STERLING, Va. – The International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association has formed an ad-hoc Hospice Committee of uniquely-qualified industry professionals to develop programs in partnership with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, according to a news release.
The committee will explore possible educational opportunities for members of both associations as well as collaborative efforts that might create special opportunities at a grassroots level. Committee members are:
Lauren Blevins, Williams Funeral Home & Crematory, Columbia, Tenn.: Blevins is a newly-elected member of the ICCFA Board of Directors. She is a certified celebrant and a second generation licensed funeral director in the family business, which includes both funeral homes and cemeteries. Blevins holds an MBA and runs hospice relationship programs in her community.
- Caressa Hughes, Service Corporation International, Houston: Hughes serves on the ICCFA Strategic Planning Committee. She is a managing director of government affairs with SCI, which has had an educational hospice relationship program in place for years. It creates presentations and educational materials available for use by SCI staff and is spearheaded by a dedicated, full-time employee, Diana Vasquez. Hughes has agreed to be the initial point-person to serve on this committee keeping Vasquez apprised of all activities.
- Kim Medici Shelquist, Homesteaders Life Co., West Des Moines, Iowa: Medici Shelquist has a unique level of credibility when it comes to the subject of hospice and palliative care. In addition to being a certified celebrant, she holds an MBA and has almost 10 years of experience working for a hospice organization before joining Homesteaders. She has been a featured speaker at ICCFA annual conventions as well as speaking around the country on behalf of her employer to educate funeral service providers about hospice.
Glenda Stansbury, CFSP, In-Sight Books, Oklahoma City, Okla.: Stansbury is not only a licensed funeral director and a certified celebrant, she is actually the trainer of certified celebrants across North America. Her family owns a company called In-Sight Books, which features a wide range of post-death resource material (books, brochures, etc.) written by In-Sight Books president Doug Manning. More than 1,000 hospice organizations nationwide purchase materials from www.insightbooks.com, often used in the 13 monthly post-death follow-up visits, contacts and programs with survivors as mandated by statute.
The first collaborative project between ICCFA and NHPCO will be a session at ICCFA's 2013 Fall Management Conference, Oct. 9-11 at Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa in Dana Point, Calif. Barbara L. Bouton, vice president, professional development, with the NHPCO, and a Southern California-based hospice care provider will deliver a presentation about the types of information, education and services hospices would find valuable from members of the funeral profession. Conference co-chairs Anthony Guerra, Guerra & Gutierrez Mortuary, Los Angeles, and Blair Nelsen, Service Corporation International, Richmond, Va., agree that "this session will be invaluable." The Fall Management Conference annually attracts about 175 CEOs, executives and managers from around the country.
Over the past year, steps were continually made in forming a partnership between both organizations. NHPCO attended and exhibited at the ICCFA Annual Convention & Expo in Tampa, Fla., April 10-13, 2013. At the same convention, Medici Shelquist and Heffner gave a keynote presentation about why and how to partner with hospice groups in your area.
Subsequently, ICCFA president Nancy R. Lohman, CCFE, StoneMor Partners LP, Daytona Beach, Fla., asked Heffner to create and chair an ad-hoc committee to represent ICCFA for the purpose of exploring possibly opportunities to enhance the delivery of seamless and meaningful end-of-life transition.
"I knew exactly who I would ask to serve on this new ad-hoc committee," Heffner said. "I am honored to serve with four exceptional people and couldn't be more pleased that all of them said yes. Thanks to the especially-qualified composition of this committee, ICCFA membership can feel extremely optimistic about the ultimate outcome of this initiative."
Posted June 4