We are pleased to announce the launch of MAseriouscare.org. The site is designed to grow with us as our work together progresses. It's a digital "meeting place" for Coalition members to learn more about our programs, initiatives and upcoming events. Our goal is for the site to become an interactive destination for health professionals and consumers alike. We invite you to take a tour of the site - and we welcome your feedback! Check back often, since we will be adding content to the site in the coming months.
November 2016 Newsletter
Our Website Has Launched!
November 7th Coalition Meeting Update
On November 7th, we convened an invigorating Coalition working session at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. More than 60 Coalition members came together to discuss progress on their commitments and to share updates including:
- The announcement of our most important upcoming initiative: a spring public awareness campaign. We plan to bring an expanded version of "National Healthcare Decisions Day" to the Commonwealth, with a Health Care Decisions Month throughout April 2017.
- The campaign will be comprehensive, with consumer, organizational, and government components. The focus will be on encouraging people to have advance care planning conversations with their family and others during April.
- The campaign will culminate with our second annual summit, scheduled for May 9, 2017.
- Meanwhile, Governor Baker has expressed strong support for and interest in the work of the Coalition. Through the Executive Offices of Health and Human Services and Elder Affairs, we will keep the Governor updated on our progress.
We'll be in touch soon with more details on how you can lend your support to this upcoming campaign!
Progress on Member Commitments
During the November 7th meeting, we heard from colleagues about important progress on their ambitious commitments:
Ellen DiPaola, President, Honoring Choices Massachusetts, told the group about the 16 Alliance Partners’ commitment to provide 2,766 member organizations and their 10,647 care providers with Massachusetts-based health care planning materials and proven approaches to engage adults in planning discussions.
Dr. Juliet Jacobsen and Susan Edgman-Levitan from the Palliative Care Division at Massachusetts General Hospital described the Program in Palliative Care Education, a multi-year initiative. This effort encompasses interdisciplinary practice models to educate front-line clinicians as well as patients and families - and MGH employees - on the value of palliative care and advanced care planning. (See the article below for more details.)
Aline Russotto, representing Hebrew Senior Life (HSL), noted that all nine of the HSL’s entities will create entity-specific pilots to determine how best to align their care services with individual values and preferences. Learning from these pilot programs will be combined by December 2017 to form a collection of organizational best practices for ensuring person-centered care impacting the lives of older adults, staff members and families.
Cathleen Colleran-Santos, President of the American Nurses Association Massachusetts, and a professor at the Curry College School of Nursing, talked about expanding nursing school curricula across the Commonwealth to include an increased focus on advance care planning.
These commitments are great examples of tangible progress toward achieving our ambitious goals.
Massachusetts General Hospital Advances Palliative Care Education with The Palliative Care Continuum Project
At Mass General, the palliative care program provides specialized care for people with serious illness, focusing on improving quality-of-life for patients and families. In 2015, MGH formed a Palliative Care Task Force. Its mission: to fully meet the needs of patients with serious illness across the continuum of care. Through the task force’s efforts, MGH launched The Palliative Care Continuum Project. The program involves interdisciplinary practice models for their key pillars of strategy, including:
- Primary Palliative Care Education – Develop core competencies, training modules and skill-building to educate front-line clinicians;
- Advance Care Planning – Provide education to clinicians to give them the knowledge and tools needed to engage in high-quality advance care planning conversations; and
- Patient Engagement – Develop programs to educate patients and families about palliative care and to empower them to meet their palliative care needs.
“We are inspired by all the great work being done by the members of the Coalition,” said Dr. Vicki Jackson, Division Chief of Palliative Care and Geriatric Medicine. “The Palliative Care Continuum Project is our way of ensuring patients, families, and clinicians are empowered with the necessary knowledge, skills, and resources to ensure the highest quality serious illness care.”
“Our engagement strategy is focused not just on patients, but on all of our clinicians and staff. We have the opportunity to spread important information to all the diverse communities our clinicians and staff live in. With about 25,000 employees in our network, we can create a very real impact.”
Contact Richard Averbuch at Richard.Averbuch@bcbsma.com to share your commitment story in an upcoming issue of the newsletter.
Mass General Hospital Palliative Care Division's 20th Anniversary Celebration featuring a day of exciting programming with keynote address by BJ Miller, MD, acclaimed TED Talk speaker
Living Well in the Face of Serious Illness:
Wed., Dec 7, 2016 12:00-6:00 p.m. at MGH
Email here to RSVP. Visit program site.
Roundtable on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness
On December 15th in Washington D.C., the Roundtable on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness will host its first public workshop on integrating the patient and caregiver voice into serious illness care. The workshop will feature panel discussions and presentations, including participation by Coalition Founding Member Ellen Goodman.
November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month
November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month—a great time to start new serious illness care conversations and build awareness. Learn more about this national effort.