Hospice, established in 1991, was started in Barbour County by a caring group of citizens who recognized people in their community who were dying of non-curable illnesses in their homes, in hospitals, often left alone and isolated.
Through hard work and constant nurturing, Mountain Hospice grew and expanded to provide hospice services to a growing number of terminally-ill patients and their families. Since 1994, the agency's hospice services have been added to six more counties: Mineral, Randolph, Tucker, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Grant and Mineral.
Mountain Hospice remains committed to serving veterans in a number of ways.
Mountain Hospice staff and volunteers reach out to the community in a number of ways, from working with all veterans to taking part in parades. The agency serves Barbour, Mineral, Randolph, Tucker, Pendleton, Pocahontas and Grant counties.
The agency works with We Honor Veterans, a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs, by reaching out to veterans and educating them about benefits, resources and preparations for the elder years.
This program focuses on recognizing the unique needs of America's veterans and their families, community providers, in partnership with VA staff, while accompanying and guiding them through their life stories toward a more peaceful ending.
We Honor Veterans also provides tiered recognition to organizations that demonstrate a systematic commitment to improving care for veterans. Partner organizations assess their ability to serve veterans and, using resources provided as part of the program, integrate best practices for providing end-of-life care to veterans into their organization.
Mountain Hospice has reached the highest level - four stars - through the We Honor Veterans program, increasing access and improving quality of care for veterans.
In order to reach that highest level, Mountain Hospice had to: provide veteran-centric education for staff and volunteers, and identify patients with military experience; build organizational capacity to provide quality care for veterans; develop and strengthen relationships with VA medical centers and other veteran organizations; and increase access and improve quality of care for veterans in its community.
Hospices can "earn their stars" and matching logo by completing activities for each of the four levels of commitment. This enables VA staff and veterans to easily identify hospices that have made a commitment to offer veteran-specific care and services provided by a competent and highly skilled work force.
Mountain Hospice also received a national reaching-out grant in December 2010, and it was the only hospice in the state to do so.
Mountain Hospice took honor in reaching out to all veterans, starting within its service area first and then reaching out to other areas in the state.
Since the grant was awarded, Mountain Hospice has achieved recognition through hard work, dedication and commitment, making sure veterans know where to turn for answers with end-of-life decisions, VA enrollment and community resources.
Any clubs, groups, churches or businesses that would like to schedule a presentation about Mountain Hospice can contact Shannon Gear-Putnam at 304-823-3922.