In 2014 WAHA convened a Task Force composed of experts and community leaders who were asked what it would take to transform Whatcom County into a center of end-of-life excellence. Focusing on advance care planning, palliative care, clinician training, financial sustainability, and community culture, the Task Force drafted a Blueprint to kick-start the vision; moving toward a community-wide system of services designed to be the best in America. To learn more, visit our Contact page for information about how to get in touch.
In the ensuing years, the Northwest Life Passages Coalition was formed and has been working to begin to achieve the recommendations within the Blueprint:
- Implement an Advance Directive campaign.
- Develop a community-based outpatient palliative care service (Northwest Life Passages at Home).
- Establish basic palliative care competencies for clinicians in all disciplines, specialties, and practice settings.
- Work collaboratively with the Palliative Care Institute at WWU and others to develop a comprehensive approach community education and activation.
- Develop a coordinated approach to shorter term philanthropic funding of the recommendations while simultaneously exploring opportunities for piloting innovative care payments models.
This work is on-going and we are pleased by the increased awareness throughout our community of the importance of supportive care for those with serious illness, advance care planning, palliative care services, and the knowledge that death is a natural part of the cycle of life. Our community and cultural responses related to living with serious illness and facing our own mortality or experiencing the death of loved ones continue to evolve. WAHA is committed to supporting this work as Whatcom County continues to be a state-wide leader in serious-illness care and end-of-life programs.