C-TAC and Arizona Health Care Leaders Meet to Discuss Innovation in Advanced Care

C-TAC leaders met with an array of health care changemakers in Arizona to discuss strategies for transforming advanced care on the state and national level during a roundtable in Tucson, Ariz. on April 16.

The discussion featured representatives from a host of Arizona groups, including the End of Life Care Partnership, the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association and the David and Lura Lovell Foundation.

Presenters included:

  • David Longnecker, MD, Senior Clinical Innovations Officer, C-TAC
  • Lou Gagliano, Strategic Advisor, C-TAC
  • John Amoroso, Executive Director, David and Lura Lovell Foundation
  • Christina Rossetti, Principal, Rossetti Consulting Group

In addition to outlining the unique needs of Arizonans with advanced illness, the roundtable yielded strategies which can be used to change the way advanced care is delivered in the state.

Lou Gagliano and David Longnecker, MD, delivered a presentation on the Advanced Care Transformation IndexSM, a tool developed by C-TAC which evaluates the quality of advanced care using a variety of evidence-based measures. The ACT IndexSM currently measures care quality on a national level and C-TAC is producing a statewide index which state leaders can use to compare their progress to other states.

C-TAC would like to learn from best practices in Arizona to create and collaborate with an Arizona steering committee to employ those successful strategies in communities across the state. C-TAC will also measure progress as the plan is implemented, ensuring that the patient is at the center of their own care.

The roundtable discussion touched on several themes, including the importance of partnering with faith communities. Several participants called for an increase in bridging partnerships that would allow more collaboration with faith leaders.

Discussants also noted the need to be cognizant of minority groups when analyzing data related to advanced illness and end-of-life care. Lea Marquez-Peterson, MBA, Chair of the Carondelet Health Network’s Board of Directors, noted that experts are predicting that the Hispanic community could make up the majority of Arizona’s population by 2035. A major takeaway from the discussion was the importance of addressing ethnic and cultural issues when assessing advanced care quality.

Developing a clear communications strategy to articulate the definition and value of palliative care was also a major topic of the discussion. Participants noted that this effort could be informed by projects undertaken in states like Massachusetts and California, which have developed communication tools and strategies that could be implemented in Arizona.

The discussion on communication also included a call for providers and others to be more confident speaking with patients about issues related to the end of life. Beyond sharing facts, clinicians need to be able to engage in these conversations with compassion.

This roundtable was a critical step toward convening leaders and influencers who can drive positive change for people with advanced illness in Arizona. We look forward to continuing our role in measuring advanced care quality and gathering the necessary stakeholders to spur innovation and improvement for Arizonans.

C-TAC would like to thank the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona for hosting this event. We would also like to thank Sarah Ascher, Senior Director of the End of Life Care Partnership at United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, and Shayna Diamond, Director of Community Affairs at the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, whose support made this roundtable possible.

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