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Like many of you I spent some time this week feeling appalled, frightened, and saddened at the violence inflicted by the angry mob at the United States Capitol Building – an assault on our democracy. I believe strongly that the work we do together as a Coalition, on behalf of the hospice and palliative care field, and patients, caregivers and families, is a part of the actual democratic process itself.

Working together as a Coalition, petitioning our government for redress of “grievances” and peacefully assembling at the Capitol is one of our enshrined constitutional liberties we possess as individuals and as a Coalition. Wednesday’s scenes of wanton destruction and disregard for democracy was something we can all hope to never again see in our lifetimes.
This new year certainly brings with it changes, challenges, opportunities and dare I say, despite current events, a sense of guarded optimism too, for our country, as well as the Coalition.
First and foremost, is the availability of the COVID-19 vaccinations. Speaking for our 13 Coalition members, we urge all hospice and palliative care professionals, volunteers, patients, and caregivers to get the COVID-19 vaccines unless contraindicated. And then share your experience with your family members, friends, and neighbors, and encourage them to be vaccinated too. Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is imperative for the safety of our dedicated and essential healthcare professionals, your families, and the people you serve.
Read our full statement here.
As we begin working with the new Biden Administration, we will focus on our unifying non-partisan goal to provide high quality hospice and palliative care to all those that need it.  
As for the Coalition, we are starting off the new year with a renewed commitment to be more diverse, equitable and inclusive and have updated our mission and values statements. We also  begin the new year with a new slate of Board of Directors and Officers. Read more in the 'Important Announcements’ section below.
We look forward to continuing to serve and represent you and the thousands of interdisciplinary team members working each day to improve serious illness care.
On behalf of the Coalition team, we wish you a healthy, safe and happy new year!

Amy Melnick, MPA
Executive Director
National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care
Have you received the COVID-19 vaccination? 
Do you plan to get the vaccine? 
If not, why not? 

Coalition Recommends COVID-19 Vaccination for Hospice, Palliative Care Professionals, Volunteers and Caregivers
The Coalition thanks all the hospice and palliative care professionals for the tremendous dedication you have shown while serving on the front lines of healthcare delivery during this COVID-19 crisis. Our Coalition and members welcome the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines as a vital tool for controlling the pandemic and trusts the science supporting the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.
Read our full statement urging all hospice and palliative care workers, volunteers and caregivers who do not have a medical contraindication to receive a COVID-19 vaccination at the earliest opportunity consistent with the guidance of public health authorities.
Also, see the multiple resources available from our Coalition members to help providers address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coalition Strengthens Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 
To continue the Coalition’s commitment to be more diverse, equitable and inclusive (DEI), Coalition leaders revised the Coalition’s Mission & Purpose and Principles and Values document. This serves as the foundational resource for the Coalition and helps define the Coalition’s defining characteristics. A compilation of Coalition members’ DEI resources is also available.

Coalition Welcomes New Board of Directors, 2021-2022
Beginning this year, the Coalition welcomes a new slate of Board of Directors and officers who will serve to provide governance and guidance for our strategic focus and activities:

  • Edo Banach, JD, President (President & CEO, NHPCO)
  • Wendy-Jo Toyama, MBA CAE, Secretary (CEO & Executive Director, AAHPM)
  • R. Sean Morrison, MD, Treasurer (Executive Director, NPCRC)
  • Patricia Appelhans, JD, New Board Member At Large (CEO, APC)
  • Virginia Marshall, ACNP-BC, ACHPN, FPCN, Board Member At Large (CEO, HPNA)
  • Diane E. Meier, MD, FACP, FAAHPM, Board Member At Large (Executive Director, CAPC)
Pediatric Palliative Care Task Force Update


The PPC Task Force is launching into the new year with a guiding vision, clarity of mission, demonstrative goals and a new member that will underpin our work moving forward.

Mission: Activate interdisciplinary collaborations and create real-world solutions to continuously improve access to pediatric palliative care.

Vison: Equitable access to high-quality pediatric palliative care for everyone.

Key Priorities (to advance the field of pediatric palliative care):
  1. Payment and financing,
  2. Assessment of need and capacity, and
  3. Raising of awareness and demand.
Over the course of the next 16 months, the Task Force will assess, initiate, and promote critical actions in these three domains to enhance and increase children’s access to high-quality pediatric palliative care services.

Membership Update: We are delighted to announce that the American Psychological Association has appointed a representative to the PPC Task Force - Dr. Rachel Kentor, co-Founder and co-Chair of the APA Division 54 Society of Pediatric Psychology Palliative Care and End-of-Life Special Interest Group. Read more about Dr. Kentor and other members of the PPC Task Force here.

If you are interested in receiving the PPC Task Force Quarterly Update launching this spring, please email to be added to our distribution list.
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Public Comment Period and Webinar Announced for February

SAVE-THE-DATES! There are two opportunities to learn more and provide input into the development  of two new patient-reported experience measures that assess the quality of care provided by palliative care teams working in doctor’s offices and clinics:
  1. How much patients feel heard and understood, and
  2. How much patients get the help they wanted for pain.
---Register for a free public webinar, Launching the Future of Palliative Care: Patient-Reported Experience Measures, February 1, 2021, 2-3 pm ET to learn about the development of the two measures and test results, how the measures can be implemented and how you can provide input. Thank you to the National Patient Advocate Foundation for co-sponsoring the webinar.   

---Participate in the public comment period, beginning February 1, 2021, to provide your input on the measures’ feasibility in practice to ensure they are actionable and useable. A link to the public comment portal will be posted on the project’s webpage, February 1, 2021 and feedback will be accepted through March 1, 2021. Learn more about this project here and contact for additional information or questions.

blog graphic Read new blog about our project accomplishments, 
In the Home Stretch and Going into Public Comment
by Katherine Ast, LCSW, Director, Quality and Research, AAHPM.

Learn more about this project here and contact for additional information or questions.
Coalition Nominee to Serve on NQF Committee
Congratulations to Rev. Dr. Jeffery T. Garland, DMin, EdS, BCC (representing the Association of Professional Chaplains) who was nominated by the Coalition and selected to serve on NQF Geriatrics and Palliative Care Standing Committee
Coalition Supports New Community Based Palliative Care Model
Over the past several months, the Coalition has helped lead a dual track advocacy effort that would build administration support at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation and in Congress to establish a community based palliative care model.   

The Coalition and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, along with many other national and state organizations submitted this letter to Congress urging action. The Coalition has also developed this overview and comparison chart that has been shared with key congressional offices to help educate Members of Congress and their staff about the need for community based palliative care.
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The Coalition continues to track COVID-19 national news and resources that are relevant for all health care professionals caring for people living with serious illness as follows:

COVID-19: In the News
A compendium of national news featuring the work of hospice and palliative professionals as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic including The New York Times, The Atlantic, LA Times, Forbes, NPR and more.

COVID-19 Toolkit: Top Communication and Symptom Management Tools
(for the non-palliative care specialist)
“Top 6” resources developed by experts that cover advance COVID-19 planning, symptom management, communication in difficult situations and providing emotional support for people living with seriously ill.

COVID-19: Resources for Hospice and Palliative Care Professionals
A combined list of all the resources created by our member organizations to provide information and guidance to professionals in the hospice and palliative care field on the outbreak of COVID-19.
Copyright © 2021 National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care, All rights reserved.

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