The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
When it comes to advancing the field of end of life care, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) is at the center of supporting hospice and palliative care providers—bringing inspiration, guidance, and legislative representation to its members. In turn, the NHPCO relies heavily on professionals in the field to share their perspective on how standard practices and policy affect patients and caregivers who work or volunteer for them. The NHPCO has a number of committees and councils for specific areas of care and administration. Committee members consist of hospice and palliative care providers from across the country.
Respect at a National Level
It is with this, that Faith Hospice is incredibly fortunate and grateful to have our very own Rene Wheaton, RN, BSN, NHA and Executive Director of Faith Hospice, appointed to the NHPCO’s Regulatory Committee. Rene will serve a two-year term beginning in January of 2020. As a committee member, she will help to review, analyze, and interpret regulations by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Enforcement Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, and other federal agencies. This committee is integral in helping to predict the impact of these agencies' regulations as well as help to provide the necessary resources and education to those in the hospice and palliative care community. These efforts ensure hospice and palliative care providers achieve and maintain compliance with all relevant regulations.
“I want to stay ahead of what’s changing, what’s coming in the field so we can be as prepared as possible to make the appropriate changes for our patients. It really is about justice for patients as well as the impact on the people that are doing this work.”
— Rene Wheaton, RN, BSN, NHA
and Executive Director of Faith Hospice
A Career of Advocacy and Expertise
Anyone who knows Rene would describe her as humble, a person of few words and gentle demeanor. Although she may not admit the level of importance her experience and deep understanding in the field serves, in her eyes, it is a responsibility to patients and staff at Faith Hospice and the advancement of hospice and palliative care overall—“I want to stay ahead of what’s changing, what’s coming in the field so we can be as prepared as possible to make the appropriate changes for our patients,” she explained. “It really is about justice for patients as well as the impact on the people that are doing this work.”
In addition to Rene’s recent appointment, she is also a member of the National Association of Home Care and Hospice's Hospice Advisory Committee as well as the Michigan Home Health and Hospice Association (MHHA) Hospice Committee. Recently, Rene and 6 other MHHA members were publicly thanked for their work with Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) on new licensing rules for hospices. Rene and other MHHA members also helped bring to light the unintended consequences to hospice patients from newly enacted opioid restrictions. Due to their efforts, the Michigan Legislature amended the opioid laws to provide necessary exemptions for hospice care providers.
Rene has used her many years of experience and level of understanding of hospice regulations to be an unwavering advocate for hospice patients and workers. We look forward to seeing how she will continue to advance the fields of hospice and palliative care. Thank you for your continued advocacy and expertise—you truly are a ‘Champion’.