VITAS is Georgia’s First Hospice Provider to Receive Nation’s Highest Recognition for Dedication to Atlanta’s Veterans
January 30, 2020
ATLANTA, GA – VITAS® Healthcare, the nation's leading provider of end-of-life care, is recognized in Atlanta as an elite Level 5 Partner of the We Honor Veterans (WHV) initiative through the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA).
The achievement marks the state of Georgia’s first Level 5 hospice company as well as VITAS’ first service area to attain WHV’s highest rank.
To attain Level 5 status, the VITAS team in Atlanta completed activities designed to increase access and improve quality of care for veterans in the local community, such as conducting veteran-specific presentations, evaluating and reporting on demographics of veterans served by the organization, and developing procedures for transitioning veterans across a continuum of care.
Unlike Levels 1 through 4, Level 5 partner status requires annual recertification by organizations to maintain the designation. Level 5 places a greater emphasis on staff education and efforts to meet the unique needs of Vietnam-era and combat veterans. Level 5 partners also assume the role of regional mentors to other WHV partners as they work toward higher Levels.
“VITAS excels at veteran care in part because so many members of our leadership team and staff are veterans and have a big heart for their fellow servicemembers,” said Larry Robert, a former Navy chaplain and manager of bereavement and veteran services for VITAS in Atlanta. “We’re looking forward to helping other members reach our level of expertise and further their commitment to our nation’s heroes. This includes helping partners outside of VITAS, because reaching Level 5 is about veterans getting the support they deserve.”
To commemorate VITAS’ achievement, WHV presented the hospice provider with an award letter and certificate in December 2019.
“Achieving Level 5 is not a one-time deal. Earning this highest level of recognition encourages our continued support of veterans, and at VITAS, keeping our Level 5 rank demonstrates our commitment,” Robert said. “We are proud to be recognized with this important accolade and a part of this effort and to be with the first city in the state and organization to reach this goal.”
WHV is a collaboration between the NHPCO and the VA dedicated to providing educational tools and resources to hospice providers and VA facilities. Dozens of VITAS locations throughout the country maintain Level 1-4 partnerships with WHV.