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Four Seasons Designated Level 4 We Honor Veterans Member

Four Seasons is pleased to announce that on April 11, 2024, we earned the We Honor Veterans Level 4 Status! This achievement is significant as there are five levels hospice organizations can achieve through the We Honor Veterans program. It demonstrates that Four Seasons has proven our ability to increase access and improve the quality of care for veterans in our community. It also reflects the commitment and dedication of our Four Seasons Team to ensure we continually understand, adapt, and respond to the unique needs of veterans in our care.

About the We Honor Veterans Program

We Honor Veterans (WHV) is a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) designed to honor those nearing the end of life who served in the United States Military. Four Seasons has been a proud WHV partner since 2014, when we joined forces with the Western North Carolina Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) to learn how we could best serve veterans together. At that time, we were accepted as a WHV Level 1 provider, and over the years, we progressed accordingly. Each of the five levels hospice organizations can achieve through WHV represents milestones in a provider’s knowledge of, and capacity to care for, the particular needs of veterans. Level 4 Status means Four Seasons has successfully met criteria such as promoting veteran-centric educational activities, evaluating procedures for assisting veterans and families in accessing benefits, and strengthening our partnerships with veterans’ service organizations like the VA and MOAA.

We Honor Veterans at Four Seasons

With the help of hard-working MOAA and Four Seasons volunteers like former board member, retired CAPT John Knapp, US Navy, and many others over the past decade, Four Seasons has conducted “Veteran Pinning Ceremonies”, providing an opportunity to acknowledge the military service and sacrifices made by veterans and their families. These final acts of recognition and gratitude are another important measurement in the attainment of WHV Level 4 Status. Four Seasons recently conducted our 1,000th WHV pinning ceremony when we were privileged to honor Veteran Bill Troutman on February 9, 2024. This momentous ceremony was captured by WLOS News as well as by our own staff for historical purposes. To view our footage of the occasion, please click here.

“In November of 2014, retired Lt. Col. Don Jackman, US Army, conducted our first pinning ceremony,” says retired CAPT Knapp. “He certainly could not have anticipated that in February of this year we would ‘pin’ our 1,000th veteran. Reaching Level 4 in the national We Honor Veterans program is a recognition of all the work that has been done by Four Seasons staff and volunteers from MOAA and elsewhere. The ‘work’ has truly been a labor of love for our veterans AND their families. Every veteran who has been honored has at one point in his or her lifetime sworn an oath to defend our country at ALL COST. The pinning ceremonies have afforded Four Seasons’ staff (chaplains, music therapists, and others) and volunteers the opportunity to honor and thank those who have served our nation. Family members…from spouses, siblings, children, grandchildren and often great-grandchildren…have witnessed our honoring their veteran loved one.”

Along with retired CAPT Knapp, US Navy Veteran Chaplain Michael Wermuth, Four Seasons Spiritual Care Team Leader, has been instrumental in the program’s success. “As a chaplain, I have been fortunate to participate in hundreds of pinning ceremonies,” says Wermuth. “As a veteran of the U.S. Navy, I appreciate greatly the support of my community and nation. Many Americans do not realize the sacrifices that are made on their behalf every day by the men and women in uniform. When patients enter our care, we are blessed beyond measure to attend to their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Scores of veterans never received the homecoming they deserved. With that in mind, it is our delight to at least give them the homegoing they have earned through their military service.”

The Importance of Caring for Veterans

According to WHV and NHPCO, the vast majority of veterans do not receive their healthcare through the VA. With more than 1,800 veterans dying every day and less than 4% of veteran deaths occurring in VA hospitals, reliance upon Hospice-Veteran Partnerships has become critical. Achieving WHV Level 4 Status enables VA staff and veterans to easily identify hospices that have made a commitment to offer veteran-specific care by a competent and highly skilled workforce. Through respectful inquiry and compassionate listening, Four Seasons cares for those who first served us, honoring our veteran patients with dignity and reverence, wherever they call home.

“Caring for veterans and their families is important to us,” says Dr. Millicent Burke-Sinclair, President and CEO of Four Seasons. “Since 2014, we have continued to advance our commitment through expanding our We Honor Veterans program. Now, being recognized as a Level 4 We Honor Veterans program further reinforces this commitment. Thank you to our community for supporting this very important cause, for being part of giving back to those who have given so much to protect each of us. We look forward to continuing to strengthen our relationship with the veteran community for years to come. If you have served in the military and would like to inquire about being a volunteer through this program, please contact us. Likewise, if you would like to donate to continue to advance care for veterans and their families, please reach out to our Foundation today. Your support continues to help us provide the most trusted care for our community.”

Level 4 Status by Four Seasons takes on even greater meaning when considering that of the more than 5,300 Medicare-certified hospices in the United States today, only 2,653 are WHV partners. Of those hospices that are WHV partners, 1,125 are Level 4 providers (see wehonorveterans.org/partner-directory).

“With good fortune and strong support, we will continue the work of We Honor Veterans,” says Knapp. “I believe I can safely convey the thoughts of all of us who are fortunate enough to be a part of this program…It is OUR honor and privilege to recognize and thank these true patriots. Bless them all!”

How Care is Provided & How You Can Help

The We Honor Veterans program at Four Seasons is supported by Four Seasons Foundation through the generous contributions of donors. For more information about the We Honor Veterans program, call 866.466.9734 or visit FourSeasonsCare.org. Serving the Western North Carolina area since 1979, Four Seasons is grateful to serve patients and families with care that honors their priorities, traditions, and goals. In addition to providing quality Hospice and Palliative Care, Four Seasons also offers Pediatric Hospice & Palliative Care, Care Navigation, Home Care, Grief Services, and support for the caregiver and family.

Do you want to make a difference in Veteran care for your community?

Support the Foundation with a gift in memory or in honor of a special Veteran in your life.