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St. Cloud VA Health Care System


Minnesota Hospice Veteran Partnership Conference held in St. Cloud

Four VA Supervisor pose for photo at conference

LEFT TO RIGHT Emil Zuberbueler, NHPCO Liaison (WE Honor Veterans Campaign) Michele Fedderly, Director, Minnesota Network of Hospice & Palliative Scott Shreve, Hospice & Palliative Care Director, VA Central Office Care Caroline Schauer, VISN 23 HPC Care Coordinator

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

11/09/2010 - ST. CLOUD, Minn --In a continuing effort to improve Veteran hospice care The Minnesota Hospice Veteran Partnership Conference: Rural Veterans With Hospice and Palliative Care Needs, was held in St. Cloud on October 19-20, 2010. 

The purpose of the conference was to create a coalition of government and non-government organizations, trade associations, rural healthcare providers and Veterans working together to ensure that Veterans and their families have access to appropriate, high quality hospice and palliative care services, especially in rural areas, throughout the state of Minnesota.

With over 100 attendees, the conference was successful in achieving the aim of bringing together public and private hospice providers and Veteran's representatives from across the state to further the objective of “networking” to better provide quality care to Veterans, said Patricia Murphy, CLC Nurse Manager at the St. Cloud VA Medical Center.

A key component of the conference was the introduction of We Honor Veterans, a project of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This pioneering program invites hospices, state hospice organizations and VA partners to join together to learn how to accompany and guide America’s veterans and their families through their life stories toward a more peaceful ending.

The nexus of the campaign is a website,, which is being designed to provide opportunities for networking as well as resources to walk hospices and state hospice organization through an assessment and implementation process that will result in better care to veterans.  Resources in development include online education, examples of program innovation, downloadable templates and much more.  The website will be available by the end of October.

  “We were excited to be able to bring together County Veteran Service Officers, community hospice providers, VA entities, along with the other organizations that participated in the planning of this conference", said Catherine Anderson, RN, Palliative Care Coordinator at the VA Medical Center.  "Our goal was to develop complete, detailed action plans to improve care provided to veterans, and the conference definitely contributed to that effort.  We were especially pleased to have Dr. Scott Shreve, National Director of Hospice and Palliative Care, keynote the conference, visit our facility and tour the Hospice Unit on Building 49-1."

The Minnesota Hospice Veteran Partnership Conference was sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs Employee Education System and the VISN 23 Hospice and Palliative Leadership.  Other planning members included Stratis Health, the Minnesota Department of Health, the Minnesota Network of Hospice & Palliative Care and the National Health Resource Center. 


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