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Bereavement Section Leader Candidates

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Candidate Statements

Robin Fiorelli
VITAS Innovative Hospice Care of San Diego
San Diego, CA

As we have learned through NCHPP bereavement section members, this is a critical time for hospice bereavement programs in terms of resource allocation, productivity, and utilization review.  We know that many hospices are re-evaluating their bereavement scope of practice. Therefore, the standard of bereavement practice in the hospice industry is shifting.  Fewer hospices continue to make periodic calls, for example, and several have created innovative support events to capture the multicultural and multigenerational nature of our survivors. Many are utilizing bereavement volunteers in innovative ways.

I envision as section leader our developing a forum to brainstorm and formulate our vision of what, given decreased resources and a shifting bereaved clientele, quality bereavement programs might look like.  Clearly, bereavement programs will continue to follow regulatory requirements, and provide follow-up to hospice survivors based on a plan of care.  However, a forum (via conference calls or internet live meetings) will be important to support each other through changing times, to highlight best practices and shared ideas and to identify for ourselves the industry standard.  I imagine over the tenure of my term, if elected, that we will revise the Hospice Bereavement Guidelines with a focus on these changes and innovations.

 In addition to the services the steering committee already provides, (monthly chats, quarterly chats for Newbies, mentoring, NHPCO conference networking luncheons, articles for NewslIne, and E-group discussion), I also would strive to increase the number of bereavement proposals submitted to both MLC and CTC. I would personally submit a proposal each year and also search for others (both inside and outside the hospice industry per say) to submit as well.  I also would reinvigorate Rex’s idea of having the steering committee “prime the pump” by sending questions to the E-group so that we can increase the amount  and range of discussion in the group.

Thank you!

Diane Snyder Cowan 
Hospice of the Western Reserve
Cleveland, OH

The hospice landscape is forever changing and is impacting patients and families from the moment of admission into hospice throughout the bereavement period. The Bereavement Professional Steering Committee needs to be the experts and leaders in helping other bereavement professionals in the following ways: meeting and supporting the changing needs of patients and families especially those with a short length of stay, helping team members address the anticipatory grief needs of patients and families, and managing overall with less resources while maintaining the stature of being the experts in grief and loss for the community. My goals as section leader would be to work with the committee to accomplish this through vehicles already in place such as the monthly chats, postings on my.nhpco, and articles for Insights.  In addition, I would work to recruit new committee members and nurture those already in place to assist in securing this vantage point. Another goal area is for the Bereavement Professional Steering Committee to be involved with and/or informed about projects related to quality, public reporting, and evidenced based outcomes related to grief and loss. This is going to become more important as consumers become more informed before selecting their hospice of choice. My goal would be to work with the committee so that everyone is familiar and comfortable with current trends and could speak in an informative manner to other section committees, bereavement professionals and the community at large. Not only do I have the energy, skill set and depth of knowledge to fulfill the duties of section leader, I have the passion to serve the bereaved and those who work with them.