Have Their Back

With the Advocacy Intensive ending two days ago, it may seem like the perfect time for those of us who did not attend to sit back and relax. Unfortunately, this cannot be the case. While attendees of the Advocacy Intensive were working really hard during their Congressional visits, we need you at home to call your Members of Congress to keep encouraging Congress to support vital hospice and palliative care legislation. By doing this, you are helping to show your Members of Congress that it isn’t just the people who traveled to D.C. who care about hospice and palliative care legislation, constituents at home care too.

So have your fellow advocate’s back and call Congress. Do it now before Virtual Hill Week ends in just 2 DAYS. All you need is five minutes and a telephone to be an effective hospice and palliative care advocate. Grab a few friends; find a phone and call now to encourage your Members of Congress to support vital hospice and palliative care legislation.

Click here to access the call module and connect with your Members of Congress now!

Be like Ryan Klaustermeier ! Have your colleague’s back and call Congress today!
Advocate for Hospice and Palliative Care Legislation.

Not sure how to proceed? No problem, HAN is here to help. Click the following links to access a script you can use while calling or learn some basic tips and tricks about calling Congress!

Do you have more than five minutes to spare? Take some additional time to learn how to be an effective advocate from home by watching HAN’s Social Media Session Facebook Live Event.

If you run into a roadblock or need further support, don’t be afraid to shoot us an e-mail or give us a call at info@nhpcohan.org or (703) 837-3142.

100 Miles an Hour

Hannah Winters, an intern with NHPCO’s Communications team, hails from Indiana and attends Ball State University. She joined her fellow Hoosiers at the Advocacy Intensive. Below are Hannah’s reflection’s on the day.

100 miles per hour – that’s how fast a member of Congress moves. From the sound of their alarm clock to the time their head hits the pillow, their hours are spent in meetings, committees, and completing tasks that line up back to back to back. Congress members and staff are required to have the highest level of focus, efficiency, dedication, and perseverance each day during session. So how do we, as their constituents, effectively present our message, our goal, and our mission to them in a timely manner? Throughout my experience at the Hospice Action Network Advocacy Intensive of 2017, I was able to find out the answer to this question.

Yesterday, with five of my fellow Indiana constituents, I went to six different congressional offices to meet with members of Congress and their legislative staff. Throughout each meeting, I realized the importance of effective communication. I discovered what it means to strategically catch Congressmen, or the staffer’s attention by leaving a lasting impression with my own personal stories about hospice. Sharing my story and hearing the story of fellow Indianans, we were able to put personal meaning behind the legislation.

Each meeting, we came in with the goal of receiving the member’s support for specific hospice legislation. My group focused on sharing the Patient Choice and Quality Care Act and the Rural Access to Hospice Act because my group felt their patients’ care could be improved if these bills were passed. In hopes of making a meaningful connection with the members and staffers, my group shared their hospice to display the direct impact these bills. All of the stories were shared using a personal and emotional lens. I think many people forget that Congressmen, their staffers, are emotional human beings who have their own experiences with death and dying. During these meetings, I found targeting our message through an emotional appeal by presenting the facts alongside our story allowed us to conduct an effective constituent meeting with our Congressmen. I am incredibly grateful for my experience yesterday. I was able to hear moving stories while learning about and understanding legislative issues pertaining to hospice. Due to my time in Congressional meetings yesterday, I now feel confident in knowing how to have a constituent meeting with my Congressmen where my concerns are heard and addressed. Thanks to the HAN Advocacy Intensive, I now am able to catch the attention of a Congressmen whose day is flying by at 100 miles an hour.

Can’t Make it to the Advocacy Intensive?

Believe it or not, the Advocacy Intensive starts today! If you couldn’t make it to the Intensive this year but are still hoping to advocate, do I have a solution for you. From the comfort of your very own home or office, even YOU can be an effective hospice and palliative care advocate. How? With the power of your words and a telephone.

So, fire up those telephones, folks, it’s time to give Congress a call to tell them about the importance of hospice and palliative care! First, review our suggested script, and then log into our Call Module to make your calls to Congress! Then, please share these resources with your friends to help make Virtual Hill Week 2017 a grand success!

Additionally, we are going to stream parts of the 2017 Advocacy Intensive on Facebook Live today! Have you met NHPCO’s new CEO, Edo Banach? Hear his opening remarks at 9:45 am EDT on HAN’s Facebook Page. Then, tune in again at 3:00 pm EDT to learn about how you can use social media to contact your Members of Congress.

