Circle of Life award logo

The American Hospital Association (AHA) is a major sponsor of the annual Circle of Life Awards, which honor innovative programs for palliative and end-of-life care.

“The Circle of Life award exists to shine a light on programs across our country that are finding ways to more effectively serve seriously ill people and those who are dying,” says Martha L. Twaddle, M.D., FACP, FAAHPM, HMDC, chair of the Circle of Life Committee. “As palliative care has emerged as a specialty, the Circle of Life award has followed and even helped set a benchmark” by recognizing innovation, she says. “The whole field is using those programs as examples and as teachers.”

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According to Twaddle, palliative care is uniquely effective at meeting the Triple Aim of improving the experience of health care, managing population health and bending the cost curve. “Hospitals have gotten quite excited about this model of care, and I think that has fueled our ongoing work,” she says.

This year’s winners were Bon Secours Palliative Medicine, Richmond, Va.; Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence at UW Medicine, Seattle; and Susquehanna Health Hospice and Palliative Care, Williamsport, Pa. Citations of Honor were given to Meridian Health Palliative Care Service, Neptune, N.J.; Memorial Hermann Physician Network and Symptom Management Consultant Supportive Medicine Team, Houston; and OSF Healthcare, Peoria, Ill.

Along with the AHA, other major sponsors of the 2016 awards include the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and National Hospice Foundation. The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Center to Advance Palliative Care, Hospice & Palliative Nurses Association/Hospice & Palliative Certification Center/Hospice & Palliative Nurses Foundation and the National Association of Social Workers also help to fund the awards, which are administered by the Health Research & Educational Trust.

The 2016 awards were supported, in part, by the California Health Care Foundation, Oakland, Calif., and Cambia Health Foundation, Portland, Ore.