You know what time it is – well, almost is! National Hospice and Palliative Care Month begins one week from today, which means hospice and palliative care professionals, leaders, advocates, and supporters will join in efforts to enhance awareness and educate their community about care for people experiencing serious illness and the end of life.  NHPCO and HAN want to make getting involved as easy as possible and have created the instruments to help.

A continuation from 2018, NHPCO’s theme this year is “#MyHospice: A Program That Works. A Benefit That Matters”. This is part of a strategic campaign HAN and NHPCO launched to illustrate the value of America’s first coordinated care model and encourage lawmakers and regulators to support healthcare reforms that promote patient access to high-quality hospice and palliative care.

We’re kicking off the month with Social Media Action Day on November 1st! Use #MyHospice and #HospiceMonth on Twitter and Instagram to tell others what Hospice means to you, share facts about hospice and palliative care, publicly thank members of your interdisciplinary team for their above and beyond commitment to patients and families, and highlight your We Honor Veterans Program. If you’re looking for some inspiration or other ideas, check out some social media posts from last year.

For those of you who have a heartwarming story to tell – whether as provider a or a caregiver – you can submit your My Hospice Story to potentially be shared publicly on the HAN Website and across HAN and NHPCO’s social media channels.

Are you a NHPCO Member? If so, NHPCO developed a myriad of tools to enhance your community engagement efforts. Some of which include the following:

  • Sample Press Releases
  • Event planning guides
  • Diversity Outreach Guides
  • Media Relations Tips
  • Social Media Graphics
  • PowerPoint Presentations for Community Outreach
  • Hi Resolution Ads (for promotion on websites, banners, posters, flyers, etc.)

Check out the NHPCO Website to access these Members Only promotion items and more.

AND of course, we couldn’t (nor would we ever) forget to include some ways you can advocate during this commemorative month:

  • As always, our action alert system is arranged with customizable email templates that you can send to your legislators to encourage support of bills like the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act and the Rural Access to Hospice Act. You can also use this system to send a letter to the editor to your local newspapers.
  • Want to meet your Member of Congress? HAN’s Advocacy Toolkit provides sample in-district meeting requests, facility tour planning guides, and other tools that will walk you through the process of planning an event for a Member of Congress.
  • Lastly, Congressional offices regularly check their social media accounts to read what their constituents are buzzing about. Be sure to @ or mention your Member of Congress to thank them for their support of the hospice and palliative community, urge them to support current legislation, or showcase bereavement, art and music therapy, advanced care planning, or other community events.

You’ve got a week left until showtime. Through these efforts we can be a powerful voice for providers and most importantly patients and families who are coping with serious illness and the end of life. Let’s make sure the nation here’s us loud and clear!