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News From the End of Life: New bereavement resource available Hospice and palliative care providers now have a new resource to consult in managing, developing, and enhancing their grief and bereavement programs. Representing the diverse experiences and expertise of hospice bereavement counselors from across the country, "Guidelines for Bereavement Care in Hospice," a new publication by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in Alexandria, VA, provides a comprehensive framework for establishing and improving hospice grief and bereavement programs.
"The guidelines are the first of their kind for bereavement professionals," says Barbara Bouton, an NHPCO board member, vice chairwoman of NHPCO’s National Council of Hospice and Palliative Professionals, and director of the Bridges Center, the community grief and bereavement program of the Alliance of Community Hospices of Louisville, KY. "We drew upon the wisdom and expertise of more than 80 bereavement professionals. This allowed us to develop guidelines that reflected the diverse perspectives of hospice and palliative care programs from across the country — whether the programs are large or small, urban or rural. The result is a comprehensive publication that presents the hospice community’s current thinking about the provision of excellent bereavement care to families served by hospice programs in our country."
The Bereavement Professionals Section of NHPCO’s National Council of Hospice and Palliative Professionals developed the guidelines to provide hospice and palliative care programs with a framework for bereavement care programs and practice. Intended to complement — not replace — local, state, or federal regulatory requirements, the NHPCO’s "Guidelines for Bereavement Care in Hospice" include resources and information on a wide range of important topics and issues, including advocacy, evaluation, plan of care, team collaboration, and ethnicity and culture.
NHPCO’s National Council of Hospice and Palliative Professionals comprises individual members representing the interdisciplinary spectrum of hospice and palliative care clinicians, professionals, academics, and volunteers. The council was created to support hospice and palliative professionals and provide resources for professional and skills development.
[Editor’s note: To obtain a copy of "Guidelines for Bereavement Care in Hospice" and other NHPCO technical resources for hospice and palliative care programs, visit NHPCO’s Marketplace at www.nhpco.org/marketplace or call (800) 646-6460. For more information about NHPCO or the National Council of Hospice and Palliative Professionals, visit www.nhpco.org or call (703) 837-1500.]