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Health on the Hill: A Collaborative Journey to Transform Advanced Illness Care

By Mark Dann – Federal Affairs Director, Compassion & Choices

For many of us in America, it probably will not be a surprise when we die. The majority of us will be at an advanced age. Most Americans would say they want to continue to have a purpose and connection to our communities in their final chapter; be in physical comfort; have their emotional and psychological needs met; get support from their families
and caregivers; have financial security; and, at the end, a peaceful passing.

The sad truth is that is not how many Americans will experience end-of-life care. Loneliness, pain and suffering, and trauma are frighteningly common.

There is a growing consumer movement determined to change that paradigm and get us the end-of-life care that we want.

Last week, I was on a webinar sponsored by the National Quality Forum in which we discussed what different leaders in end-of-life care are doing to reform it. We heard from allies such as:

David Longnecker, MD, Chief Clinical Innovations Officer, Coalition to Transform Advanced Care
Susan Frampton, President of Planetree
Lisa Freeman, Executive Director, Connecticut Center for Patient Safety
Sally Welsh, Chief Executive Officer – Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center
Amy Melnick, Executive Director at National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care
Lois Cross, RN, MSN, ACM Richard Zorza, JD

Together we, with the help of many others, created Strategies for Change — A Collaborative Journey to Transform Advanced Illness Care. Its goal is to serve as a blueprint for the end-of-life care that we all hope to experience. Compassion & Choices will continue to work with our allies to advance these common ideals.