8th Annual NHF Gala Raises Funds for Programs to Expand Hospice Care

For Immediate Release:
May 09, 2012

More than 600 Guests Gathered to Honor the Women Who Have Shaped Hospice

(Alexandria, VA) -- More than 600 guests gathered this spring for the 8th Annual National Hospice Foundation Gala, “Celebrating the Women of Hospice: A Salute to Heroines and Humanitarians” at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor, MD.

The event, held during the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s 27th Management and Leadership Conference, raised just over $300,000 through ticket sales and a silent auction to support NHPCO programs such as the We Honor Veterans program in partnership with the Veterans Administration focused on improving end of life care for veterans, and Caring Connections, a national consumer and community engagement initiative.

“The theme of this year’s Gala gave us the opportunity to reflect on the women who have shaped hospice into what it is today through their dedication, compassion and unique contributions throughout the years. Without them, we would not be where we are today, changing the way we live and the way we die,” said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

Several awards were presented at the event:

            The Today Show received the Buchwald Spirit Award for Public Awareness for its dedication to sharing compassionate stories. This award was presented by actress and hospice advocate and volunteer, Torrey DeVitto.

            Bernice Catherine Harper, a social worker and hospice advocate with a long history in health policy and minority access to care was honored with the Global Vision Award for her work in expanding palliative care services in Africa and her role in establishing FHSSA (originally known as the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa).

            Ann Morgan Vickery was granted the Healthcare Architect Award for her many years of dedication to hospice beginning with her involvement in the enactment of the Medicare Hospice Benefit in 1982 and advising on a regulatory and policy level since.

            Center for Hospice Care received the Morfogen Art of Caring Award for its work in collaboration with the Notre Dame University Film School on the film “Okuyamba,” about the challenges and triumphs of providing palliative care in Uganda.

Eleanor Clift, a hospice heroine in her own right, having generously shared her personal experience with hospice care in a book about her husband’s death, served as Mistress of Ceremonies.

In addition to these awards, several women were honored by their hospice programs for their contributions with cards at each gala table describing their work in shaping hospice care in the U.S.

Next year’s gala will be held on Friday, April 26, 2013, also at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in conjunction with NHPCO’s 28th Management and Leadership Conference.