Mission Statement

  1. We are creating a paradigm shift. We support creating a cultural change that challenges the current construct of healthcare delivery. This construct has not been fundamentally updated since 1965. This will include the movement away from physician/hospital-centered care to patient centered care. It will support the overwhelming medical evidence that when the elderly are asked, they prefer quality-of life over quantity. It will support patient dignity over patient utilization. However, those who prioritize longevity will be equally respected.
  2. We will support that aging is not a disease but a natural process that deserves our respect and compassion.
  3. We will insist that all future research will expand outcomes to include consequent patient cognitive decline, functional decline, institutionalization and the subsequent emotional and financial burden that this creates for the patients’ families.
  4. Community principles will be incorporated into care delivery systems. This will include incorporating doctors, patients, caregivers and their families – including the “community” family.
  5. We will work to ensure that financial reimbursement will remove the incentive from how much a provider does or providing treatment in the most expensive place, to how well the patient centered outcomes were achieved, while controlling cost so that the economic burden to the family is respected and reasonable.
  6. We will not reimburse care for which the patient has not been given full disclosure.
  7. We will value relational interventions as a true measure of better healthcare.
  8. We will elicit our patients’ personal values, respecting culture, spirituality and relationships. That will be our guide to patient centered care. This will include accepting divergent paths, which may challenge our personal beliefs.
  9. Teaching palliative principles and family centered care will be core curriculum in teaching institutions. Although the prevalence of palliative need will be greatest for the advanced elderly, it will be offered to all patients.
  10. To create a new standard of care we must acknowledge the need for utilization flexibility- rarely seen in the demanding partisan approach to issues these days.  This avoids the common problem of “hurting the people we were trying to help” by adjusting benefits based on available resources.
  11. We are advocates for the late life needs of our patients in a system that removes barriers to finding patient defined dignity. Patient goals of care will help providers navigate what the patient needs, not the reverse.
  12. We will recognize that it is equally unethical to over treat a patient as it is to undertreat them; and that the only way to know the proper level of treatment is to ask them directly and in a timely manner for which they can act upon their options.

Organizing Commitee

Aretha Delight Davis, JD, MD

Co-Founder & Executive Director
ACP Decisions

Why did you join the council?

I believe in justice. I believe that a social justice framework that is based in a grassroots movement is the best conceptual approach to help address the systemic inequalities that exist in American medicine.  We are at a critical point in our profession and as a society — we must expose the injustices of our current health care system, work to right those wrongs, and empower patients and their families so that they can truly be at the center of their health and health care.  I’m excited to be able to work with others who understand social justice, public health, and how and where they intersect.

Kathleen T. Grimm, MD, MHSc

Director of Palliative Medicine, Erie County Medcial Center

Daniel R. Hoefer, MD

CMO Outpatient Palliative Care, Sharp HospiceCare
Sharp HealthCare, Family Medicine Sharp Rees-Stealy

Why did you join the council?    

Healthcare continues to need a fundamental structural change based on focusing on the patient not the system and providers.

Mysha Mason, MD (Convener)

University of Colorado School of Medicine

Helen B. McNeal, BBA

Executive Director
CSU Institute for Palliative Care

Why did you join the council?

Because palliative care IS right care when properly and fully delivered because it is care that recognizes and supports the patient’s goals not only for their care but for their quality of life.

John W. Tastad, MA

Program Coordinator
Sharp HealthCare

Why did you join the council?

As the coordinator for Advance Care Planning at Sharp HealthCare in San Diego, I am passionate about person-centered conversations aimed at aligning people’s goals, values and beliefs with the medical treatment and care that they receive. Full disclosure, which leads to informed decision-making, regarding an expected illness trajectory, treatment probabilities and likely outcomes is central to the council’s priorities. I am involved with the council in an effort to promote the on-going effort to promote compassionate conversations that empower people to receive medically appropriate care at the right time.

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