Dignity Health
  • Meeting the Unique Needs of Veterans and Their Families

    For those who answered their country’s
    call, we’re here to help you answer your
    final call. At the end of life, many veteran
    patients need support with medical,
    emotional, spiritual and psychological
    conditions that may differ from a civilian
    hospice patient.

    The We Honor Veterans Program is a
    collaboration between the National
    Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
    and the U.S. Department of Veterans
    Affairs. Together, their mission is to
    “ensure that veterans receive the best
    quality care in the best possible manner
    and setting while honoring veterans’ preferences.”

    Hoffmann Hospice is proud to be a Level Four partner with the We Honor Veterans Program showing our dedication to fulfilling this mission. Let us serve you as you so bravely served your country.

     

    23.8 million veterans are living today

    1,800 veterans die every day

     
     

    Unique Needs of Veterans

    • Military Culture and Training (Battle mind)
    • Specific War
    • Trauma (physical and mental wounds)
    • Service related diseases, illnesses and conditions
    • Specific Needs of Veteran Populations
     
     

    Unique Health Risks of Veterans

    Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom

    • Combined Penetrating, Blunt Trauma and Burn
      Injuries (Blast Injuries)
    • Traumatic Brain or Spinal Cord injury
    • Mental Health Issues
    • Vision Loss
    • Traumatic Amputation
    • Multidrug Resistant Acinetobacter
    • Leishmaniasis
    • Depleted uranium

    WWII/Korea

    • Cold Injury
    • Exposure to Nuclear Weapons
    • Chemical Warfare Agent Experiments

    Cold War

    • Nuclear Testing

    Vietnam

    • Agent Orange Exposure
    • Hepatitis C

    Gulf Wars

    • Exposures to Smoke
    • Leishmaniasis
    • Immunizations
    • Chemical or Biological Agents
    • Depleted Uranium

    Source: wehonorveterans.org

     
     

    Hoffmann Hospice Veteran Specific Hospice Services

    • Veteran to Veteran Volunteers
    • Assistance with determining VA Benefit eligibility
      for veterans and spouses
    • Coordination of care with the VA and other
      healthcare organizations
    • Education regarding veteran burial benefits and the
      National Cemeteries
    • Support with veteran resources within the community
    • Assistance with the Honor Flight Application
    • Honorary Pinning Ceremonies

    Connecting Veterans and Celebrating Their Finest Military Hours

    After learning that two of our hospice patients, Raymond Zuniga and Richard Hoegh, were not only WWII veterans but fought during the same time in the same area of Europe, Hoffmann team members offered to bring the two together for a luncheon so they could meet and share their stories. The two were thrilled to say the least.

    During the luncheon Raymond Zuniga said, “ It is wonderful to finally be able to speak with someone who understands and believes what I went through.” Both Raymond and Richard spoke of how they saw and experienced horrible things during the war and yet the countries and people were “so beautiful.” They expressed their deepest gratitude to Hoffmann Hospice for arranging the luncheon and for honoring them with a certificate for their service and a formal “We Honor Veterans” pin provided by Hoffmann Spiritual Counselor Mason Wren.

    The experience was even more impactful for the Hoffmann Team. They shared that it was amazing to see two people who have never met have such an immediate connection and camaraderie. Mason said, “ It’s hard to find words to describe the meeting of these two veterans…the intensity of their stories, the openness of their hearts, the connection they shared…it was one of those special experiences in life when time seems to slow and even the silence between words speaks of the beauty in each moment. To listen to two men who went through such darkness and yet with humility hold on to what is still beautiful in life push on towards the good is unforgettable.” Raymond Zuniga passed away on September 15, 2014.

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    Hoffman Hospice We honor Veteran’s Pinning Ceremony

    Hoffmann Hospice conducts Pinning Ceremony’s throughout the year at local senior living facilities. Pinning Ceremonies give us the opportunity to honor our veteran patients and other veteran residents of the facilites. Our staff and guest speakers acknowledge the service of these fine men and provide each with an honorary Pin from the We Honor Veterans program while the spouses receive a red carnation.

     
     

    Veteran Hospice FAQs

    Q: What unique needs do veterans have at the end of life and how does Hoffmann Hospice meet them?
    A:
    At the end of life, many veteran hospice patients need support with medical, emotional, spiritual and psychological needs that may differ from a civilian hospice patient. These include needs dependent upon the specific war that they served in, trauma they experienced, service-related diseases and the needs of homeless veterans. The Hoffmann Hospice teams, some of which are veterans and veterans’ spouses along with Veteran to Veteran volunteers, receive continued training so that they are able to meet the unique needs of veterans and their families. Most importantly, the hospice team has a genuine compassion for veterans and that compassion led Hoffmann Hospice to meet their goal of receiving the highest level within the We Honor Veterans program of the U.S. Department of Veterans and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

    Q: What is the Veteran to Veteran Volunteer Program at Hoffmann Hospice?
    A:
    The Veteran to Veteran program at Hoffmann Hospice is an elite group of male and female volunteers who are veterans. They volunteer their time to specifically help veteran hospice patients and their families by providing companionship and caregiver relief. Veteran patients usually feel a higher level of connectedness with a veteran volunteer and enjoy the comradery. The most valuable benefit to a veteran at this season of his life is the opportunity to share military stories with another veteran as some military stories are not usually shared with family and friends. Veteran volunteers also participate in veteran community events to maintain partnerships in the community and maintain awareness of all veterans’ services and resources.

