One out of every four dying Americans is a Veteran. To better serve our Veterans, VNHC has joined We Honor Veterans, a program of National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care is honored to be a 4-Star Level Member of We Honor Veterans. Launched in September 2010, We Honor Veterans is an awareness campaign developed by the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs. We Honor Veterans was created to address the growing need for Veteran-centered care, especially as the need for hospice and palliative care by the aging Veteran population increases.

We Honor Veterans invites participating hospice organizations to aspire to the utmost quality of integrated service from the hospice team by setting requirements to “earn your stars.” To earn a 4-star rating, the highest level, the organization must ensure that all staff is regularly educated about the unique needs of Veteran patients and their families, participate in community outreach and networking, and continually assess program improvements. VNHC joined We Honor Veterans in August of 2012 and in December of 2016 achieved the 4-Star Level. For more information go to www.wehonorveterans.org.

Vet-to Vet Volunteers 

Through We Honor Veterans, VNHC offers a Vet-to-Vet Volunteer program where trained hospice volunteers, who are also Veterans, are matched with Veteran patients. The Vet-to-Vet Volunteer connection is a special bond between two individuals who know firsthand the impact of serving our country. Veteran volunteers have the unique ability to relate and connect with each patient thereby creating an environment where life review and healing may occur. Veteran volunteer activities may include respite care, companionship care, and taking part in a pinning ceremony. If you are a Veteran or are actively serving you can become a Vet-to-Vet Volunteer.

Veteran Pinning Ceremony

A Veteran Pinning Ceremony is an optional benefit for Veteran patients on VNHC hospice care. It provides an opportunity to publicly acknowledge the military service and sacrifices made by the Veteran and his/her family. The ceremony gives the Veteran a chance to share part of his/her story. By doing so, a sense of meaning and purpose can be gained by the Veteran.

The ceremony is relatively brief and can be done at the bedside or in another location on a date and time arranged with the Veteran and family. During the ceremony, a personalized certificate and American flag pin are presented by one of our Vet-to-Vet Volunteers. If the Veteran or family prefers to just receive the certificate and pin without a ceremony, this is an available option.

Santa Barbara VetNet

VNHC co-founded and organizes the Santa Barbara VetNet program with the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation. VetNet maximizes our community’s collective ability to serve those who have served our country by providing an opportunity for agencies and nonprofits that support Veterans in SB County to network, share resources, and collaborate and coordinate services.

To learn more about VNHC Veteran programs and hospice volunteer opportunities, please contact Arlene Stepputat at 805.690.6274 or arlene.stepputat@vnhcsb.org

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