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MEDIA ADVISORY: Event Teaches Individuals How to Discuss Preferences for End-Of-Life Care

September 29th, 2015

Story Contact: Jesslyn Chew,

WHAT: On Sept. 29, the University of Missouri, through the Missouri Quality Initiative for
Nursing Homes
, and other organizations will co-sponsor the Conversation Project Event,
which is designed to teach individuals how to communicate their preferences for end-of-
life care. Conversation Project staff will discuss the advantages of advance-care planning
and introduce the topic of advance directives. The aim of the program is to change the
culture of silence surrounding death so end-of-life care openly is discussed.

Attendees will learn how to:

  • discuss their values and what they want for themselves and their family members’ end-of-life care;
  • facilitate conversations about advance-care planning before a medical crisis occurs; and
  • ensure legally that their own and their loved ones’ end-of-life-care preferences are honored through advance directives and surrogate decision-makers.

Trained professionals will be available after the event to counsel individuals on advance-
care planning, advance directives and spiritual and religious issues.

Event sponsors include the Missouri Quality Initiative for Nursing Homes through the
University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing; the School of Social Work and
Gateway Geriatric Education Center at St. Louis University; Baue Funerals, Crematory, and Cemetery; Lutheran Senior Services, Home and Community Based Services; the Missouri Local Area Network for Excellence in Long-Term Care (MOLANE); the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging and the Institute for Public Health at Washington University; the Delmar Gardens Family; Pathways Hospice and Palliative Care; Cremation Society of Missouri; Nurses and Company Home Health, Hospice, and Private Services; Panera Bread Company; and Cardinal Ritter Senior Services..

WHO: The Conversation Project began in 2010 as a grassroots campaign to encourage
individuals to initiate conversations about dying and their end-of-life care preferences.
The Conversation Project now collaborates with the Institute for Healthcare
Improvement (IHI), a not-for-profit organization that helps lead improvement of health
and health care throughout the world.

WHERE: Ethical Society of St. Louis
9001 Clayton Road
St. Louis, Missouri 63117

WHEN:  7-9:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 29

NOTE: Please contact Colleen Galambos at or (573) 882-3701 for additional information.

In 2012, a team of University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing researchers, led by Curators’ Professor Emerita of Nursing Marilyn Rantz and including Galambos, received a $14.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to reduce the re-hospitalizations of nursing home residents. One goal of the grant is to develop communication systems at nursing homes to assure that consistent communication of residents’ decisions about advance directives can take place.