Honoring Choices has joined forces with the Age Friendly, Dementia Friendly and health care leaders across New England, to support more livable communities for healthy living, and improve access to health care information and equitable care.

Thanks to a grant from Tufts Health Plan Foundation, Honoring Choices is bringing together key leaders in Massachusetts (MA), New Hampshire (NH) and Rhode Island (RI) to share their deep expertise and successful programs. This highly dynamic group, named the New England Healthy Living Collective (NE Collective),  agreed we are all working on the same mission with similar barriers to care, and that adults 55 & older are at the forefront of the movement to improve healthy living. Our MA, RI, MA group was soon joined by key leaders from Vermont, Connecticut and Maine.

The NE Collective will align and advance common goals and collaborate on joint projects. We’ll share programs to help transcend the barriers of race, language, culture & ability, while improving access to care through better transportation, housing options, nutrition programs and  community services. Together we will help to ensure all adults living on our borders and traveling through New England can access quality care that honors their values &  care choices.

Here’s what we are working on to date:

  • New England Healthy Living Collective Webpage. In March 2019, Honoring Choices MA published a “one-stop shop” webpage to provide free, downloadable advance care planning tools from 6 states. The goal is to increase access to these documents,  lessen the confusion regarding state laws, and create consistent reciprocity on the Durable Power of Attorney and/or Health Care Proxy.
  • Promote Age-Dementia Friendly Programs & Resources. The new webpage lists important state resources and spotlights the work of each age and dementia friendly group and health care leaders.
  • Serious Illness & MOLST/ POLST/ COLST (Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment). Key state leaders will share their expertise and suggest policy changes to create a more responsive process to address as adult’s changing health needs and care choices. We will work towards consistently honoring documents in their home state and reciprocity across state lines.
  • Coming soon … Joint projects will include promoting incentives for care providers to start early planning conversations for proactive care across an adult’s lifespan, provide resources to manage chronic illnesses and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations, and create a unified process to care for adults with serious illness.

We are just getting started  and everyone is welcome to join us. We are so grateful to all the key advisors spearheading comprehensive programs in their home states, and for lending their expertise and guidance to make a collective impact. Here’s a partial list of participants to date-

In MA, James Fuccione, MA Healthy Aging Collaborative; Beth Soltzberg, Dementia Friends MA; Patty Sullivan, Dementia Friendly MA; Lynne Chase & Dawn Hobil, Healthcentric Advisors; Maura Moxley, Alzheimer’s Association MA/NH; Erin Athens and Patricia Toro, MD, Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare.

In NH, Jennfier Rabalais, NH Alliance for Healthy Aging; Suzanna Markowitz, MD, Exeter Hospital;  Jennifer McCalley, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital; Tim Boyd, Healthcentric Advisors; Paul Drager; Janice McDermott, NH Home Care and Hospice Alliance;  Anne Diefendorf,  Foundation for Healthy Communities.

In RI, Jody Shue Age Friendly RI, Russ Cooney, Healthcentric Advisors.

In CT, Suzanne Blancaflor, Connecticut Department of Public Health.

In VT, Cindy Bruzzese, Vermont Ethics Network.

In ME, Kandyce Powell, Maine Hospice Council.

For more information, contact Ellen DiPaola,  edipaola@honoringchoicesmass.com