At the close of this challenging year, we'd like to share a wealth of resources and innovative ideas, and highlight the work of just some of our amazing Partners and Ambassadors.
I am immensely grateful to all the Honoring Choices MA Partners, Ambassadors and Consumers working together to ensure every adult can access high quality, person-driven care over their lifetime. Many thanks- Ellen DiPaola, President & CEO
Center for Living & Working (CLW), Worcester, which takes its direction from persons with disabilities, empowers adults to take active roles in their lives and in their community. Honoring Choices worked with Meg Coffin, Executive Director, and CLW's dedicated staff to provide the latest health care planning information and tools, to support the staff’s work in ensuring all adults have access to quality person-driven health care. Learn more here.
Project Phoenix : A Food Hub Rises in Lynn
Greater Lynn Senior Services has joined with the Lynn Food Security Task Force to bring an exciting new initiative to life: Project Phoenix. This program will provide access to good food and nutritional counseling free of charge to the City of Lynn, addressing a significant health-related social need. “We are in the beginning stages of this important effort to successfully assist our community for a long time to come," says Kathryn C. Burns, GLSS Executive Director. Learn more here.
Problem-solving to Advance Health Equity
MLPB believes in the power of justice to advance health. Their Digital Digest is an impressive resource for MA & RI care teams who want to be more effective social need problem-solving partners with the people they serve. "The Digital Digest covers 10+ domains of health-related social needs (e.g., Housing, Food, Transportation, Immigration, Mental Health etc.)," says Samantha Morton, CEO, "with attention to key changes and what they mean for successful problem-solving." View this unique, comprehensive resource here.
1000 Health Care Planning Ambassadors!
"I am so happy to be an Ambassador with Honoring Choices," says Michelle Kelleher, Senior Services Coordinator, Town of Lexington, Council on Aging.Michelle joins the over 1000 strong Health Care Planning Ambassador Network. "This program makes it simple to confidently start tough planning conversations. The Getting Started Tool Kit and documents are easy to navigate. It's a valuable program for seniors." Ambassador Workshops are no cost. Join us!
Taking the Lead
MHA sprang into action to support front-line staff and hospitals throughout the pandemic with continuous education, organizing two PPE bulk purchases, and convening a telemedicine coalition, and much more. Explore here:
Dec, 17, 3pm Free Webinar: COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A: What You Need to Know as a Healthcare Worker.Register.
“We care for seniors in their neighborhoods," says Juan Ascencio, Senior Whole Health (SWH), "helping adults stay in their own homes and communities for as long as possible." SWH provides additional benefits and services to low income seniors on Mass Health. SWH staff speak several languages to assist with the diversity in our communities. SWH's Health Care Planning Ambassadors use the Honoring Choices multi-lingual planning documents to help adults make a plan. Learnmore here.
Talking About Dementia and Culture
Over 625 participants joined Let’s Talk About Dementia and Culture: How We Talk and Teach About Dementia in Cultural and Linguistic Communities webinar, a far-reaching and timely discussion of disparities in the risk of developing dementia, and how we can learn from the values and wisdom of many cultural traditions. You can access recording and multi-lingual tools here.ContactBeth Soltzberg, Dementia Friends MA at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rapid Coordinated Community Response
Over 30 health and community organizations, convened by Lawrence General Hospital and the Quality Improvement Organization, have joined together to create the Post Acute Incident Command Work Group. "The group meets efficiently twice/weekly to quickly respond to patient needs for current and potential Covid-19 surges," says Nicole Garabedian RN, MSN, Director of Clinical Operations, Lawrence General Hospital, "establishing shared standards of care to ensure safe transitions across the continuum." A collaborative Dashboard keeps everyone updated! Nicole.Garabedian@lawrencegeneral.org
Barbra Rabson, President & CEO, Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP) , launched a “Together for Better Telehealth” survey series this year. The surveys are open to all clinicians and are intended to help improve the safety and quality of care across all specialties.
Wave 1, 2 and 3 survey results are in and offer practical tips, the clinician's experience, and suggestions for improving the patient experience. We were delighted to support MHQP by distributing the surveys to the Honoring Choices Partners.
Berkshire Community College Health Scholars
Following an Ambassador Workshop with Gena DiSimoni Johnson, Executive Director, and the Berkshire AHEC staff, Shelia Dargie scheduled an Ambassador Workshop with the Berkshire AHEC Health Scholars to educate Nursing and PTA students at Berkshire Community College. We are delighted to enhance the knowledge and skills of students to confidently engage their patients in proactive health care planning and goals of care discussions. Learn more here.
