Military Mom Talk Radio hosted by Sandra Beck and Robin Boyd welcome The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Director Gwynn Sullivan and veteran author Thomas Van Hess, March 24, 2014.
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) is the largest nonprofit membership organization representing hospice and palliative care programs and professionals in the United States. The organization is committed to improving end of life care and expanding access to hospice care with the goal of profoundly enhancing quality of life for people dying in America and their loved ones.
Considered to be the model for quality, compassionate care at the end of life, hospice care involves a team-oriented approach of expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient’s wishes. Emotional and spiritual support also is extended to the family and loved ones. Generally, this care is provided in the patient’s home or in a home-like setting operated by a hospice program. Medicare, private health insurance, and Medicaid in most states cover hospice care for patients who meet certain criteria.
Gwynn Sullivan is the Director of Access for NHPCO where she is responsible for developing outreach programs and resources that are disseminated to hospice providers across the country. Specifically, she spearheads the Centers for Children’s Care and Veterans’ Care under NHPCO’s Mary J. Labyak Institute for Innovation. Gwynn also manages NHPCO’s contract with the Department of VA’s Hospice and Palliative Care Program.
Gwynn has completed the Appreciative Inquiry Certificate Program, and Appreciative Leadership Development Trainer Certification from the Corporation for Positive Change. In addition, Gwynn formerly held an adjunct appointment at the Duke University School of Nursing; was a faculty member for the Being with Dying: Professional Training Program in Contemplative End-of-Life Care at the Upaya Institute; served as a consultant for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Rallying Points initiative; and as a program director for The Carolinas Center for Hospice and End of Life Care.
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization was founded in 1978 as the National Hospice Organization. The organization changed its name in February 2000 to include palliative care. Many hospice care programs added palliative care to their names to reflect the range of care and services they provide, as hospice care and palliative care share the same core values and philosophies. Defined by the World Health Organization in 1990, palliative care seeks to address not only physical pain, but also emotional, social, and spiritual pain to achieve the best possible quality of life for patients and their families. Palliative care extends the principles of hospice care to a broader population that could benefit from receiving this type of care earlier in their illness or disease process. To better serve individuals who have advanced illness or are terminally ill and their families, many hospice programs encourage access to care earlier in the illness or disease process. Health care professionals who specialize in hospice and palliative care work closely with staff and volunteers to address all the symptoms of illness, with the aim of promoting comfort and dignity.
Learn more at www.nhpco.org
Thomas Van Hess is a veterans’ advocate helping veterans obtain compensation from the VA for their service-connected health issues. Thomas has been doing this for nearly nine years and enjoys every minute of it. He has gone through the compensation process many years ago filing some fifteen claims for his own disabilities, and with each award and denial of claims learned valuable information especially through the claim denials.
These awards and denials led to writing a book specifically targeted towards veterans who may be seeking compensation from the VA mainly because Thomas did not want veterans having to go through what he did when seeking compensation from the VA. “Disability Compensation The Veterans Guide” was the outcome of his first book in a series of three books. “Disability Compensation The Veterans Guide” was submitted to the Military Writers’ Society of America for review and was entered in their awards contest in 2011. It took the Gold Medal award in the reference category for that year. Additionally, his book “Life Interrupted by War” took first runner-up in the memoirs category. “Life Interrupted By War” tells of Thomas’ experiences in Vietnam as an M60 machine gunner serving with the 7th Marines in 1966-67.
Thomas currently has six books published, two of which were released this last November. “Unheralded Heroes” has been submitted to MWSA for review and is also entered in the coming awards contest. “The Gulf Wars Veterans Guide to Disability Compensation” has not yet been submitted but may be in the immediate future. All of Thomas’ books appear on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Publish America, Blue water Press and the MWSA websites.
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