Forum Friday: 2017 Photo Album is Here

Over 450 were in attendance for FHPCA’s 32nd annual Forum at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, May 25-26, 2017. This years theme, “Hospice Keys: Core Practices. Better Care,” focused on the fundamental practices that equip all hospice professionals to provide excellent end-of-life care.

Check out the photos from Forum 2017 HERE. See anyone you recognize?

We are very grateful to the attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, and speakers for making this conference such a success. Subscribe to our email list to stay informed about Forum 2018 updates including the Awards of Excellence call for nominations HERE.

2016 Award Winners

Orlando, FL. – On June 2nd, in conjunction with the Hospice Works Forum, Florida Hospice & Palliative Care Association (FHPCA) announced the 2016 winners of the annual Awards of Excellence in Hospice and Palliative Care.
The Awards of Excellence program was created to identify, recognize and showcase the outstanding and innovative work of individual staff members and hospice programs throughout the state of Florida. This award program aims to provide a venue for hospice professionals to honor their peers and highlight the very best hospice has to offer.
Florida Hospice & Palliative Care Association President and CEO Paul Ledford said, “These four award winners represent some of the best in the hospice care industry. Florida hospice providers are committed to excellent care, and we are proud to have these professionals and programs help make it possible.”
Hospice Work Forum Awards of Excellence Recipients:

The Catalyst Award: Michael Robert Morris, RN – Regency Hospice of NW Florida

The Catalyst Award: Mery Lossada, MD –Hospice of Marion County

The Synergy Award: My Comfort – Suncoast Hospice | Empath Health

The Breakthrough Award: Symptom Reduction Through Integrative Medicine and
Palliative Arts – Suncoast Hospice | Empath Health

About the Awards & The Winners:
The Catalyst Award recognizes an individual in any role within an organization who has consistently demonstrated leadership in forging the collaboration that makes hospice unique. This individual seeks excellence not only in his/her field, but also in cooperation with other disciplines. This individual fosters collaboration and brings teams together to the betterment of his/her organization.
About the Catalyst Award Winners Michael Robert Morris, RN Regency Hospice of NW Florida

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Michael Morris is the Patient Care Coordinator of Regency Hospice in Pensacola, managing the day-to-day operations of all hospice care and coordinates services of the interdisciplinary team. He also has a growing family and military obligations as a reservist with the US Army, having served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Michael models a commitment to superior patient care that inspires and strengthens the hospice team. His co-workers respect and admire his work ethic and dedication to both the staff and the patients. Because Michael demonstrates selflessness, his team members are happy to follow his lead and do what it takes as well. No one demonstrates all that hospice embodies with more honesty, more authenticity and more unpretentiousness than does this man. A nurse sums it up simply by saying “his doing things like he does makes doing my job easier and makes me strive to do a better job.” Michael Morris is the Catalyst for Regency Hospice.

Mery Lossada Awards of Excellence

Mery Lossada, MD
Hospice of Marion County
Challenging and unusual cases seem to find their way to Dr. Lossada. It’s the mutual law of attraction for a passionate hospice physician whose dedication leaves no stone unturned to ensure dignity for all patients, especially those in less-than-ideal situations.
Her everyday cases include tending to a homeless man living in a city park, sending a young girl to Disney World attached to a morphine pump, transporting a 26-year-old patient to Mexico so he could die at home, getting a 200-pound dog to a hospice house so his owner could pet him one more time or helping a teenager whose entire body was crushed in a “car-surfing” accident graduate from high school.
A true advocate for the less-advantaged, Dr. Lossada is a physician whose sees her place as” in the trenches” with her team. No task is too large or too small in the service of her patients.
The Synergy Award recognizes a group of people in any role or configuration that has consistently demonstrated the ideals of collaboration and teamwork in working toward a goal or mission. This group not only seeks excellence within itself, but also inspires excellence and collaboration throughout the hospice environment.

