The VNA Hospice of Northwest Indiana is proud to announce that it has achieved Level 5 status in its We Honor Veterans program again for 2022. The National Hospice and Palliative Care
Organization (NHPCO) awarded the VNA Hospice with the status on Monday, January 17, 2022. It is the highest level a hospice provider can achieve in the program; only nine other hospices in the State of Indiana have achieved this distinction, with the VNA Hospice being the only such provider in Northwest Indiana to be recognized with the program’s “Five Stars.”
“We were excited to receive our first Level Five recognition in 2021 as a product of all of the hard work put into it, but we’re especially proud of maintaining it again in 2022 because it reaffirms our commitment to veterans,” said Bob Franko, president and CEO VNA Hospice. “This isn’t anything we have to do by any requirement, it is optional” Franko said. “This is something we choose to do, honoring our veterans is critically important to the VNA and having this recognition demonstrates our sincerity in it.”
Over this past year, even through the challenges of a pandemic, the VNA Hospice provided a number of Vet-to-Vet Cafes, Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Breakfast, worked with local veterans’ advocacy groups on outreach initiatives, and began its weekly “Salute to Veterans” ceremony each Friday in the garden of its Hospice Center. Most importantly it continues to honor veterans in the hospice and palliative care programs with a private ceremony, handmade blanket, a certificate and pin to thank them for their service.
“I think that’s my favorite part of the whole program,” said Erica Kerkes, We Honor Veterans coordinator. “Being in the room with a vet when they receive this honor is so moving not only for him or her, but for their family – to see the pride in their eyes is always so great.”