By Keith Stirewalt
Hospice & Palliative CareCenter, Novant Health, Rowan Hospice & Palliative Care, and Wake Forest Baptist Health have come together to promote a common cause in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina.
The Community Partnership for Compassionate Care (formerly known as the Community Partnership for End of Life Care) is a regional coalition of the North Carolina Partnership for Compassionate Care. The Community Partnership for Compassionate Care is an award-winning, nationally-recognized partnership designed to encourage and facilitate the advance care planning process. The partnership and its members have created “Got Plans?” and related resources to help promote decisions, discussions, and documentation related to the advance care planning process.
Our vision for community education:
Imagine a community where the approach to dying is couched in a philosophy of living as well as possible until death, including effective pain management, help for caregivers and sensitivity to patients’ wishes and dignity. Visualize an entire community knowing how to plan ahead to ensure those wishes are honored; one where families all have easy access to grief and bereavement support. Picture physicians comfortable talking about death and dying and eager to help honor patient’s wishes. Our mission is to “encourage conversations about end of life care.”
History. Healthcare organizations and attorneys throughout the Piedmont Triad region of NC joined to form the Community Partnership for End of Life Care (now referred to as The Community Partnership for Compassionate Care). The mission of this partnership has been to “encourage conversations about end of life care.” Working closely with other healthcare partners, one of the primary goals became the creation of a simplified advance directive for North Carolina and a regional initiative for advance care planning.
The Partnership’s inaugural event in January 2001 brought more than 200 people to a community-wide forum addressing how to improve end of life care in our area. Governor Beverly Perdue was the keynote speaker and Senator Richard Burr was the closing speaker. Since that time, the Partnership has won several awards for its work in the community.
The group created a much more user-friendly advance directive, condensing complicated forms. John Moskop, PhD, led the initiative at Wake Forest Baptist Health along with Jay Foster, DMin, Keith Stirewalt, PA, MDiv, MBA and Beth Gianopulos, JD. Leaders from Novant Health included Melissa Phipps, JD, Deb Love, JD, MBA, MA, Tom Bauer, Dee Leahman and Reba Teeter. Aimee Smith, JD, Kate Mewhinney, JD, other local attorneys and several local medical centers including Cone Health and High Point Regional Health participated.
These simplified advance directive forms for NC are currently being used at Wake Forest Baptist Health, Novant Health, Hospice & Palliative CareCenter, Rowan Hospice & Palliative Care, Cone Health, High Point Regional Health, UNC Health Care, Mission Health, Randolph Hospital, Morehead Memorial Hospital, Hospice of Randolph County, and Begin the Conversation with Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter.