Consumer Health Equity Advisory Group
Taking the lead to inform and guide health care policy and programs.
At Honoring Choices, we talk with consumers every day about their health care. Adults, families, caregivers- and everyone on the journey with the adult- share their experince in working in partnership with care professionals, and the considerable challenges they face in accessing good care when they need it.
Our Consumer Health Equity Advisory Group brings together adults, advocates, community and consumer groups statewide. Their mission is to share their knowledge and lived experiences to build an improved person driven, community centered, integrated network of care.
The advisory group to taking action to-
- help inform and guide existing and new program design and implementation;
- disrupt structural and health related barriers and build new innovative pathways to access care;
- propose policy and best practice recommendations to ensure timely, equitable care in the community.
Make a Plan. Raise Your Voice. Take Action!
Here's how you can help make needed change.
Make Your Own Plan
Protect your right to get the care you want
- Every person can make decisions about the kind of care they want.
- You don’t just have a say in your care- you have a right to understand your health condition to make decisions about the care you want, and say 'yes' or 'no thanks' to treatments.
- You can make your own plan by writing down your care choices in planning documents.
- Your plan tells others how to care for you when you are sick, even for a short time while you recover.
- A good place to start your plan is by completing a Health Care Proxy.
- It's easy to do yourself. Just print a free Health Care Proxy by clicking here. The Health Care Proxy is available in 15 languages.
Let's spread the word to family, friends and your community for equal access to care planning!
Raise Your Voice
Share your knowledge and experience
Adults and their advocates are sharing the challenges they face everyday in simply trying to get good health care. We are listening carefully to the complex barriers experienced among diverse groups, such as-
- structural racism in communities of color and discrimination in ethnic cultures;
- linguistically inappropriate materials and documents and culturally insensitive planning conversations;
- gender bias and discrimination in receiving treatment;
- the decision-making rights of adults with disabilities are not considered, ignored and not honored;
- widespread behavioral health and wellness challenges and a lack of access to timely care;
- individuals and groups who feel invisible to those making decisions about policy and funding.
Your knowledge and lived experiences are key to informing and guiding change. Let's make health care work for you!
Inform & guide policy and program change
It’s time to shift the balance to person-driven care, and use our shared knowledge to inform and guide policy and programs to advance health equity. Here are some recommendations for change consumers are talking about:
- immediate policy change that closes the gaps on health disparities;
- drive more funding to home and community-based services and to address social determinates of health;
- build a trustworthy health care system;
- coverage to pay for care and services;
- support a diverse well trained, well paid community centered workforce;
- talk with consumers before policy is made
Lend your voice! You or your group are welcome to join the Advisory Group. Email Ellen, email@example.com
Consumers are Transforming Care
We listen carefully to consumers and their advocates, and take action on their suggestions to continually improve and grow our programs. Here are some ways consumers have shaped our programs, and a few of the new projects we are working to inform and guide policy and programs.
Translated Health Care Proxy
We started with 5 translated documents, then quickly heard from consumers who told us what languages would be helpful for their community. We now offer free downloadable Health Care Proxy in 15 languages, with more to go.
“I Have Health Care Proxy” Wallet Card
Consumers asked for a way to help medical personnel quickly contact their Health Care Agent in case of emergency. The wallet card does just that and is appreciated by emergency providers, adults and families alike. You can make your own wallet card, now available in 4 languages.
Information is Key: Free Fact Sheets and more
Consumers regularly request accurate, reliable information on a wide variety of health care topics. With their suggestions, our library of 1-page free and downloadable fact sheets is constantly growing. Additionally, our “Terms, Topics and Tips” page is a quick guide to define medical and legal terms and get some helpful tips suggested by consumers. Everything is on the Resources page.
Hundreds of Consumer Webinars: “Now’s the Time. Make Your Own Plan”
This very popular interactive presentation has been experienced by thousands of consumers over the last 10 years. Consumers learn how to make their own care plan using the free Honoring Choices MA Getting Started Tool Kit. They ask questions and share experiences in real time, and importantly, offer their feedback and ideas. Our Community Partners, such as the MA Councils on Aging, Boston Public Library, primary care offices, gather their community groups for this fun and informative session. Read more.
New Projects: Consumers Taking the Lead to Inform and Guide Programs
Consumers are taking an active role in shaping several initiatives to transform health care planning and ensure every adult can access timely equitable care today and over their lifetime. The projects underway are-
- Building an improved community-based serious illness care framework to access timely equitable care at home and in the community;
- Proposing new pathways to access proactive and preventative care;
- Suggesting policy change which advances health equity and supports person-driven care in the new POLST Program (Portable Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment);
- Improving medical and legal pathways to ensure adults under guardianship receive timely care;
- A new tool kit for adults with disabilities to ensure everyone can understand their health condition and express their care preferences.
Come Join Us. We welcome your perspective and knowledge to shift the balance to powerful person-driven change. Individuals and groups are very welcome!
Contact Ellen at 781 642-0454, or send an email to Ellen at firstname.lastname@example.org