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Caring Circle Recognized for Innovation in Palliative and End-of-Life Care
Jul 16, 2020 Share

(ST. JOSEPH) – Caring Circle, the hospice and palliative care organization of Spectrum Health Lakeland, was recently honored with the 2020 Circle of Life Award on behalf of the American Hospital Association (AHA). Now in its 21st year, the Circle of Life Award celebrates innovation in palliative and end-of-life care.

Circle of Life Award nominations were reviewed and site-visited by a selection committee that included leaders from medicine, nursing, social work and health administration. The Circle of Life Award honors palliative programs that:

  • Serve people with life-limiting illness, their families, and their communities.
  • Demonstrate effective, patient/family-centered, timely, safe, efficient and equitable palliative and end-of-life care.
  • Use innovative approaches to meeting critical needs and serve as sustainable, replicable models for a segment of the field.
  • Pursue quality improvement consistent with the National Consensus Project (NCP) Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care, NHPCO Standards of Practice for Hospice Programs, or other widely accepted standards, within their resources and capabilities.
  • Address medical, psycho-social spiritual, and cultural needs throughout the disease trajectory.
  • Use innovative approaches to reach traditionally marginalized populations.
  • Actively partner with other health care organizations, education and training programs, the community, providers of care, and/or insurers.
  • Use metrics that demonstrate significant impact and value for individuals, families and communities.

“This year’s honorees represent leaders who are committed to innovative and patient-centered palliative and end-of-life care,” said AHA president and CEO, Rick Pollack. “Whether by applying detailed patient assessment programs, developing strong community partnerships or expanding the use of electronic medical records to plan ahead, these programs give hope to patients and their families while raising the bar for the entire field.” 

“At Caring Circle, we strive to create meaningful moments for our patients by focusing on quality-of-life and embracing aging, illness, death and grief healing as a part of living,” said Melinda Gruber, PhD, vice president continued care services, Spectrum Health Lakeland. “We are honored to be recognized by the American Hospital Association for this important work.”  

To learn more about Caring Circle services, call 269.429.7100 or 800.717.3811 or visit

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For more information call
(269) 429-7100 or
(800) 717-3811


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