MICHIGAN — Hospice of Michigan was recognized on Monday as a Level Four partner in the “We Honor Veterans Program” offered by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

The program is a collaborative effort between the Veterans Administration and the Hospice national organization to ensure America’s veterans have access to quality end-of-life care. Hospice of Michigan, the largest nonprofit hospice in Michigan, is one of 33 organizations across the U.S. to achieve Level Four status.

To obtain the status, Hospice of Michigan has met standards set by the VA and the national organization.

“Hospice of Michigan is very proud to be recognized as a Level Four partner in the program,” said Dr. Michael Paletta, vice president of medical affairs for (Hospice of Michigan) and a retired colonel and flight surgeon. “Being a partner in this program heightened our awareness of the unique needs of military veterans and the need for military-centric outreach programs and has provided insight into ways we could enhance training programs for our staff. We are grateful for the opportunity it has provided.”

Hospice of Michigan has provided training and education programs to its clinical teams in 56 counties across Michigan to recognize, understand and support veterans and their families at the end of life. The organization, which cares for nearly 800 military veterans annually, created unique pinning ceremonies in communities across the state to pay tribute to military veterans and offer formal thanks for their service.

Hospice of Michigan cares for more than 1,200 patients each day and raises more than $4 million each year to cover the cost of care for the uninsured and underinsured, including military veterans.

“Many military veterans have never been formally thanked for their service to our country,” Paletta said. “At the end of life, or when facing a serious illness, many veterans are still dealing with unresolved issues related to their military service. We created these ceremonies to honor them, and to bring dignity to this time of their lives by thanking them for serving their country.”