Jerry Haines, a veteran volunteer at Heart ‘n Home Hospice, has been named one of four in the nation in the Volunteers are the Foundation of Hospice awards.
The awards, doled out by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, are given to four outstanding hospice volunteers “who best reflect the universal concept of volunteerism in its truest sense — serving as an inspiration to others.”
They are chosen by a national committee of professional peers. The honorees have made significant contributions to hospice programs in the areas of care delivery, organizational support, and teamwork.
Heart ‘n Home Hospice is honored that Haines is one of the four awardees in the category of Specialized Services. His category includes the volunteer types, Veteran, Pediatric care, pet therapy, bereavement support, spiritual support, massage and other complementary therapies, etc.
Gerald “Jerry” Haines, born in 1936, has dedicated his life to service. He spent 25 years serving his country, retiring at age 41 as a Major in the Army National Guard. His civilian life has been filled with opportunities to help others including volunteering with his church, local senior center and veteran advocacy groups. Haines began his service with Heart ‘n Home Hospice in 2014.
A retired U.S. Major, he gave to his fellow country and fellowmen and in his work now, gives support to Veterans facing end of life.
He also participates in We Honor Veterans Pinning and Recognition ceremonies — events dedicated to honoring the service of veterans in hospice care. Haines arrives at each event in full dress uniform, thanks the veteran for their service, salutes the veteran and pins an American Flag on their shirt. He often follows up with return visits.
“I’ve never been involved in something so amazing as to honor someone for what they’ve done,” said Haines, “and not only are they there, but their family and friends are there, and it is actually showing honor to their relative at that time in their life.”
Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo shared their congratulations for Haines as he carries this honor.
“Congratulations to Jerry Haines on receiving the specialized service award from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization,” Risch said in a prepared statement. “Jerry’s lifetime of service is an inspiration to all, first serving our nation as a Major in the Army National Guard, and now volunteering his time with veterans at Heart ‘n Home Hospice in Fruitland. Effective hospice and palliative care are critical to the well-being of all American communities, and hospice volunteers like Jerry ensure that patients and their families have comfort and peace. I thank Jerry for all that he does in the community and congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.”
Crapo said in a statement, “Jerry Haines personifies the true meaning of service. He has spent his life doing just that — first directly in the military, and now with fellow veterans and others in need. I join with the NHPCO in thanking him for all that he has given to his community and country.”
Haines’ award was presented Nov. 5 at the NHPCO Interdisciplinary Conference at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center. For more information on hospice patients and families, go to the website: gohospice.com.