First Posted: 11/14/2007
AseraCare Hospice of Clarks Summit is joining hospice care centers throughout the country in celebrating National Hospice and Palliative Care month during November. The month-long awareness recognizes and honors healthcare professionals and volunteers who provide end-of-life care to more than 1.2 million individuals annually. AseraCare Hospice of Clarks Summit invites Northeastern PA to celebrate National Hospice and Palliative Care month by joining us for a Tree Lighting Ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 29, at Abington Memorial Park. They will be celebrating not only their staff and volunteers, but the patients and families they have cared for over the years. Hospice and palliative care programs are designed to work in concert when individuals are diagnosed with an illness. According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, hospice and palliative care both focus on helping a person be comfortable by addressing issues causing physical or emotional pain, or suffering. The difference in the two services is that hospice is traditionally for individuals who are near the end of their lives, while palliative care can be provided any time after a diagnosis, regardless of life expectancy. Cicely Saunders, a physician from London, England, is credited with starting the hospice movement in the 1960s. The concept arrived in the United States in 1974 when a hospice care center opened in Connecticut. Today, there are more than 3,200 hospice programs and 1,200 palliative care programs nationwide. Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization advocates for the terminally ill and their families. It also develops public and professional educational programs and materials to enhance understanding and availability of hospice and palliative care; convenes frequent meetings and symposia on emerging issues; provides technical informational resources to its membership; conducts research; monitors Congressional and regulatory activities; and works closely with other organizations that share an interest in end of life care. AseraCare is the sixth largest hospice company in the United States, serving more than 3,000 hospice patients in 63 locations in 18 states, including AseraCare of Clarks Summit serving Northeastern PA. For more information on AseraCare visit .