Finally, we have several resources to help you continue to advocate at home! Check out our video collection to learn how to be an effective advocate without ever having to leave your state!

If you run into a roadblock or need further support, don’t be afraid to shoot us an e-mail or give us a call at info@nhpcohan.org or (703) 837-3142.

Thank you for your support!

Lessons Learned by a Fellow Intern

Much to other’s surprise, I am not the only intern working at the NHPCO this summer. I am fortunate and thankful to have two additional interns working with me: Hannah Winters and Kevin Curwick. This week, the folks at HAN thought it would be a great idea to hear from Hannah Winters about her experiences as a communications intern here at NHPCO. Below are her thoughts. Enjoy!


“As a summer communications intern, here at NHPCO, I have learned  a lot ranging from the marketing of a healthcare organization to understanding the need for an active presence  on Capitol Hill to ensure the quality of care for the patients we are advocating for. As the Advocacy Intensive quickly approaches, I have begun to reflect on the importance of our organization and the work that we do.

Prior to coming to D.C., I always thought the majority of political change took place inside the House and Senate buildings with hill staffers slaving away on new legislation. All of whom are attempting to attain the goal of effectively moving our country forward. However, my perspective has changed as I help and observe the political work that goes on here in the NHPCO/HAN offices. Here we also do similar work and put forth comparable effort to create the change I had always thought existed purely on the Hill. As an intern, I have begun to understand the importance of acting as the voice of hospice patients. I also have learned of the importance behind presenting vital Hospice and Palliative Care legislative issues to members of Congress on the Hill.

I look forward to this coming week. Listening and hearing the voices of hospice workers and providers throughout the country, their needs, and how they need the government’s help is a special interest to me. I see the Hospice Action Network as the middle ground, the ground that connects the people’s needs to Congress Members on Capitol Hill. Without us, and without our advocacy, I can’t help but wonder if the voices of hospice patients would be effectively heard. Looking forward to Monday and Tuesday, I hope to witness and partake in valuable conversations between our members and the Congressmen. It is my hope these lead to a better organization with increases in access, quality, and care.”

Hospice: A Historical Perspective is Now on Display!

The NHPCO was delighted to host Alexandria’s Mayor, Allison Silverberg, to its headquarters this last Thursday for the grand opening of a new historical exhibit. To be displayed permanently at the NHPCO’s headquarters is a case filled with artifacts which documents the hospice movement. Cited as one of the most profound, volunteer and grassroots led movement, Hospice care is extremely important to all of the patients health care providers like you care for. If you are ever in town, stop by and view these phenomenal exhibits.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the creation of St. Christopher’s Hospice, outside of London. Recognized as the birthplace of the modern hospice philosophy of care, the interdisciplinary model created by Dame Cicely Saunders at St. Christopher’s was introduced in the U.S. through work done at the Yale School of Nursing led by the Dean of the school, Florence Wald.

In 1978, the Hospice Demonstration Project was developed by Health Care Financing Administration (now known as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) with 25 pilot sites across the country. By 1982, dedicated advocates and Congressional champions created the legislation that led to the Medicare hospice benefit. Since then, hospice care, and more recently palliative care, has been recognized as the ideal model of care for people with serious and life-limiting illness.

NHPCO, originally the National Hospice Organization, was created in 1978 to foster growth of hospice as well as innovation in care of the dying. As curators of the exhibit, Hospice: A Historical Perspective, NHPCO is honoring the legacy of the hospice community and paying tribute to the rich tapestry that makes up the history of hospice care.

“I applaud NHPCO for curating this important display, not only to celebrate the contributions of a group of wonderful and dedicated hospice leaders, but as a way to let our past help inform our future.  As our nation’s leaders currently debate how to reform our health care system, I think they could learn a thing or two from Dame Cicely,”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
-remarked Allison Silberberg at the dedication event at NHPCO’s offices.

In recent years, NHPCO staff have been reviewing historic papers, reports, publications, photographs, and other items with a focus on documenting key elements from the hospice community’s history.

During NHPCO’s Capital Campaign, funding was provided by Hospice of the Bluegrass (now Bluegrass Care Navigators) to produce a historical perspective of hospice. Display cases have been designed and installed in the offices of NHPCO to highlight and preserve a first-of-its-kind history of hospice in the United States.