    Q: My loved one is a veteran and his physician referred him for hospice services; how can Hoffmann Hospice meet the needs of a veteran?
    A:
    Veterans receive the same hospice services as their civilian counterparts which include a personal care team consisting of Physician services, Social services and Spiritual care, comfort care for pain and symptom management, medical equipment and medications, 24 hour access to hospice nurses. Services specific to our veteran patients include Veteran to Veteran Volunteers, assistance with determining VA benefits eligibility, coordination with the VA regarding hospice diagnosis, education regarding veteran burial benefits and the National Cemetery, support with veteran resources, assistance with the Honor Flight application, connecting veterans and celebrating a veteran’s finest moments with honorary ceremonies provided by Hoffmann staff. Emotional and Spiritual support for veteran patients are customized based on the war they fought in, trauma experienced and service-related diseases. Hoffmann Hospice is very active in the veteran communities they serve in order to ensure that they we are up to date on the latest veteran services.

    Q: I am on hospice service and am the spouse of a veteran. Am I eligible for veteran benefits?
    A:
    Yes, you may be eligible for veteran benefits. Your Hoffmann Medical Social Worker will ask you several questions in order to connect you with VA benefits. They will also help you obtain and complete the necessary paperwork which will determine if you are able to receive Aid and Attendance Benefits or other resources you can receive.

     

    Veteran Resources Direct Care and Assistance

     

    Kern County

    Military Order of the Purple Heart
    P.O. Box 49, Annandale, VA 22003
    (703) 642-5360
    Fax: (703) 642-2054
    www.purpleheart.org
    · Assistance with replacing Purple Heart and other medals lost by service member, as well as assistance with claims and financial support.

    Kern County Chapter
    Contact: Chris Allen, chris702003@yahoo.com

    Veterans of Foreign War
    VFW National Headquarters
    406 West 34th Street, Kansas City, MO 64111
    (816) 756-3390
    www.vfw.org
    · Provides VA claims assistance, family support, financial assistance and education to members and their families. VFW members may be available to assist with socialization and visit veteran patients.
    · Contact the VFW by phone or on their website for all of your local posts.

    Honor Flight Kern County
    8200 Stockdale Hwy, Suite M-10, Box 255, Bakersfield, CA 93311
    (661) 322-9191
    www.honorflightkerncounty.org
    · Arranges Honor Flights to Washington, D.C. for WWII veterans in Kern County. Applications available online.

    Kern County Veteran Service Department
    1120 Golden State Ave., Bakersfield, CA 93301
    (661) 868-7300
    (886) 218-5367
    Fax: (661) 631-0519
    www.co.kern.ca.us/veterans/
    · Provides assistance with retrieving discharge paperwork (DD-214) and veteran benefits including Aid and Attendance, burial benefits, and VA claims.

    Kern Veterans Memorial Foundation
    P.O. Box 11325, Bakersfield, CA 93389
    (661) 833-4441
    www.kernvets.org
    · Kern County Veterans Registry – Names can be added to memorial.

    NAMI Kern County’s Front Line
    P.O. Box 9144, Bakersfield, CA 93389
    (661) 679-4972
    www.frontlinenami.org
    · Provides assistance and support to veterans and their families dealing with PTSD.

    Science Care
    (800) 417-3747
    www.sciencecare.com
    · No cost cremation option for veterans interested in whole body donation. Documentation of veteran status not required

    Wounded Heroes Fund – Bakersfield Chapter
    3121 Standard St., Bakersfield, CA 93308
    (661) 328-8602
    Fax: (661) 328-8602
    www.thewoundedheroesfund.org
    · Provides financial grants for Kern County Veterans who have been wounded post 9/11. May provide assistance if current or post 9/11 veteran has family member on hospice service.

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    The American Legion
    National Headquarters 700 N. Pennsylvania St.
    P.O. Box 1055
    Indianapolis, IN 46206
    (317) 630-1200
    Fax: (317) 630-1223
    www.legion.org
    · Provides VA claims assistance, family support, financial assistance and education to members and their families.

    Bakersfield Post No. 26
    2020 H Street, Bakersfield, CA 93301
    (661) 324-9453

    Disabled Veterans of America (DAV)
    National Headquarters
    3725 Alexandria Pike, Cold Spring, KY 41076
    (887) I AM A VET
    · Assistance with disability claims, financial assistance, legal assistance and other services related to disabled veterans

    Bakersfield Chapter 20
    6800 Niles Street, Bakersfield, CA 93306
    (661) 303-4942
    Fax: 661-363-6441

    Bakersfield National Cemetery
    30338 East Bear Mountain Blvd, Arvin, CA 93203
    (661) 867-2250
    (866) 632-1845
    Fax: (661) 867-2253
    www.cem.va.gov
    · Provides assistance and information regarding veteran burial benefits including assistance with burial paperwork and arrangements with funeral home.

    Bakersfield VA Outpatient Clinic
    1801 Westwind Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93301
    (661) 632-1800
    Fax: (661) 632-1888
    www.losangeles.va.gov
    · Primary Care Physicians for Kern County veterans. Contact to report passing of Kern County veterans.

    Bakersfield Vet Center
    1110 Golden State Ave., Bakersfield, CA 93301
    (661) 323-8387
    (887) 927-8387
    Fax: (661) 325-8387
    www.vetcenter.va.gov
    · Provides individual and group therapy for veterans and family. Can provided grief therapy to family of veterans after passing.

    CA Department of Veterans Affairs
    1227 O Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
    (800) 952-5626
    www.cdva.ca.gov
    · VA Benefit follow up if documents not submitted through Kern Count Veteran Service Dept.

    California Veterans Assistance Foundation (CVAF)
    1120 Golden State Ave., Bakersfield, CA 93301
    (888) 805-2490
    www.cavaf.org
    · Provides assistance to homeless and low-income veterans in addition to providing community events for veterans.