Honoring Choices Minnesota is a collaborative, community-based Advance Care Planning initiative led by Twin Cities Medical Society through its Foundation. The medical society serves as the convener and coordinator, utilizing its unique access to health care organizations and medical professionals. Beginning in the Twin Cities metropolitan area and spreading across the state, Honoring Choices Minnesota’s goal is to spur family conversations about future health care preferences and to assist health care organizations and community partners with the installation of a comprehensive advance care planning program.
Honoring Choices Minnesota is based on the training, principles and overall methodology of Respecting Choices®, the nationally and internationally recognized Advance Care Planning model developed by Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, WI. This effort has grown into a movement and is a truly remarkable example of how both health care and non-health care organizations can work together to provide better medical care for Minnesotans.
Advance Care Planning is not merely the completion of a health care directive. Instead, it is a thoughtful process, ideally utilizing a certified Advance Care Planning Facilitator who has been trained to engage patients in discussions with loved ones about their desires and values for future health care treatment decisions. The result of these conversations is usually a written document known as a health care directive. Honoring Choices Minnesota promotes the importance of these ongoing conversations.
In 2007, discussion about Advance Care Planning began at a meeting of the Foundation Board of the Twin Cities Medical Society. The following year, two exploratory meetings were arranged—one with community members and the second with senior leaders of hospital systems and health plans. The purpose of both meetings was to gauge the interest level in collaborating and coordinating resources related to advance care planning. Community members wholeheartedly agreed that there was a need, and senior leadership gave their unanimous support to:
1. not compete;
2. provide resources to support an initiative; and
3. advocate internally within their respective organizations and advance the initiative.
The medical society then formed an advisory council and began to set the framework for the community collaborative. In 2009, a name and logo were selected and educational events began. A new Minnesota-specific health care directive and educational materials were developed.