Medical Liaisons Providing Critical Family Support
Last April, Elizabeth Collins, MD, Palliative Care Medical Director, and several physicians at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, realized quickly that they needed to find a way to help Covid-19 patients and their families communicate, as families could not be at the bedside. The Medical Liaison Program was born, recruiting physicians and practitioners who were not seeing patients, to call families twice a day with updates. “Palliative care isn’t just end-of-life care,” explained Dr. Collins. “It’s also about providing emotional support for patients and caring for the patients’ families.” Read full article here.
In a year like no other, Debbie Fins, LICSW, CMC, Director, JHC LifeCare Management, Worcester, wants to thank all of the front-line workers in all health settings who provided care, comfort and communication between patients and families. "We are proud to have helped families make tough decisions in line with the values of the patients." DLFins@jhclifecare.org
Welcome Highland Valley Elder Services
We welcome our newest Community Partner, Highland Valley Elder Services (HVES), Florence, MA, serving 24 area communities. HVES helps older adults & families through a range of programs such as Case Management, Family & Caregiver Support, Home Health Services, Home Delivered Meals and much more. Their Information & Referral line helps consumers & care providers in Western MA. Website here.
Serious Illness Conversation Guides
Working with Jane Kavanagh and Erik Fromme, MD Ariadne Labs (AL), Honoring Choices introduced AL's Serious Illness Conversation Guides to our Partners and Ambassadors. The 60 minute webinar provides a best communication approach to engage high risk patients in proactive planning conversations and document patient care choices. The webinar has been very well received by physicians, nurses, social workers, care managers, and all front-line staff. No cost webinar; learn more here.
Home Care Ambassador
"I am proud to be a Health Care Planning Ambassador," says Maria Taraves, American Dream Homecare Agency, Brocton, who helps adults transition to home care and support their health needs at home. As an Ambassador who is bi-lingual, Maria can offer a translated Health Care Proxy & Personal Directive to Spanish and Portuguese speaking adults in communities she serves. Email: email@example.com
Jodi Kashouh, MS, who convenes the Western MA Transitions in Care Cross Continuum (400+ provider organizations) and Honoring Choices co-hosted the Engaging Adults in Seamless Conversations from Simple to Serious Illness webinar. Participants reviewed the HCM Getting Started Tool Kit to start a simple conversation, and how to flow into a what matter most conversation using the Ariadne Labs Serious Illness Conversation Guides. The group now shares effective language & tools to communicate patient choices across organizations.
MA e-MOLST Web Portal
Using the e-MOLST web portal, health care providers can now use telehealth and in-person visits to start proactive planning conversations with high risk adults, and easily complete an electronic Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, e- MOLST form. The MA e-MOLST Web Portal is sponsored by Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness Care, in collaboration with Ariadne Labs and Honoring Choices MA with support from Vynca, Inc. It's no cost. Learn more here.
Improving Care Transitions with e-MOLST
Dawn Hobill, Healthcentric Advisors , Paula Griswold, MA Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors and Honoring Choices hosted Introduction to e-MOLST webinar for over 200 multi-disciplined care providers across the health care spectrum. We explored how clinicians & their care teams can build the free web portal into their workflow to improve care and the patient experience within their own organization and in transitions between care settings. Part 2 coming soon!
Better Access to Life-Saving Care
Brigham & Women’s Portable ECMO Program and Boston MedFlight have teamed up to improve access to life saving treatment. ECMO, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, is a lifesaving treatment for people whose heart or lungs are failing. The Brigham & Women’s ECMO team coordinates with Boston MedFlight's critical care team to treat patients in surrounding hospitals outside of Boston, greatly expanding access to patients who can benefit from this specialized care.
National POLST, a 42 state collaborative, is working to create a national standard for serious illness care. As an Honoring Choices Partner, we have posted National POLST's consumer and health care provider evidence-based tools, videos and programs on our website.
Massachusetts is a National POLST member. Start to explore here. All resources are free-
Thank you all! Wishing you a joyous and restful season.
Honoring Choices Massachusetts is a consumer focused, non-profit organization that informs, empowers and helps adults and families to make a health care plan and connect to person-directed care all through their lives. Visit us at www.honoringchoicesmass.com