The Denver Hospice Wins National Honor
The Denver Hospice and Optio Health Services has won the Circle of Life Award – a national award presented by the American Hospital Association.  

The Circle of Life Award honors innovative programs across the nation that have made great strides in palliative and end-of-life care.
The Denver Hospice is the only Colorado hospice to win the Circle of Life Award in the award’s 14-year history.
“For 35 years, The Denver Hospice has been a leader in providing hospice and palliative care throughout the metro area.  It is an honor to be recognized as a national leader through this prestigious award,” said Bev Sloan, former president and CEO of The Denver Hospice.

Recognized for Innovations

The Denver Hospice was recognized for its innovative programs that improve the care of patients near the end of life or with life-limiting conditions
 “This year’s Circle of Life honorees exemplify the best in health care – providing compassionate care and helping patients and families facing complex health challenges,” said Rich Umbdenstock , president and CEO of the American Hospital Association. “These innovative programs address critical needs so that patients can manage their health and live as fully as possible. They also reflect the different needs of their communities as they provide the best care possible for those they serve.”
The Denver Hospice and Optio Health Services palliative care programs were chosen by a selection committee comprised of leaders from medicine, nursing, social work, ethics and health administration. 
The selection committee visited programs that:
  • Provide effective, timely, safe, efficient, equitable patient and family-centered palliative and end-of-life care;
  • Use innovative approaches to critical needs and serve as sustainable, replicable models for the field;
  • Seek to address multi-faceted needs of persons living with serious illness; and,
  • Are actively working with other health care organizations, education and training programs, and the community

Circle of Life Award Sponsors

The 2013 awards are supported, in part, by the California HealthCare Foundation, based in Oakland, Calif., and the Cambia Health Foundation. Major sponsors are the American Hospital Association, the Catholic Health Association and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization & National Hospice Foundation. The awards are cosponsored by the Alliance for Excellence in Hospice and Palliative Nursing, the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and the National Association of Social Workers. The Circle of Life Award is a program administered by the Health Research & Educational Trust.

About the American Hospital Association

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the improvement of health in their communities.  The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care and 43,000 individual members.  Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends.  For more information visit the Web site at www.aha.org.
For more information on the Circle of Life Award, visit www.aha.org/circleoflife.

July 2014 Update: Impact of the Circle of Life Award on Optio Health Services and The Denver Hospice

The Circle of Life Award has had positive impact for The Denver Hospice and has created a sense of pride within the company.  We are honored to have received this prestigious award and have had the opportunity to celebrate with the people and organizations that support our vision and mission.  Preparation for the site visit was challenging in a positive way as accomplishments and innovations in the areas of care delivery, research, and commitment to education were documented and reviewed.  One of the most gratifying aspects was the inclusion of and support from many community partners who have contributed to the success of The Denver Hospice over the 35 years.  The community partners have helped with research, funding for care for the uninsured, and formalizing education about palliative care within the community and beyond.  Internally, the hard work and innovative spirit continues as opportunities arise that position The Denver Hospice as a national leader in hospice and palliative care, advanced illness management, and care transitions. 
The Circle of Life Award helped us advance opportunities and open doors. It  has helped build a level of confidence with potential contract partners whose interests include participating and collaborating for accountable care. Providers across the country searching for palliative care and advanced illness management care models have inquired about the services provided by The Denver Hospice.  Presentations to professional organizations about the continuum of care and outcomes that align with the Triple AIM measures helps us identify efforts that create excellence in operational management and care. 
Research projects, grants, and pilots have provided validation for the past and opportunities for the future of The Denver Hospice.  The future demands partnering with educational institutions and community organizations that includes innovative thinking as the future of health care becomes reality.  The Denver Hospice will build on its past to continue to be a leader in advanced illness management and palliative care.