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AzHHA awarded $1 million grant to aid end-of-life care & planning services

Grant funding part of innovative, community-wide partnership to address & improve end-of-life healthcare for Arizonans

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release │ July 25, 2017
Media Contact: Shayna Diamond │602-445-4327 │sdiamond@azhha.org

PHOENIX –  The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) is proud to announce it has been awarded a four-year, $1 million grant from the Lovell Foundation. The grant will enable AzHHA to pursue transformative work in the area of end-of-life care via the “Thoughtful Life Conversations” coalition.

“End-of-life care is not always easy to talk about, but it is absolutely essential that patients have these candid conversations with their families and healthcare providers,” said AzHHA President & CEO Greg Vigdor. “We launched the Thoughtful Life Conversations coalition to help shine a light on this issue, and these grant dollars from the Lovell Foundation will assist our efforts to improve public awareness and understanding of the complex issues involved with end-of-life care.”

AzHHA is among 10 Arizona non-profit organizations to share in grants totaling $2.5 million from the Lovell Foundation. The funding is intended to support end-of-life care programs that engage the community; education professionals and patients; institute community standards of practice; assist with healthcare workforce development and impact public policy.

“The Lovell Foundation grant will allow AzHHA, with its affiliate partners, to implement scalable healthcare solutions that deliver better communication resources at the most critical moments in people’s lives,” said Sandy Severson, AzHHA Vice President of Care Improvement. “These funds will enable us to rigorously spread scientific methodology and best practices around advance care planning to healthcare providers and communities to ensure patients’ end-of-life care preferences are honored.”

“Our collective goal is to fundamentally change the narrative on how we plan for, care for and experience death and dying in Southern Arizona and beyond,” said John Amoroso, Executive Director of the Lovell Foundation. “Ultimately we all – individuals, families, caregivers, health systems and communities – bear the responsibility for changing the status quo by helping each other to engage in compassionate, honest conversations about our mortality, the type of healthcare we wish to receive and how it is given across the spectrum of life choices.”

A component of this grant includes a collaborative partnership with AzHHA and two statewide organizations representing physicians: the Arizona Medical Association (ArMA) and Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association.

“Studies have shown that only 30 percent of older patients have completed an advanced care plan, while just 30 percent of physicians report having been trained to conduct such conversations,” said Dr. Ron Fischler, ArMA member and Chairman of the End of Life Task Force. “The focus of this partnership will be to educate Arizona physicians and healthcare teams on how to improve communications with patients, and to raise public awareness of the importance of planning for end-0f-life healthcare. This grant money represents a significant step forward in that mission.”

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About AzHHA

AzHHA is Arizona’s statewide association for those organizations and individuals devoted to collectively building better healthcare and health for the patients, people and communities of Arizona. Founded in 1939, AzHHA’s objective is to improve healthcare through Better Care, Better Health and Lower Costs with the ultimate goal of making Arizona the healthiest state in the nation. For more information, please contact communications@azhha.org or call (602) 445-4300.

About the David and Lura Lovell Foundation

Over the past 23 years, the Lovell Foundation awarded more than $14 million in grants to nonprofits for specific projects. This is the first time the foundation’s leadership identified a specific societal need – end-of-life care and planning – and solicited proposals for programs that could provide solutions. For more information, visit www.lovellfoundation.org or call (520) 325- 3656.