Field of Work: End-of-Life Care
Problem Synopsis: During the 1980s and 1990s, Americans began to be concerned about the long period of suffering many people endured before their deaths. Many states passed laws to give people more say over how they die, allowing them to create living wills, durable powers of attorney and health care proxies. Hospice, which provides care aimed at ensuring the comfort and quality of life of terminally ill people, rather than at extending their lives, became widely recognized, and Medicare began to pay for hospice services.
Synopsis of the Work: Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation national program to identify, promote and institutionalize care practices that allow seriously ill people and their families to approach the end of life in physical, psychological, spiritual and emotional comfort. From October 1998 to April 2002, with $448,436 from this RWJF national program, staff at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center and the Saint Louis University School of Medicine established FOOTPRINTSSM to serve children who were terminally ill, or had illnesses that made it unlikely they would survive to adulthood, and their families.
Project staff reported the following additional results: