Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital has been named a 2014 Circle of Life Award winner for its comprehensive programs to improve the care of patients near the end of life or with life-limiting conditions – one of just three honorees in the country.

The Circle of Life Award celebrates innovative programs that have made great strides in palliative and end-of-life care across the nation. The Award is presented annually by the American Hospital Association.

Memorial operates a hospice house, Cottage in the Meadow  and offers a largely volunteer-driven Transitions palliative care program that serves more than 200 patients each year in their homes.

“There’s a movement in this community to better respond to the needs and wishes of our loved ones as they approach end of life or face advanced illnesses. We value our role in this effort and will continue to help facilitate these conversations,” said Anne Caffery, president of The Memorial Foundation. “Our goal has always been for Cottage in the Meadow to belong to this community, and Cottage is just a snippet of the programs and services this award recognizes. We’re grateful to be recognized.”

The 2014 Circle of Life Award honorees will receive Circle of Life crystals commemorating their achievements at the AHA-Health Forum Leadership Summit Monday, July 21, in San Diego. Recognized with Memorial will be Baylor Health Care System Supportive and Palliative Care Services in Dallas, Texas, and Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, Pennsylvania.