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Honoring Choices Wisconsin expanding across state

Release Date: October 1, 2013
Contact: Lisa Hildebrand - 608.442.3765 lisa.hildebrand@wismed.org

MADISON — Honoring Choices Wisconsin (HCW) is extending its reach across Wisconsin with five health care organizations building improved advance care planning systems this fall. Aspirus, ThedaCare, Mayo Clinic Health System, UW Health Partners Watertown Regional Medical Center and Agrace Hospice & Palliative Care recently signed on to the Wisconsin Medical Society’s initiative to promote the benefits of and improve processes for advance care planning across the state, in health care settings and in the community.

Since March, more than 500 patients have discussed their future medical decisions, including end-of-life preferences, with facilitators trained through Honoring Choices Wisconsin. The conversations help patients understand their health care treatment options, appoint a health care agent, clarify goals, weigh options about the kind of care and treatment they would want or not want, and communicate their wishes to family, friends, clergy, physicians and others.

“Physicians and other health professionals have struggled for years to encourage and enable these crucial conversations, and patients often don’t know where to start,” said Tim Bartholow, MD, the Society’s chief medical officer. “As physicians, we feel that health organizations have an obligation to engage patients on this important matter. Honoring Choices Wisconsin is ensuring that advance care planning becomes the standard of care across the state.”

Through HCW, the Wisconsin Medical Society serves as convener, coordinator and catalyst to build clinical pilot projects based on proven concepts, methodologies, training systems and materials, combined with outreach in communities across the state. The advance care planning facilitations are based on the Respecting Choices® First Steps® model, a program developed by Gundersen Health System.

The new organizations join six first-round participants: Community Care, Inc., Milwaukee; Fort HealthCare in collaboration with Rainbow HospiceCare and the ADRC of Jefferson County, Fort Atkinson; Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin, Madison; Meriter Health Services, Madison; ProHealth Care, Waukesha; and UW Health, Madison.

For more information about Honoring Choices Wisconsin, visit www.honoringchoiceswi.org.


The name “Honoring Choices Wisconsin” is used under license from East Metro Medical Society Foundation.

RESPECTING CHOICES® is a registered mark used under license from Gundersen Lutheran Medical Foundation, Inc.