Honoring Choices Indiana – North Central Receives Health Issues and Challenges Grant
Honoring Choices® Indiana – North Central (HCI-NC), an affiliate of the Hospice Foundation, was formed to advance the idea that everyone in our service area should receive care that honors their personal values and goals in catastrophic situations or at the end of life. HCI-NC recently received a Health Issues and Challenges Grant from the Indiana Department of Health to help build community outreach and facilitation programs to assure that people in traditionally underserved communities have access to advance care planning programs.
This grant aligns with HCI-NC’s mission of promoting and sustaining advance care planning to ensure that every adult’s future health care preferences are discussed, documented and honored. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted why advance care planning is critical for all adults. During the pandemic, patients – many of whom had underlying chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes, heart conditions and COPD – were often unable to communicate their care preferences. In addition, heart conditions, cancer and diabetes are among the top 10 causes of death in the US. Certified advance care planning facilitators, like those trained by HCI-NC, can engage community members who have been diagnosed with one or more of these conditions to discuss and document their care preferences. Studies have shown that integrating advance care planning into community health programs can improve the quality of conversations about health care choices.
To better reach underserved communities, best practices include ensuring programs are developed with leaders in these communities which helps the programs become both self-governed and self-sustaining in the long term. The Healthy Issues and Challenges Grant will help fund community focus-groups, outreach activities, facilitator training (including bilingual facilitators) and ongoing support for these facilitators such as resource materials and ongoing training updates in both St. Joseph and Elkhart counties.