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Elizabeth Edwards Presented With Person of the Year Award by National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization at National Conference
Date:5/7/2009

ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Minutes after Elizabeth Edwards was presented with NHPCO's Person of the Year Award, she took a moment at the podium to look at her notes as a shout came from the audience, "We love you!" A wide smile brightened her face as the audience of 1,600 broke out in spontaneous applause, filling the room with positive energy and optimism that was reinforced by Edwards' remarks.

Edwards received NHPCO's Person of the Year Award in recognition of her work as a fierce advocate for improved and accessible healthcare. In addition, she was acknowledged for her courage in the face of serious illness and life's challenges and her willingness to share lessons learned from her experiences.

J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president/CEO, honored Edwards at the April 23rd opening session of the organization's annual Management and Leadership Conference in Washington, DC. The Person of the Year Award honors an individual outside of the hospice and palliative care community who is a true supporter of the hospice cause.

"Mrs. Edwards is rallying for changes to the healthcare system that will improve access, quality and -- for those facing the end of life -- comfort and dignity. Her personal experience in coping with cancer, caring for aging and ill parents, and her professional work in the legal and policy areas have made her a passionate proponent for change," Schumacher said in his introduction.

A key message Edwards brought to the assembled leaders from hospice and palliative care programs across the nation was the obligation we all have of making sure that every American gets the care they need, when they need it, wherever they are.

Edwards stressed that an individual facing illness should never be defined by his/her medical condition. This philosophy -- that puts the person at the center of care and emphasizes the dignity and individuality of all p
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SOURCE National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
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