Date, site, but not price set for hospice stamp

The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced in April that the planned Hospice Care stamp (see Hospice Management Advisor, January 1998, pp. 12-13) will be the focus of a special dedication ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 5 at the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast in Largo. Hospice of the Florida Suncoast is the largest single-site, community-based hospice program in the world, caring for more than 1,200 patients and their caregivers every day. The National Hospice Organization (NHO) will co-host the dedication event and will help coordinate "release day" celebrations nationwide. Post offices nationwide will have access to the stamp on its first day of issue, and local hospice programs can create their own observance ceremonies highlighting quality of life at the end of life.

The NHO is planning a major initiative to maximize the exposure possibilities represented by the stamp, with help from an advisory committee of hospice professionals and a national coalition of allied organizations. It's too soon to know exactly what shape this initiative will take, however, because the organization has been focused on lining up first-day issuance, says the NHO's Director of Membership Services, David Schneider. The NHO is also trying to clarify when postal rates will go up to 33 cents, and whether the hospice stamp should be issued at the higher rate, he adds.

USPS recommends that hospices start building local coalitions of providers in their communities and planning local events by contacting their local Stamp Facilitator. A list of Stamp Facilitators will be provided to all hospice programs as soon as it becomes available, reports the NHO's NewsLine newsletter. For more information on developing products with a hospice stamp tie in, contact USPS's licensing agency, Hamilton Projects, Attn. USPS Licensing Program, 1700 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10019, or call the USPS licensing hotline at (212) 333-9096.