VITAS of St. Louis, Missouri: A Jewish-Accredited Hospice
A Long-Standing Commitment to Jewish Families
VITAS is proud of the work it does with diverse communities across the nation, including Jewish patients. Efforts to incorporate the specific needs of the Jewish community at the end of life into VITAS’ care plans have led to the accreditation of many VITAS programs by the National Institute for Jewish Hospice (NIJH). The latest program to receive accreditation is in St. Louis, MO, which was accredited during the NIJH Accreditation Conference in November 2016.
The NIJH is a core resource for those of Jewish faith seeking assistance for and information about end-of-life services. The conference brought together professionals from hospices across the country along with others in related fields, including rabbis, administrators, chaplains of all faiths, psychologists, nurses, bereavement counselors and social workers.
“We are proud to continue our affiliation with the National Institute for Jewish Hospice, which further evidences our long-standing commitment to provide the highest quality end-of-life care for Jewish patients and their families,” said VITAS General Manager Joseph Miller.
Added NIJH Executive Director Shirley Lamm, “We congratulate VITAS of St. Louis for earning this important accreditation, which enables them to be included in the database of Missouri hospices to which the National Institute for Jewish Hospice refers patients, families and rabbis seeking the best end-of-life care for the Jewish terminally ill.” NIJH was established in 1985 to help alleviate the suffering of seriously and terminally ill Jewish patients. Its 52,000 members are comprised of business and professional leaders and a consortium of endowing foundations. It provides education about the issues and challenges of serving terminally ill Jewish patients to staffs of hospices, hospitals, family services, medical organizations and healthcare agencies.
Receiving NIJH accreditation enables VITAS programs to receive on-site training designed to deepen their hospice teams’ knowledge and understanding of Jewish religious rituals and the unique concerns of Jews at the end of life and during mourning.
Besides the St. Louis program, NIJH accreditation has been received by the following VITAS programs:
- Broward, FL
- Central Florida
- Collier, FL
- Dallas, TX
- Ft. Worth, TX
- Houston, TX
- Kansas City, KS
- Miami-Dade, FL
- Orange County, CA
- Palm Beach, FL
- Volusia-Flagler, FL