GOCCNJ and Hackensack Meridian Health, JFK Medical Center Partner to Host Advance Care Planning Summit in Conjunction with National Healthcare Decisions Day

Apr 2019

Princeton, NJ. Goals of Care Coalition of New Jersey (GOCCNJ) and Hackensack Meridian Health (HMH), JFK Medical Center are hosting a summit meeting of experts to improve advance care planning and end-of-life care throughout NJ. Discuss, Decide, Document: An Interprofessional Summit on Advance Care Planning will include healthcare professionals from GOCCNJ, HMH and other state, community, and academic organizations, including the Rutgers School of Public Health. Healthcare professionals seeking helpful information on advance care planning are invited to attend. The meeting will be held on April 18th from 4:45pm-8:45pm at the JFK Medical Center in Edison, NJ. To register, please visit: http://www.cvent.com/d/X6Q9KT

The Summit on Advance Care Planning is being held in conjunction with National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), a 50-state annual initiative that begins on April 16th and is sponsored by The Conversation Project. The aim of NHDD is to educate individuals and healthcare professionals about the importance of advance care planning and to empower everyone involved to make these conversations more commonplace. More information about NHDD can be found at nhdd.org and theconversationproject.org. Goals of Care Coalition of New Jersey and Hackensack Meridian Health, JFK Medical Center are proud to join more than 1,000 other organizations participating in NHDD and to further the aims of NHDD in New Jersey by hosting this state-wide summit.

“Patients near the end of life in NJ are treated with more intense medical care than those in any other state in the US. There are many reasons for this but one is a lack of quality communication between healthcare professionals and patients. We’re pleased to partner with Hackensack Meridian Health, JFK Medical Center to train an interprofessional group of healthcare providers on best practices for having effective advance care planning conversations,” said David Barile, MD, Founder and Chief Medical Officer of GOCCNJ.

Communication skills surrounding end-of-life issues need to be enhanced, and gaps in the training of healthcare professionals need to be addressed. “Nearly all healthcare professionals say it’s important to have conversations about advance care planning with their patients, but many admit to frequently feeling unsure of what to say during these conversations,” said Robin Winter, MD, Director of the JFK Family Medicine Residency Program and Medical Director of JFK Hartwyck Nursing, Convalescent and Rehabilitation Centers.

As Harry Collins, MD, Medical Director, Hackensack Meridian Health, JFK Haven Hospice & Palliative Care Program explains, “Discussions about end-of-life care can be difficult, especially since many healthcare professionals have not had any formal training on how to have these conversations and may not be comfortable talking about supportive, palliative, or hospice care with their patients. There’s an added layer of complexity and need for particular sensitivity when the patient/family and healthcare professionals are from different cultural or ethnic backgrounds.”

This Inaugural Summit Meeting, leveraging the expertise of NJ’s thought leaders in advance care planning and palliative and hospice care, will help to address these educational gaps, ensuring that NJ patients get the care they need and no less, and the care they want and no more.