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About the Synergy Award Winner
My Comfort
Suncoast Hospice | Empath Health
Using business improvement and project management principles, the Suncoast Hospice Lavender facility team and Bon Secours St. Petersburg Health System established a partnership based on a mutual desire to create an exceptional palliative and end-of-life care experience for Bon Secours residents and families. They named the project My Comfort, which includes hospice, palliative care consults and community resources. My Comfort has produced increased service days; heightened staff and volunteer engagement; creation of a caregiver library; My Comfort rooms for palliative and end-of-life care; and My Comfort baskets with items for reflection, comfort and remembrance. The My Comfort team will continue to analyze and respond to the needs of residents, families, staff and the community of Bon Secours St. Petersburg Health System.
The Breakthrough Award recognizes an individual or team who, through their efforts to research and implement new ideas, has improved hospice care. Whether piloting a new program, streamlining

a process or discovering a better way to provide a service, the recipient of this award advances the mission of hospice and provides a path for others to follow.

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About the Breakthrough Award Winner
Symptom Reduction Through Integrative Medicine and Palliative Arts
Suncoast Hospice | Empath Health
Hospice patients experience various symptoms that may be reduced using alternative therapies such as Acupuncture and Reiki as complements to their traditional Western medicine. The objective of this project was to explore the benefits of Suncoast Hospice Integrative Medicine Clinic in providing symptom reduction. Forty-one patients participated in an average of five Integrative Medicine Clinic sessions provided by licensed acupuncturists/physician and Reiki Masters. The Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) demonstrated symptom reduction severity post-session for pain, nausea, anxiety and dyspnea. Acupuncture and other complementary treatments were found to be effective for the reduction of symptoms that commonly affect hospice patients. In the coming year, Suncoast Hospice plans to further quantify the effects of the Integrative Medicine Clinic and Palliative Arts Program through a patient survey and the addition of pre and post session scores to the Volunteer note.
Congratulations to the award winners for their dedicated work to quality hospice care in Florida. Special thanks to our Catalyst Award Sponsor, Home Healthcare Solutions for their support of the Awards of Excellence program. To learn more about the Awards of Excellence program, visit To learn more about hospice, palliative care, visit

About the Awards of Excellence Selection Process:
Nominations are judged by a selection committee composed of leaders within the hospice industry. The selection committee considered the examples provided and specific details that demonstrated how nominees have exceeded expectations and, by their actions, made those around them better. Nominees do not compete against each other; rather they are judged individually against a high standard of excellence and innovation.

About Florida Hospice & Palliative Care Association:

Florida Hospice & Palliative Care Association (FHPCA) is a not-for-profit, IRS Section 501(c)(3) organization representing hospice patients and families, hospice professionals and hospice providers. FHPCA strives to assure excellence in, and expand access to, hospice and palliative care, and advocates for the needs of those in the final stages of life.

2000 Apalachee Parkway, Suite 200, Tallahassee, Florida 32301 Telephone: 850.878.2632
Hospice Helpline: 800.282.6560
The Catalyst Award_Paul Ledford_Mery Lossada_Susan De Cuba
Florida Hospice and Palliative Care Association President and CEO Paul Ledford

Treasure Coast Hospice President and CEO Susan De Cuba Chief Medical Officer Mery Lossada, MD.
Synergy Award_Suncoast_Kimberly White and Representative from Bon Secour Nursing Home
Kimberly White, Suncoast Hospice
Representative from Bon Secour Nursing Home
Breakthrough Award_Marci Pruitt
Marci Pruitt, Suncoast | Empath Health
The Catalyst Award_Rob Goodsell_Michael Morris
Rob Goodsell, Home Healthcare Solutions
Michael Morris, Regency Hospice North West Florida
Synergy Award_Suncoast_The Lavender Team.JPG
Suncoast Hospice | Empath Health
Synergy Award_Suncoast_InHome_Kimberly White_Dustin Fries_Representative from Bon Secour
Kimberly White, Suncoast Hospice
Dustin Fries, InHome Medical Solutions
Representative from Bon Secour Nursing Home
Breakthrough Award_Paul Ledford_Marci Pruitt_Susan De Cuba_Craig Long
Florida Hospice and Palliative Care Association President and CEO Paul Ledford Marci Pruitt, Suncoast | Empath Health
Treasure Coast Hospice President and CEO Susan De Cuba
Craig Long, Deyta Analytics