June 2000

Grant Results

SUMMARY

Starting in 1997, the Hospice Federation of Massachusetts developed and disseminated a model for conducting a statewide public awareness campaign for hospice services.

The Hospice Federation of Massachusetts is a nonprofit organization whose membership of all 47 hospice providers in the state is dedicated to promoting access to and delivery of quality hospice care.

Project staff designed the project to take advantage of the publicity created by a special 12-page section about a hospice patient published in thee Boston Globe in June 1996 and an accompanying one-hour TV documentary the Globe produced in conjunction with New England Cable News.

Key Results
The project:

  • Produced 107,000 reprints of the Boston Globe special section and distributed more than 77,000 of them to hospices for further dissemination at health fairs, conferences, training sessions, and meetings with legislators.
  • Developed two photography exhibitions comprised of photos taken for the Globe's special section and displayed them in public buildings and at educational conferences.
  • Published and distributed 13,000 copies of the consumer guide "Choosing Hospice — A Guide to Hospice in Massachusetts for Patients, Family Members and Friends."
  • Produced a 28-minute video, "Look for Me Here," which was edited from the original one-hour television documentary and made available at no cost to member hospices.
  • Developed a Web site with a home page and eight selections including the consumer guide, "Choosing Hospice."

Funding
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported the project with a $113,097 grant that took place between February 1997 and April 1999.

 See Grant Detail & Contact Information
 Back to the Table of Contents


THE PROJECT

Hospice, a system of care allowing terminally ill patients to spend the last stage of life at home with appropriate professional care, was introduced in the United States nearly 25 years ago. Still, most Americans remain unaware of the movement.

In June 1996, The Boston Globe published a special 12-page section called "Choosing A Good Death," based on the hospice experience of a 40-year-old woman dying of cancer. The Globe also produced an accompanying one-hour documentary video in conjunction with New England Cable News that was broadcast on local cable stations.

The article, accompanying photography exhibits, and the documentary video generated considerable public attention for hospice and provided the impetus for this grant from RWJF to the HFM. HFM is a nonprofit organization whose membership of all 47 hospice providers in the state is dedicated to promoting access to and delivery of quality hospice care.

Under the grant, HFM developed and disseminated a model for conducting a statewide public awareness campaign for hospice services. HFM also conducted a statewide public awareness campaign for hospice services using a variety of tools and evaluated their effectiveness.

They also convened an informal advisory committee to the project (called their user's group), consisting of approximately 20 members of whom one quarter were media professionals and the remainder were hospice staff responsible for consumer information. They met three times over the course of the grant in various locations in Massachusetts. This project was also supported by a $10,000 grant from The Friends of Hospice of Wayland, Mass.

 Back to the Table of Contents


RESULTS

The HFM accomplished the following:

  • Produced 107,000 reprints of The Boston Globe special section and distributed more than 77,000 of them to hospices for further dissemination at health fairs, conferences, training sessions, and meetings with legislators.
  • Developed two photography exhibitions comprised of photos taken for the Globe's special section and displayed them in public buildings and at educational conferences.
  • Published and distributed 13,000 copies of the consumer guide "Choosing Hospice — A Guide to Hospice in Massachusetts for Patients, Family Members and Friends." In May 1999, the National Hospice Organization (NHO) selected the guide for a Best Practice Award, making it available as a resource to all states.
  • Produced a 28-minute video, "Look for Me Here," which was edited from the original one-hour television documentary and made available at no cost to member hospices. The video was shown to professional groups including nursing students, hospital staffs, and nursing home staffs, as well as to internal audiences of hospices staff, board, and volunteers.
  • Developed a Web site with a home page and eight selections including the consumer guide, "Choosing Hospice."
  • Developed an information clearinghouse with journal articles, videos, consumer guides, newspapers, and other publications available at no cost.
  • Produced three 30-second public service announcements (PSAs) for network television and cable stations.
  • Recruited speakers from member hospices to participate in a statewide speaker's bureau, and distributed media kits regarding the bureau to 46 print media outlets in the state. A direct mail card informing organizations about hospices as an information resource and requesting speakers was made available to local hospices to customize for use in their communities.
  • Developed a print advertisement for use in future print advertising campaigns.

Findings

In an informal survey of member hospices about the model campaign, HFM found the following:

  • 80 percent of the responding hospices reported an increase in public awareness in their community.
  • The consumer brochure, "Choosing Hospice," was selected as the most valuable tool for heightening community public awareness of hospice.
  • The public service announcements were rated the most valuable tool for raising statewide awareness.
  • The statewide speaker's bureau was rated the least valuable tool for raising public awareness at both the local as well as statewide level.
  • "Standardization" of the tools was viewed as valuable in creating a consistent hospice message across the state, and in reducing confusion about how hospice can be an option at the end of life.

