National Hospice Organization Recognizes Cornerstone Hospice as a We Honor Veterans Partner

Manny P. Hernandez, Manager, Public Information

Tuesday, January 18, 2011  


Dr. J. Donald Schumacher, President and CEO, National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO)


It may surprise many people to learn that 25 percent of those who die every year in the U.S. are veterans.  Pat Lehotsky, President and CEO, announced that Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care has become a national partner of We Honor Veterans, a pioneering campaign developed by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) based in Alexandria, VA in collaboration with the Department of Veteran Affairs to help provide care and support that reflect the important contributions made by veterans.  


“Not-for-profit Cornerstone Hospice has met stringent requirements that will help improve the care our team of professionals and volunteers provide to the veterans we proudly serve. The nation is seeing many of the veterans who served in World War II and Korea pass away at the rate of a thousand a day – and the number of deaths of Vietnam veterans is beginning to rise,” added Ms. Lehotsky.


The We Honor Veterans campaign provides tiered recognition to organizations that demonstrate a systematic commitment to improving care for veterans. “Partners” can assess their ability to serve veterans and, utilizing resources provided as part of the campaign, integrate best practices for providing end-of-life care to veterans into their organization. By recognizing the unique needs of our nation’s veterans who are facing a life-limiting illness, Cornerstone Hospice is able to accompany and guide veterans and their families toward a more peaceful ending. And in cases where there might be some specific needs related to the veteran’s military service, combat experience or other traumatic events, Cornerstone Hospice will find tools to help support them.


“All hospices are serving veterans but often are not aware of that person’s service in the armed forces,” said Dr. J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO President and CEO.  “Through We Honor Veterans we are taking a giant step forward in helping hospice and palliative care providers understand and serve veterans at the end of life and work more effectively with VA medical facilities and their communities.”


“VA shares a common goal with our nation’s hospices, and that is to provide the best possible care specifically tailored for veterans, meeting their goals of care in their preferred setting. As we focus on working together and unite our services and skills, We Honor Veterans will channel our combined strengths directly to veterans – wherever they are receiving care,” emphasized Dr. Schumacher.


“America’s veterans have done everything asked of them in their mission to serve our country and we believe it is never too late to give them a hero’s welcome home. Now it is time that we step up, acquire the necessary skills and fulfill our mission to serve these men and women with the dignity they deserve,” added Schumacher.


Deborah Harley, MSW and  Vice President of New Business Development with Cornerstone Hospice, indicated that their current program, Cornerstone SALUTES!  is very important to the hospice mission.  “We have been trained to understand and honor the service of military personnel and the significant contribution their families have made so that we, as Americans, can enjoy the freedoms we all hold dear.”


The resources of We Honor Veterans focus on respectful inquiry, compassionate listening and grateful acknowledgement, coupled with veteran-centric education of health care staff caring for veterans. To learn more about We Honor Veterans or to support this important work via a secure, online donation, please visit


Cornerstone Hospice is a community-based healthcare organization providing since 1984 care and services to central Florida patients and families and to American veterans experiencing chronic, life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses. To learn more, call (352)343-1341 or toll-free (866)742-6655, or visit