On January 15, NHPCO hosted “We Are Hospice”, a resource fair to educate lawmakers and their staff about the value of person-centered care and celebrate the hospice community.

The event was cosponsored by the Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care and 10 hospice care providers and community partners participated including AAHPM, HPNA, SWPHN, Pet Peace of Mind, Seasons Music Therapists, Hospice of the Chesapeake, Montgomery Hospice and NHPCO’s very own Hospice Action Network and We Are Veterans Program.

Quite obviously and with good reason, our furry friend Odie from Pet Peace of Mind often stole the show and the hearts of Members of Congress and their staff. Music therapists from the Hospice of the Chesapeake provided comfort with soothing melodies, some familiar and some freestyled on the spot. And, of course, the Hospice Action Network team was front and center to talk about legislation like the Rural Access to Hospice Act and to discuss issues such as hospice program integrity and Medicare Advantage Value Based Insurance Design.

Lucky for us, hospice and palliative care issues are bipartisan and republican and democrat members joined the event despite the conflicting impeachment ceremony.

Hospice and Palliative Care champion, Rep. Jackie Walorksi (R-IN-2) shared some words during the event. “What a phenomonal model of people that care. You can feel it even here today… You are true testaments that you can get things get done.”

NHPCO and HAN Staff with Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL-27)

Additionally,  staffers and other Members of Congress stopped by, including Congresswoman Donna Shalaha (D-FL) and Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA).

If you’re reading this, you are likely a hospice advocate or employee and likely know all that hospice has to offer, but many in the general public (and on the Hill) don’t know that it’s not a place but a philosophy of care, nor is it a physician, but a team of interdisciplinary professionals who serve individuals and their families during one of life’s most vulnerable and sacred times. These types of events provide an important and necessary opportunity for lawmakers and the general public to become familiar with the hospice and palliative are community in a laxed and open environment.

HAN thanks all who participated and visited us in the Rayburn Foyer and looks forward to hosting similar events in the future.