Hospice Educators Affirming Life (HEAL) Project
The Hospice Educators Affirming Life (HEAL) Project was founded in 1999 by Founding Director Greg Schneider to initiate a grassroots effort to educate the public about hospice and its benefits. The HEAL Project was incorporated in the State of California as a non-profit corporation in January 2004. In May 2004 the corporation received a 501(c)(3) federal income tax exemption from the Internal Revenue Service and a 23701d state income tax exemption from the State of California Franchise Tax Board. The HEAL Project's evolution since its inception has been primarily driven by the educational needs of those individuals who are acting as caregivers to the dying. While the primary mission focus was on public education, the scope has now broadened to include education for hospice volunteers. We believe that compassionate care begins with an intimate knowledge of the caregiving journey. Our educational focus falls into three general categories: a)Educating the public regarding caring for dying loved ones and the importance of hospice as part of that care b)Developing innovative hospice education programs that will permit hospices to improve quality and reduce training costs c)Pediatric hospice care is a rapidly emerging sector in the hospice community, requiring the cultivation of new volunteer skills The primary mission objectives of the HEAL Project can be divided into three major areas: a)Improving hospice awareness in the community at large b)Advancing volunteerism in hospice c)Preparing families to care for terminally ill loved ones In 2005 the HEAL Project is launching two new programs: 1)Hospice Volunteer Training Institute (HVTI) to provide initial training and continuing education for hospice volunteers. 2)Hospice Volunteer Association (HVA) to to organize hospice caregiving volunteers into a group with common goals and a united voice. While there are several hospice associations that volunteers may join, there is not one organization that solely represents and serves the needs of the hospice volunteer.