National Hospice Foundation Holds 8th Annual Gala in Celebration of the Women of Hospice

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Architects, leaders and pioneers of hospice are honored at the National Hospice Foundation's annual gala at the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel and Convention Center on March 30, 2012.

National Hospice Foundation

Tonight, we take time to reflect on the women who have shaped hospice into what it is today through their dedication, compassion and unique contributions throughout the years.

Tonight, the National Hospice Foundation held its 8th Annual Gala, “Celebrating the Women of Hospice: A Salute to Heroines and Humanitarians,” as part of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s 27th Management and Leadership Conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor, Md.

“Tonight, we take time to reflect on the women who have shaped hospice into what it is today through their dedication, compassion and unique contributions throughout the years. Without them, we would not be where we are today, changing the way we live and the way we die,” said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

Mistress of ceremonies, journalist and political commentator, Eleanor Clift, is a heroine of hospice in her own right, having generously shared her personal experience with hospice care in a book about her husband’s death. Several awards were presented at the gala:

  •     TODAY Show received the Buchwald Spirit Award for Public Awareness for its dedication to sharing compassionate stories, including personal hospice stories shared by the show’s co-hosts Ann Curry and Matt Lauer. This award was presented by actress, hospice advocate and volunteer, Torrey DeVitto.
  •     Bernice Catherine Harper, a social worker and hospice advocate with a long history in health policy and minority access to care was honored with the Global Vision Award for her work in expanding palliative care services in Africa and her role in establishing FHSSA (originally known as the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa).
  •     Ann Morgan Vickery was granted the Healthcare Architect Award for her many years of dedication to hospice beginning with her involvement in the enactment of the Medicare Hospice Benefit in 1982 and advising on a regulatory and policy level since. This award was presented by former Congressman, Bill Gradison, who worked closely with Ms. Vickery on the Medicare Hospice Benefit.
  •     Center for Hospice Care received the Morfogen Art of Caring Award for its work in collaboration with the Notre Dame University Film School on the film “Okuyamba,” about the challenges and triumphs of providing palliative care in Uganda.

In addition to the awards, many women were honored by their hospice programs for their contributions with cards at each gala table describing their work in shaping hospice care in the U.S.

The money raised by the Gala will be used to support NHPCO programs such as the We Honor Veterans program in partnership with the Veterans Administration focused on improving end of life care for veterans, and Caring Connections, a national consumer and community engagement initiative.

Next year’s gala will be held on Friday, April 26, 2013 also at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, in conjunction with NHPCO’s 28th Management and Leadership Conference.

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Jon Radulovic
NHPCO
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