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RUTLAND — At the VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region (VNAHSR), volunteers play a critical role in enhancing the end-of-life experiences of people facing serious illness and their families. Volunteers represent all life experiences and are drawn to hospice for a variety of reasons, but the defining characteristics that unite them are compassion and the desire to help others. Their many skills are matched to important tasks within the VNAHSR mission.

The organization provides training for those interested in becoming hospice volunteers. Training will be held on Friday, April 14, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Casella Conference Room at the Rutland office, located at 7 Albert Cree Drive. Training is free and open to individuals 16 years of age and older. Volunteers need to pass a background check. No previous hospice and health care experience is required. Pre-registration and proof of COVID-19 vaccination are required.

Once training is complete, assignments and schedules are tailored to the volunteer’s geographic and time commitment preferences.

Training Topics include:

Understanding the Hospice philosophy of care

Knowing boundaries when interacting with patients and families

Communicating with patients and families

Understanding basic health and safety precautions

Understanding patient confidentiality

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The Benefit of Becoming a Hospice Volunteer

While the volunteers make a tremendous impact on the lives of our patients, families and staff, organizers hear time and again that the volunteers also benefit from their hospice experiences. Among the things they mention are:

Increased appreciation for living life in the moment and defining what is really important

Greater knowledge and more inner peace about the end-of-life experience

Greater insight about diversity and the different perspectives among cultures

Heightened sense of fulfillment and pride because of their contributions to patients and families and to the VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region.

For more information or to register call Mary at 802-442-0540 or email at

VNAHSR is a non-profit, Medicare-certified home health and hospice agency delivering a range of advanced medical care with compassion, dependability, and expertise to people of all ages throughout Bennington and Rutland Counties.

With office locations in Bennington, Dorset, Manchester, and Rutland, the agency has over 250 trusted health professionals and caregivers committed to providing care to patients and families.


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