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Speak for Yourself – Plan Your Care

“Speak for Yourself – Plan Your Care” is a community-wide advance care planning initiative started by Lakeland Health, Caring Circle, and PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly). This initiative involves a systematic approach that includes establishing a process to easily find advance care planning documents in an accessible location within the healthcare system. We are encouraging people, at any age, to identify a designated decision maker, and document their end-of-life wishes. The focus of the “Speak for Yourself – Plan Your Care” project is for people to have meaningful discussions with their loved ones about their values and what “quality of life” means to them, much earlier in life, and before a crisis. Certified facilitators are located within the following sites:

  • PACE
  • Parish Nursing – First Church of God, United Methodist, Trinity Lutheran
  • Pine Ridge: A Rehabilitation and Nursing Center
  • Palliative Care/Hospice at Home (now part of Caring Circle)
  • Radiation/Oncology
  • Inpatient – CCU St. Joseph
  • PCP Offices – Edgewater Family Health; Lakeside Healthcare Specialists; and Southwestern Medical Clinic, Bridgman

We have also engaged Honoring Healthcare Choices of Michigan – – as this group helps Michigan communities implement the evidence-based advance care planning model called Respecting Choices.

Through the end of 2016 each team is expected to conduct a minimum of 10 conversations using new patient education tools, a revised advance care plan which includes Gift of Life options, and a patient advocate acceptance of role section. This initial phase allows us to enhance documentation within various electronic medical records, and identify other opportunities to improve before expanding the program to other locations.

To help community members understand more about advance care planning, Caring Circle has been facilitating FREE community screenings of the PBS “Frontline” film “Being Mortal.” This film is based on the best-selling book by Atul Gawande, MD, and explores the hopes of patients and families facing terminal illness, and the relationships with the physicians who treat them. “Being Mortal” sheds light on how a medical system focused on a cure often leaves out the sensitive conversations that need to happen so a person’s true wishes can be known and honored at the end.

If you were unable to attend one of the community screenings you can view “Being Mortal” by visiting

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For more information call
(269) 429-7100 or
(800) 717-3811


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