Dreams Really Do Come True

Many of us have dreamed about what we might do if someone entrusted us with a million dollars. Here at the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) – that dream just came true.

AzHHA received a four year, one million dollar grant from the Lovell Foundation to pursue major transformative work in Arizona related to improving end of life care.  We call it ‘Thoughtful Life Conversations‘ (TLC).  Click here to watch a video about our TLC program. With our deepest gratitude to the Lovell Foundation….life changing work for tens of thousands of Arizonans can now begin.

“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.”

gvAzHHA President & CEO Greg Vigdor understands what this grant means for the people of our state and how many lives the Hospital Association can now touch over the next several years.

“Our Board challenged us to advance a cause that could transform health care for Arizona’s people, patients and communities.  They chose to seek dramatic improvements in how we manage end of life care, and asked us to emphasize how we help Arizonan’s live their life to the fullest by calling it “Thoughtful Life Conversations.” We are grateful to the Lovell Foundation for providing major funding that will allow us to pursue our Association’s dream.  It offers great hope to our vision of making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation.”

sandy_sSandy Severson is AzHHA’s Vice-President of Care Improvement. She knows the importance of having those ‘Thoughtful Life Conversations” and believes this grant money will be a game changer in our state.

“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, when they are seriously ill.   These funds over four years will allow us to  rigorously spread scientific methodology and best practices around advance care planning to healthcare providers and communities to ensure their wishes and goals of care are known and honored.”  

partnershipsWe often speak of the importance of partnerships and this work will really focus a great deal of attention on our collaborative model.  In addition to having a multi-sector committee advising us, we are proud to note that the two statewide associations representing physicians are collaborating on the physician education components of the grant. Those associations are the Arizona Medical Association (ArMA) and the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association (AOMA).

Dr. Ron Fischler, ArMA member and Chair of the End of Life task force, shares his thoughts on why this partnership will benefit the people, patients and communities of our state.

The focus will be to educate physicians and health care teams in Arizona on how to improve communications with  patients , and on the importance of eliciting a patient’s wishes in planning care and considering options when patients are diagnosed  with a serious or terminal illness.”

We are so deeply appreciative for the funding and so incredibly excited to begin this journey to improve end of life care for Arizonans. We truly believe having these ‘Thoughtful Life Conversations’ will not only improve healthcare in our state, it will help us take another step toward our goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!


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