Honoring Choices: It takes a village to ensure patients’ voices are heard

Advance Care Planning should include a conversation
about goals and values as well as health care choices
and preferences. The best time to do that is now—not
when faced with a crisis.
March 20, 2014
At Fairview, we’re committed to making sure that patients are heard at every point in their health care journey—even when they are unable to speak for themselves.

That’s why Fairview promotes the benefits of Advance Care Planning and trains employees and others in how to facilitate it.

We are doing this in partnership with Honoring Choices Minnesota, an initiative of the Twin Cities Medical Society that encourages people ages 18 and older to discuss, define and document their health care preferences.

And now, members of our community are joining in the effort.

“Honoring Choices is truly about making sure that the patient’s voice is heard regarding all points of care,” says Heidi Meyers, Advance Care Planning coordinator for Fairview.

Training parish nurses to encourage conversation
To encourage families and people in our communities to have discussions regarding their health care choices and preferences, Fairview has been training parish nurses, faith leaders and other community members.

“Parish nurses are a natural fit to serve as advocates of Advance Care Planning,” says Meyers.

“Their involvement with Honoring Choices has allowed us to take a more deliberate approach to advancing this important work in our faith communities.”

Fairview offers facilitator training and a variety of presentation tools and resources. Since 2011, more than 80 community members—including nearly 50 parish nurses—have taken Honoring Choices training and refresher courses.
Parish Nurse_News_HorizMed
Mary Jo Hallberg is a parish nurse who received training
through Fairview to be a facilitator and host Advance Care
Planning sessions with her parish members.

A ‘great framework’ for important discussions
Mary Jo Hallberg, parish nurse at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in St. Paul, was among the first facilitators to receive training through Fairview.

After taking the Honoring Choices course, Hallberg began hosting Advance Care Planning sessions with her parish members.

“Honoring Choices provides a great framework for Advance Care Planning,” says Hallberg.

“It really takes health care directives beyond paperwork and encourages individuals to have discussions with those closest to them about what they want for their care.”

Fairview also partners with the Stairstep Foundation, a collaboration of African-American congregations advancing community relationships, resources and values.

“Through Stairstep, we have partnered with church leaders to bring Advance Care Planning training and resources into the community,” says Meyers.

Ensuring your wishes are met
Taking the time to think about and discuss your goals, values and beliefs as they may relate to future health care choices and decisions can help to ensure that, when the time comes, your wishes are met.

“What people don’t always realize is that the best time to make an Advance Care Plan is now—not when faced with a crisis,” says Meyers.

To make your own Advance Care Plan, you can register online for Honoring Choices classes or by calling Fairview Access Services at 612-672-7272 or 800-824-1953. You also can visit our Honoring Choices webpage for more information.

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