By: Sharon Adams, CIVHC’s Community Engagement Manager 

I am a fan of Emily Dickinson and dwelling in possibility, and specifically the opportunities we have to create and support a culture that honors life.  In October, I joined CIVHC to grow and diversify our community work throughout Colorado and to enhance the commitment CIVHC made long ago to increase understanding of and engagement in Palliative Care and the expansion of Advance Care Planning and related instructional directives.

Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning meaningfully impact all aspects of the Triple Aim of better health for Coloradans, increasing patient, family, and caregiver quality of life (better care) and decreasing costs.  Our Palliative Care Program Brief provides insights into CIVHC’s programmatic goals in these areas which were informed and influenced by key stakeholder meetings in 2016 where a range of priorities were identified — all critical to elevating Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning for Coloradans:

  • Provide a central resource for convening and education on Palliative Care in Colorado.
  • Report on information regarding the spread and utilization of Palliative Care in Colorado.
  • Identify the return on investment in palliative services in Colorado and communicate that information to policy makers, providers, and patients themselves.
  • Ensure that all Palliative Care stakeholders have a venue to communicate with each other.
  • Continue to develop the national reputation of Colorado’s Palliative Care work through participation and presentation at national conferences and engagement with national associations and coalitions.

There are so many state and community organizations, advocates, educators, providers, individuals and funders working to champion a culture which promotes and provides Palliative Care, according to Colorado’s definition, to those with serious illness, whatever the diagnosis, to help them get relief from pain and distress while maintaining quality of life. This same culture of compassion ensures that patients’ final wishes are known and followed by family, caregivers and health care providers.

CIVHC is committed to collaborating and convening for shared learning, to support a collective voice and to move forward issues that enable Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning.  Our work currently consists of convening three regular work groups:  Advance Care Planning, Provider Training and Skill Building, and Reimbursement & Policy. We are in the process of updating charters for these work groups, and in January 2018 will ask current work group members to validate those charters plus review and offer feedback on proposed action plans.

Please feel free to email me,, or call me on my cell, 303-808-5517 with thoughts, questions, and interest in work group participation.