved quality of care for veterans in the southern Illinois area.
There are a total of 368 hospice agencies in Illinois that participate in the WHV program. However, SSM Hospice is one of only seven agencies to achieve the Level 4 status and the first agency to achieve this level in the southern Illinois area.
“We are so pleased to bring the We Honor Veterans program to our patients in the southern Illinois area. Statistics show that 25 percent of all deaths in the United States are veterans. Often, these individuals have specific needs related to their military service, combat experience, or other traumatic events. Our SSM Hospice staff members are trained to respectfully inquire as to the patient’s past military service, provide a listening ear, and gratefully acknowledge his or her service to our country,” said Lisa Austin, SSM Hospice Branch Manager.
There are four levels of participation in the WHV program. Requirements for each level include:
Level 1: Providing veteran-centric education for staff and volunteers, and identifying patients with military experience.
Level 2: Building the organizational capacity to provide quality care for veterans.
Level 3: Developing and strengthening relationships with VA medical centers and other veteran organizations.
Level 4: Increasing access and improving quality of care for veterans in our community.
We Honor Veterans is a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs. It is designed to recognize Americans for their military service as well as provide valuable resources to Veterans receiving end-of-life care.
For more information on the We Honor Veterans program or to learn more about becoming a veteran volunteer, please call Julie Wilson with SSM Hospice of the Good Samaritan at (618) 899-1660.