Arkansas Hospice Launches Committed to Veterans Program
North Little Rock, Ark. - Arkansas Hospice, the state’s largest provider of hospice services, announced the launch of “Committed to Veterans.” The program is designed to train Arkansas Hospice staff to identify military-service-related issues that arise or remain unresolved as veterans enter hospice care, and connect them with additional resources. The program is poised to achieve this goal by adhering to the following practices:
- Promote veteran-centric educational activities.
- Increase the organizational capacity of Arkansas Hospice to better serve veterans.
- Support development of strategic partnerships between Arkansas Hospice and other local, state and federal veterans service organizations.
- Increase access and improve the quality of hospice care for veterans.
“One out of every four dying Americans is a veteran. Many of these men and women face the aftermath of military conflict. PTSD, moral injury, survivor’s guilt, and other military-service-related issues arise, challenging veterans and their families with unresolved issues as they enter hospice care. Arkansas Hospice recognizes the special opportunity we have to care for these veterans who have sacrificed to protect our freedom,” said Arkansas Hospice spokesman David Edwards in his opening remarks at the announcement.
Specifics of the program announced include:
•Conduct educational outreach efforts to inform veteran service groups of the program, its
availability, and its benefits to veterans receiving Arkansas Hospice care.
•The development of strategic partnerships with government and private agencies to extend
our ability to service veterans.
•An enhanced program to train frontline staff, so they will be equipped to identify and pursue
legitimate veteran benefits for our patients with the help of veteran service officers on the
county level across the 43 counties Arkansas Hospice serves.
•Education of Arkansas Hospice clinical staff to recognize critical veteran issues such as
PTSD, moral injury, survivor’s guilt and reconciliation, and equip them to connect these
veterans with the appropriate support resources.
•Development of a veteran-centric environment in which veterans are afforded the respect
and honor due them, including special ceremonies, certificates of appreciation, recognition
pins and bedside flags.
•Organize, host or participate in opportunities to engage in important military rituals such
as presentation of challenge coins, observance of Veterans Day and Memorial Day, helping
to ensure honor guards and special salute at funerals.
•A VA Accredited Claims Agent serving as our full-time Veterans Services Program
•Participate in We Honor Veterans, a national awareness and action campaign, developed
by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in collaboration with the
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Any veteran receiving care from Arkansas Hospice can benefit from the program. In certain instances, benefits and services from partner agencies may be available for spouses and family members.
David “Doc” Kenser, who Arkansas Hospice employed as the nation’s first fully accredited veterans claims agent in the role of Veterans Services Coordinator, will lead the program.
The announcement was made at Smith North Little Rock Funeral Home, at the conclusion of Arkansas Hospice’s “Remembering Those Who Served” memorial service honoring veterans who have passed. Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Director Gina Chandler, who was present for the announcement, said “We need more partners like Arkansas Hospice, who are launching programs that identify veterans who can benefit from our programs.” Carlos Cervantes, Pulaski County Veterans Service Officer, was also present as a representative service partner with Arkansas Hospice.
Arkansas Hospice currently provides hospice care for more than 600 patients from ten area offices serving 43 counties in the state, as well as inpatient centers in Hot Springs, Little Rock and Russellville.