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Hospice of the Valley and Dignity Memorial Host ‘Improving Care for Veterans Facing Illness and End of Life’

Nov. 7 educational program assists healthcare professionals in enhancing sensitivities and understanding of veterans

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Oct. 21, 2013 – One of every four dying Americans is a veteran. The rigors, values and experiences of military service may significantly impact and shape a veteran’s perception of serious illness and the end of life.

In honor of Veterans Day and National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, Hospice of the Valley and Dignity Memorial will host Hospice Foundation of America’s annual educational program, “Improving Care for Veterans Facing Illness and End of Life” from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 7, 2013, at Xilinx, 2100 Logic Drive, San Jose. Registration is $75 and includes lunch and a companion book.

The program will assist healthcare professionals in enhancing their sensitivities and understanding of veterans and provide them with new interventions to better serve dying veterans and their families, as well as explore the traditions and sensitivities of grieving families and resources that can assist them.

The local panel of experts include hospice coordinator Sheila Kennedy, LCSW, ACHP-SW and clinical psychologist Julia Kasl-Godley, PhD, both from VA Hospice and Palliative Care, Palo Alto; hospice and palliative care physician Rakhi Yadav, MD of Hospice of the Valley and Palliative Care Center Silicon Valley, San Jose; hospice nurse Jeanne Perry, LVN, with Hospice of the Valley, San Jose; and Andy Lopez, the Bay Area market sales manager for Dignity Memorial.

Participants will learn:

·  The unique components of military culture and its impact on dying.

·  How Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) might affect veterans and their care.

·  Differentiating between the unique experiences and health risks of the different war veterans (World War II, Korea, Vietnam).

·  Different issues that might arise in end-of-life care of veterans, such as pain management, trauma and PTSD, and forgiveness.

·  Various military benefits and resources with the Veterans Administration to assist families.

Three (3) continuing education credits are available online through the Hospice Foundation of America for nurses, social workers, counselors, funeral directors, clergy and nursing home administrators.

“Thanks to Dignity Memorial and Xilinx for partnering with us to meet the unique needs of veterans at the end of life and affirming the gratitude and respect our veterans deserve for their service to our country,” said Sally Adelus, president and CEO of Hospice of the Valley.

Hospice of the Valley is a partner in the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s We Honor Veterans program.

For more information or to register, visit hospicevalley.org/hfa2013 or call 408.559.5600.

About Hospice of the Valley

Hospice of the Valley is a nonprofit organization in Silicon Valley that provides serious illness and end-of-life care programs and services, including palliative and hospice care, grief counseling for adults, children and families, and emotional support, education and practical assistance. The organization also provides individual counseling and loss-specific support groups to anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one. In the summer of 2013, Hospice of the Valley opened the Palliative Care Center Silicon Valley™, the first and only independent, community-based, licensed outpatient palliative care center of its kind in California for patients living with serious illness and their families. For information, visit pccsv.org or call 408.277.7777. The center also offers a community resource website for caregivers and families at seriousillness.org/santaclaracounty. Serving Santa Clara County since 1979, Hospice of the Valley honors all cultures, beliefs, values and traditions and is committed to serving its diverse community and providing equitable access to care for all regardless of financial ability. For more information, call 408.559.5600 or visit hospicevalley.org.

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Media Contact:

Jeanne Wun

Community Relations

jwun@hospicevalley.org

408.489.6787

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