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History of NCHPP

History of NCHPP By Stephen G. Arter, BSPharm (Updated by NHPCO staff, March, 2004)

In 1984, the Professional Liaison Committee met at the Sixth Annual Meeting of the National Hospice Organization (NHO) in Hartford, Connecticut.  Disciplines were represented by: Physician Bruce Agneberg, Nurse Barbara Petrosino, Pharmacist Stephen G. Arter, Funeral Director Robert Slater, Physical Therapist Donna Edwards, Social Worker Larry Foster, and Clinical Psychologist Rudy Nydegger.  Dr. Michael Levy acted as NHO Board Liaison The group was charged with working toward the integration of professions associated with hospice and the rest of the health care community.  This was to be accomplished on an individual as well as peer group level, to facilitate the development of skills within the professions, and foster relationships with related professional organizations. Members of this Professional Liaison Committee hosted Peer Group luncheons.  Feedback from these meetings identified the need for a directory of professionals, availability of a hospice bibliography, the development of a peer group newsletter, and the need for targeted educational programming.

Council of Hospice Professionals (CHP) In 1985, the CHP developed and sponsored their first awards.  The Awards of Excellence in Education were created to honor and recognize all programs that produced educational programs for the public as well as for hospice programs.  Educational materials in print and media were honored. In 2001, the awards were restructured into four categories in an effort to streamline the process.  The goal of the awards remained the same as they continue to honor and recognize educational programs that benefit both hospice programs and the public. By the Annual Meeting in 1989 in Kansas City, a Task Force led by Dr. Michael Appleton had developed a draft purpose, mission, and structure for establishing a new Council of Hospice Professionals.  The first NHO Board of Directors meeting of 1990 approved the council model presented by the Task Force.  Stephen Arter was appointed Chair and given the task of finding section leadership. The Council actually met for the first time in November 1990 at the Annual Meeting in Detroit. In the subsequent years, the Council surpassed the original goals outlined by the founders. Council activities have included networking of professionals at round tables, a quarterly newsletter for each section, a “Key Expert” group available in each section to act as a resource, and a professional review cadre available to screen and make recommendations for materials offered by the NHPCO Marketplace.  In 1993, the NCHPP Executive Committee created the “Heart of Hospice” to honor NCHPP members for outstanding work in the clinical and managerial fields of their programs.

NCHP (National Council of Hospice Professionals) In 1995, the Section Leaders voted to change the name to the National Council of Hospice Professionals to enhance opportunities to represent the hospice interdisciplinary team on a national basis.  In 1999, the NCHPP Executive Committee created the “Excellence in Teamwork Award” to recognize hospice teams for significant, creative, and extraordinary contributions to end-of-life care.  

NCHPP (National Council of Hospice and Palliative Professionals) In 2000, the National Council of Hospice Professionals decided to once again change their name to the National Council of Hospice & Palliative Professionals.  This change was reflective of the national movement in palliative care. In 2004, NCHPP membership was re-designed to offer free e-memberships to current employees/volunteers of NHPCO provider members. Others can join for established membership fees. This free on-line membership enables members to receive publications, hospice and palliative care news, access to listservs/chat rooms, and educational documents.