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Circle of Life award

Circle of Life

Caring Circle was recently honored with the 2020 Circle of Life award on behalf of the American Hospital Association (AHA). The Circle of Life award celebrates innovation in palliative and end-of-life care.

Circle of Life award nominations were reviewed and underwent a site visit by a selection committee that included leaders from medicine, nursing, social work, and health care administration.

The Circle of Life award honors programs that:

  • Demonstrate effective patient/family-centered palliative and end-of-life care.
  • Effectively reach populations who have traditionally underutilized care.
  • Partner with community organizations to enhance care throughout the community as a whole.
  • Provide medical, psycho-social, spiritual, and cultural support throughout the continuum of care.
  • Serve people with life-limiting illness, their families, and their communities.
  • Use innovative approaches to meeting the serious illness needs of their communities.

“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.”

How we got there

Over the last decade Caring Circle has expanded services, programs, and care to best serve our aging and seriously ill community members.

  • Caring Circle added the HouseCalls program.
  • Caring Circle, in partnership with Spectrum Health Lakeland, provided funding and training that helped establish PACE of Southwest Michigan, a long-term care program that helps elderly people stay in their homes.
  • Caring Circle began working with the Strong Women of Faith breast cancer support group in Benton Harbor to help learn and get guidance on how to expand the use of hospice care to populations that have been traditionally distrustful of specialized care.
  • Offering more grief healing resources, Lory’s Place has been able to expand programming to offer specific support groups focused on suicide and overdose loss.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic shone more light on the importance of advance care planning. Caring Circle realized the increased need and ramped up efforts in skilled nursing facilities, many of which had experienced significant outbreaks.

Community connections and partnerships are important in getting the right care to everyone in our communities. To learn more about the services and programs provided by Caring Circle or how you can become a part of any community initiatives, call 269.429.7100 or visit

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


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