Commemorative Stamp Honors Hospice Care
The U.S. Postal Service issued the Hospice Care Coommerative Stamp in early February to help in raising awareness about health and social issues--this time about hospice.
"The Hospice Care stamp will help raise the visibility of this highly effective health care service," said M. Richard Porras, Postal Service Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President. Porras noted that the USPS hopes all 100 million of the 33-cent stamps will be used on cards and envelops - not collected - in order to spread the word about Hospice.
The stamp was designed by veteran stamp designer Phil Jordan of Falls Church, VA to symbolize life’s journey to its final stage, the stage where Hospice lends its vision for end-of-life care. The Hospice stamp features a large green field in front and a tree beside a while house, with a large yellow and red butterfly flying above. The words Hospice Care are in italics in black at the top of the stamp, and "usa 33" appears in white at the bottom left.
Hospice is a holistic, team-oriented
care program that seeks to treat and comfort terminally ill patients and
their families, at home or in a home-like setting. Today, Hospices across
the country provide a unique blend of medicine, compassion and caring for
terminally ill patients and their families.
The modern Hospice movement was founded by Dame Cicely Saunder in England in 1967. The first American Hospice was established in 1974 in New Haven, CN. Now more than 2,600 operational or planned hospice programs exist in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Hospice Care Stamp Dedication
"This beautiful new hospice stamp gives us the opportunity to share the message that dying well, surrounded by friends and loved ones, is an option available to all Americans.
"As more Americans live longer, managing end-of-life care has increasingly become a subject for families to plan together. In fact, a nationwide Gallup poll conducted in 1996 for the National Hospice Organization showed that, when asked to name their greatest fear associated with death, "being a burden to family and friends" ranked the highest, followed by "fear of pain." Hospice care addresses both of these fears -- and many others as well.
"Last year, almost 500,000 terminally ill people received medical and emotional support through 3,000 hospices in the United States. Yet too many people still do not know about the services that hospice provides at end-of-life, not only for the patients but also for their families. In fact, hospice is the standard of excellence for end-of-life care.
"We are so grateful to the U.S.
Postal Service for this stamp. We know the power of a stamp to create awareness
among people who are unaware. Today there are people who are dying alone
and in pain, without the compassionate support for themselves and their
families that hospice provides. This stamp will help make more people aware
that hospice is there for them."