Park Nicollet establishes veterans honor program

In an effort to provide greater support for veterans in hospice, the Park Nicollet Foundation along with Methodist Hospital and HealthPartners introduced the Henry B. Melrose Veterans Honor Program, designed to provide end-of-life care for veterans.

“We appreciate the service and sacrifice that our veterans and their families have made throughout their lifetime, and we take great pride in providing end-of-life care with peace, comfort, and dignity,” said Nancy Gelle, manager of hospice and palliative care for Park Nicollet, in a statement.

Thanks to a $1 million gift to the foundation to establish the Henry B. Melrose Veterans Honor Endowment Fund from Henry Melrose’s son, Ken Melrose, the program will focus on the needs of veterans, including supplemental care at home, integrative therapy in the form of music, massage, aromatherapy and community education to support veterans programs and answer questions about hospice care. Annual income provided from this permanent fund will enable HealthPartners and Park Nicollet hospice programs to care for more than 600 veterans in our community each year.

Of Henry Melrose, Gelle said, “He was a veteran who dedicated his life to serving our country in WWI and WWII and helping others, especially military personnel. We are proud to help carry on his legacy by continuing to care for military personnel and their families moving forward.”

A May 22 dedication ceremony in St. Louis Park included comments from Park Nicollet Health Service President Steve Connelly, Ken Melrose, and Major General Larry Shellito, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs.