February 2020 Newsletter

February 2020 Newsletter

Publication Date: February 28, 2020

Get Ready for National Healthcare Decisions Day in April with Good Talk Tools


National Healthcare Decisions day (NHDD) in April is coming up fast. We're hoping all Coalition members will try out some elements of the Good Talk tools this season and let us know how it goes. It can be a poster, a tagline, a social media post or a new event using the language. Your feedback is essential to helping us ensure the Toolkit is the best it can be.

We’ve just added new resources to the Good Talk Toolkit this week: the tools have been culturally adapted to include posters and activity cards in Spanish that organizations can use to engage the people they serve who use Spanish as their primary language. As with everything else, you can find those materials on our toolkit website. Plans are in the works to add other language specific materials, so the toolkit can benefit as wide an audience as possible.

This change is the first of what is sure to be many advances driven by the Coalition’s newly chartered Public Engagement Working group. The 15-member multidisciplinary team is connecting every three weeks throughout in the run up to April to share ideas, provide input and spread the word about the best ways the Toolkit can benefit organizations throughout Massachusetts – as well as other states eager to test out Good Talk materials. Other projects the working group is developing include creating the Good Talk consumer facing website ourgoodtalk.org that will be up and running in late March, designing social media advertisements and developing a two page guide on the Good Talk for clinicians, so they are prepared with consistent language and concepts should a patient come in seeking a “Good Talk.” The working group will be sharing lessons learned, including data on real consumer behavior, among other things, at the Coalition’s 2020 summit in June (registration is already open here).

The NHDD page on the Honoring Choices Massachusetts website also includes many ideas and tools including the Good Talk Toolkit. And don’t worry if you missed The Conversation Project’s NHDD community call earlier this month about this year’s planned events and initiatives that featured Coalition Executive Director Anna Gosline. You can still hear the recording by clicking here.

Widening the path for training nurses in hospice and palliative care

care dimension

Coalition member Care Dimensions is taking its innovative Hospice Nurse Residency program to the next level, thanks to a major honor for one of its staff. The program helps both new and experienced nurses develop the skills they need to be successful in the field of hospice and palliative care.


“As the population with serious illness grows, expertise in these two areas will be critical for ensuring the provision of high quality care for people with serious illness,” says Care Dimensions Director of Research Susan Lysaght Hurley, PhD, RN who was recently named one of ten people nationwide chosen for Cambia Health Foundation’s Sojourns Scholar Leadership program. “I am humbled to be included in such a terrific group of scholars.” Hurley is one of three nurses selected and the first recipient to represent a community-based hospice and palliative care organization. Hurley is also the co-leader of the Coalition’s effort to create better pathways for nursing schools to educate their students about serious illness care.

Each scholar receives $180,000 in funding over a two-year period to apply towards an individual project in the palliative care field. Hurley says the money will enable Care Dimensions to bring the Hospice Nurse Residency program to three other hospices to test how effective it is in organizations of different sizes and in geographically diverse locations. The funds will also allow them to develop a tool kit that other organizations can use to shape their own training programs. Earlier this month Hurley attended a leadership summit in Portland, Oregon with the other scholars in her cohort as well as the cohort’s mentors and past scholars.

Since it was started in 2015, more than 20 people have completed the Hospice Nurse Residency program. The program is six months long for new graduates of nursing school and three months for more experienced nurses. The program combines classroom work, simulated patient care scenarios, and field observations leading to the nurses working with a controlled caseload of patients under the supervision of a mentor. Students also receive training in self-care. “We make sure we help them take care of themselves,” Hurley says. The feedback on the program has been positive and it has helped many former residents stay in the profession and in some cases secure promotions.

The application process for the Hospice Nurse Residency will be open from March 6 to May 8 for classes that are scheduled to start in September. The application process is competitive. For more information about the Hospice Nurse Residency program visit the website.

If you have a story to share, please let us know! Contact Anna Gosline at [email protected].




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November 2019 Newsletter
November 2019 Newsletter

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In this issue:

  • Good Talk Toolkit Unveiled at Coalition Meeting
  • Hitting the road to promote better communication about what matters most
  • Focus Groups Give the Coalition Insight into Advance Care Planning Challenges for Community Health Organizations