​Hospice of the Western Reserve's palliative care program, Western Reserve Navigator (WRN), has been recognized as one of the most innovative palliative care programs in the nation. The American Hospital Association announced this week that WRN is a 2019 Circle of Life Award winner.

The award celebrates innovative organizations and programs that have made great strides in palliative and end-of-life care and can be models for other health care organizations. "The work of this year's honorees represents the most innovative and creative thinking in end-of-life care," said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. "Through the use of technology, integrated systems of care and community support, these programs have raised the bar for meeting the needs of patients and their families."

The AHA highlighted the Navigator team's use of True North Hospice Analytics and other technology to streamline and improve care. Additionally, the AHA praised Hospice of the Western Reserve's commitment to preventing and addressing employee burnout and compassion fatigue – efforts that prevent staff turnover and lead to improved care continuity. "Hospice of the Western Reserve is honored to be the only independent hospice organization receiving a Circle of Life Award," said HWR President and CEO Bill Finn. "We are one of the pioneers of providing community-based palliative care and have been delivering specialized palliative care in patients' homes for 17 years."

The Western Reserve Navigator program provides comprehensive community-based palliative care to nearly 1,300 patients each year with a creative, patient-centered culture. In addition to using advanced practice registered nurses and social workers, WRN is supported by a longstanding, fully integrated volunteer program.

The American Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Hospice of the Western Reserve provides palliative and end-of-life care, caregiver support and bereavement services throughout Northern Ohio. The nonprofit agency strives to relieve suffering, enhance comfort, promote quality of life, foster choice in end-of-life care and support effective grieving.