Communications

In addition to the communications activities already described above, the project director spoke about the public service announcements and the consumer guide at a meeting of the National Hospice Organization in May 1999. See the Bibliography for details of all communications activities.

 Back to the Table of Contents


AFTER THE GRANT

HFM plans to:

  1. continue dissemination of The Boston Globe reprint, consumer guide, video, direct mail/speaker request card, public service announcements, photo exhibit
  2. continue expansion of the Web site
  3. seek funding for a print advertising campaign
  4. hold training sessions to improve the public relations skills of the hospice community.

 Back to the Table of Contents


GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

Development and Dissemination of a Model Public Awareness Campaign for Hospice Services

Grantee

Hospice Federation of Massachusetts Incorporated (Norwood,  MA)

  • Amount: $ 113,097
    Dates: February 1997 to April 1999
    ID#:  030557

Contact

D. Rigney Cunningham
(781) 255-7077
hospicefed@aol.com

Web Site

http://www.hospicefed.org

 Back to the Table of Contents


BIBLIOGRAPHY

(Current as of date of this report; as provided by grantee organization; not verified by RWJF; items not available from RWJF.)

Brochures and Fact Sheets

"Choosing Hospice — A Guide to Hospice in Massachusetts for Patients, Family Members, and Friends." Norwood, Mass.: Hospice Federation of Massachusetts. 1997. 13,000 copies distributed. Winner of a Best Practice Award from the National Hospice Organization (NHO) in May 1999. Became available as a resource to all states.

Publications

Foreman, J. "Choosing a Good Death." Boston, Mass. The Boston Globe, 1996. 77,000 copies distributed.

Sponsored Conferences

"User's Group Meeting — RWJF Public Awareness Grant," July 1, 1997, Northampton, Mass. Attended by 23 people representing 18 organizations. Seven presentations given:

  • Jennifer Loff, "Goals of Meeting."
  • Mary Ann Dalton, "Use of the Boston Globe Reprint."
  • Mary Fago, "Use of the Photo Exhibit."
  • Cynthia Elder, "Use of the Consumer Guide."
  • Jennifer Loff, "Brainstorming of Additional Uses and Writing of Individual PR Plans."
  • Charles Goldston, "Internet Project."
  • Tom Melville and Florence Del Santo, "Community Video Project."

"User's Group Meeting — RWJF Public Awareness Grant," June 29, 1998, Marlboro, Mass. Attended by 21 people representing 18 organizations. Five presentations given:

  • D. Rigney Cunningham, "Public Service Announcements."
  • Margaret C. Murphy, "Internet Site."
  • Charles Goldstone, "Presentation Skills Workshop."
  • D. Rigney Cunningham, "Speaker's Bureau."
  • Mary Ann Dalton, "Evaluation."

"User's Group Meeting — RWJF Public Awareness Grant and Hospice Stamp Release," January 22, 1999, Milford, Mass. Fifteen organizations represented. Two presentations given:

  • D. Rigney Cunningham, "Networking and Review of Public Awareness Tools Available."
  • D. Rigney Cunningham, "Hospice Stamp Activities Planning."

Presentations and Testimony

D. Rigney Cunningham, "Public Service Announcements and Consumer Guide," Council of States, National Hospice Organization, May 14, 1999, Crystal City, Va.

World Wide Web Sites

www.hospicefed.org. Provides information about hospice for consumers, families, and friends. Newton, Mass.: Hospice Federation of Massachusetts, February 1998.

Audio-Visuals and Computer Software

Look for Me Here — Abridged Hospice Version, a 28-minute video edited from a one-hour documentary based on The Boston Globe special section portraying a woman dying in a hospice setting. Newton: New England Cable News, February 1998. 100 copies produced.

Choosing a Good Death, a 20-photograph exhibition assembled from photos taken for The Boston Globe special section. Norwood, Mass.: Hospice Federation of Massachusetts/Michele McDonald, February 1996. Two exhibits; 21 exhibitions.

Public Service Announcements. Norwood, Mass.: Hospice Federation of Massachusetts, June 1998. Three 30-second spots.

Press Kits and News Releases

A news release promoting "Choosing Hospice" was sent on July 29, 1998 to 27 Massachusetts print media editors, and 20 editors of state health organization newsletters.

A media kit/packet containing a fact sheet, directory, "Choosing Hospice," and HFM brochure was mailed on June 26, 1998 to 46 Massachusetts print media editors.

Print Advertisements

A print advertising campaign was created for the Hospice Federation of Massachusetts, April 1999, to be aired at future dates.

 Back to the Table of Contents


Report prepared by: Janet Spencer King
Reviewed by: David Kales
Reviewed by: Marian Bass
Program Officer: Rosemary Gibson