Circle of Life Award: Celebrating Innovation in Palliative and End-of-Life Care

The Circle of Life Awards: Celebrating Innovation in Palliative and End-of-Life Care are presented to honor programs that can be models for other health care organizations working to embed palliative and end-of-life care in a variety of settings.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Circle of Life Awards have been suspended as hospitals, health systems, hospices and palliative care providers continue to respond to the crisis. We recognize that the leaders and staff of these organizations remain intensely focused on providing quality care for their patients and communities while ensuring that their frontline caregivers and staff are supported.

While we are saddened by this suspension, we are proud to support health care organizations on the front lines during pandemic. We thank the palliative and end-of-life care community for their understanding, and we look forward to receiving and reviewing Circle of Life applications in 2021 for the 2022 Awards.

Please contact Jane Jeffries (, director, Circle of Life Awards, with any questions or to be notified when the 2022 application becomes available.

2020 Circle of Life Award Winners

Learn more about the winners in the 2020 Circle of Life Award Winners booklet and honoree video.


Citations of Honor

About the Award

Who Should Apply

The Circle of Life Award honors palliative and end-of-life care programs that:

  • Serve individuals with serious and life-limiting illness, their families, and their communities.
  • Demonstrate effective, patient/family-centered, timely, safe, efficient and equitable care to patients with serious and life-limiting illness.
  • Use innovative approaches to meeting critical needs and serve as sustainable, replicable models.
  • Pursue quality improvement consistent with the National Consensus Project (NCP) Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care, NHPCO Standards of Practice for Hospice Programs or other widely-accepted standards, within their resources and capabilities.
  • Address physical, psychosocial, spiritual, and cultural needs throughout the disease trajectory.


How do you know if your organization is ready to apply for a Circle of Life Award?

An innovative palliative or end-of-life care provider that is measuring and evaluating the impact of its work on patients, family, and/or the community is ready to apply for a Circle of Life award.

Honorees typically are:

  • emphasizing coordinated or integrated care delivery throughout all settings
  • engaging underserved populations
  • promoting palliative care in diverse populations
  • using strategies for engaging communities
  • creating partnerships with other health care organizations and practitioners, and initiatives within long-term care facilities.

Up to three Circle of Life Awards will be presented. The awards committee also may present Citations of Honor to other noteworthy programs.

Please contact Jane Jeffries (, director, Circle of Life Awards, with any questions.

The 2020 Circle of Life Awards: Celebrating Innovation in Palliative and End-of-Life Care are funded, in part, by the Cambia Health Foundation. Major sponsors of the 2020 awards are the American Hospital Association, the Catholic Health Association, and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and National Hospice Foundation. The awards are cosponsored by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, the Center to Advance Palliative Care, the Hospice & Palliative Nurses Association/the Hospice & Palliative Credentialing Center/the Hospice & Palliative Nurses Foundation and the National Association of Social Workers.

Related Resources

The Circle of Life Awards: Celebrating Innovation in Palliative and End-of-Life Care gratefully acknowledge the support of the following organizations.
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