Coping with Public Tragedy

Coping with Public Tragedy

Coping with Public Tragedy

Coping with Public Tragedy

Synopsis

Developed in conjunction with the Hospice Foundation of America's 10th annual tele-conference, Living with Grief: Coping with Public Tragedy examines our varied responses to public tragedy, techniques available to cope with these events, and the role of the hospice in public tragedies. The essays included look at factors that define a public tragedy and offer insight and advice to professionals as they help those coping with loss. Case examples include Sherry Schachter's experience at Ground Zero, a consideration of the devastation in Florida caused by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and the shootings at Columbine High School in 1999.

Excerpt

The year 2003 is a momentous one for both the hospice movement and Hospice Foundation of America. It is the 20th year of the Medicare Hospice Benefit. in 1983, Congress formally recognized the importance of compassionate care for the dying by institutionalizing hospice as a reimbursable service. One of the core services of hospice is the commitment to ongoing bereavement counseling to the family. in fact, hospice is the only Medicare benefit that continues service to the family for up to a year after the death of the patient.

In the 20 years since the start of the Medicare benefit, and because of the growing societal importance of bereavement services, hospices have become an important community resource on grief and bereavement. Maintaining a high level of quality in grief counseling, spiritual care, and emotional support is difficult to attain. To assist in that, Hospice Foundation of America provides as one of its central services innovative free or low-cost educational opportunities for grief counselors.

The year 2003 also finds hfa celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Living With Grief® teleconference series, of which this book is the companion volume. the application of bereavement services has evolved in many ways over the past decade, and we at hfa are proud that this series has been a part of that evolution. When we select a topic for each year's teleconference and accompanying book, a key consideration is how we can help hospices broaden their community outreach. I believe that hospice has many contributions to make to a community, primarily as the basic resource for bereavement counseling, but also as a major influence in increasing patient autonomy in the health system.

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