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Sharp Health News

Treating veterans like family (video)

July 8, 2016

In early 2016, Sharp HospiceCare volunteer Edward Cell paid a visit to Eugene Whitney for the first time at his retirement home in Chula Vista. Eugene and Edward met weekly, bonding over books and shared philosophies. Eugene, a Navy veteran who served in World War II, had come to see Edward as family.

Sadly, Eugene passed away in November 2016. Prior to his passing, Sharp Health News had the opportunity to meet both Eugene and Edward during a pinning ceremony for Eugene as part of the We Honor Veterans program, a partnership between Sharp HospiceCare, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The program is focused on providing hospice care staff and volunteers with training, education and resources for improving care for military veteran patients, as well as recognizing the important contributions they have made through their military service. The pinning ceremonies are led by Sharp HospiceCare volunteers who serve or have served in the armed forces.

“Our volunteers are an essential part of what we do at Sharp HospiceCare,” says Denise Kelly, Sharp HospiceCare program coordinator. “Whether honoring them through special ceremonies or simply popping by for a chat or to help with errands, they provide our patients with a companionship that, as Eugene puts it, is just like family.”

For the media: To talk with a Sharp expert about hospice care or the We Honor Veterans program, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at

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