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Hospice of the Valley wins Circle of Life Award

Rachel Behrendt, senior vice president of Hospice of the Valley, talks about the Circle of Life award and palliative care.

2018 Circle of Life: Hospice of the Valley

Hospice of the Valley has received the prestigious 2018 Circle of Life Award. The not-for-profit agency is one of three winners nationwide, recognized by the American Hospital Association for providing innovative, compassionate care in their communities.

Known as the leading provider of hospice care in central Arizona for over 40 years, Hospice of the Valley was honored for creating unique home-based palliative programs that care for people dealing with advanced, chronic illness—but not yet ready for hospice. The award was presented in July at the national association's Leadership Summit in San Diego. 

“We are so thrilled and honored to be recognized by one of the nation’s premier healthcare associations for helping to improve quality of life for these seriously ill patients who need special care and support,” said Debbie Shumway, executive director, Hospice of the Valley.

Patients are cared for at home by a team of healthcare professionals through in-home visits, online “virtual visits,” and 24/7 telephone support by nurses. Care coordination, education and conversation about goals of care are key. One of the programs, Arizona Palliative Home Care (AZPHC), partners with hospitals, healthcare providers and insurance companies to focus on patients at high risk for hospitalization, serving over 500 patients a day.

“Patients have peace of mind,” said Gobi Paramanandam, MD, director of AZPHC. “If an issue arises in the middle of the night or on the weekend, they can call us instead of going to the emergency room,” he said. “Our nurses can address the problem on the phone or make a home visit if needed.”

Hospice of the Valley pioneered two additional palliative care programs—AZPHC Transitional Care to serve medically fragile patients leaving the hospital for home—and Palliative Care for Dementia (PCD) to support loved ones with dementia and their caregivers from diagnosis through end of life.

This is the 19th year the Circle of Life Award has been presented to shine a light on programs that serve as models of inspiration to other care providers across the country. The two other 2018 recipients are Western Connecticut Health Network, Danbury, Conn., and Penn Wissahickon Hospice and Caring Way, Philadelphia, Pa.

For more information on Hospice of the Valley’s palliative care programs, call (602) 695-9822.