April 6, 2020
Schwartz Center Gives $110K to Support End-of-Life Discussions

August 13, 2013 — The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, a Boston-based nonprofit that seeks to strengthen the relationship between patients and their healthcare providers, announced that it has awarded $110,000 to two local nonprofits that will use the funds to improve care at the end of life.

The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare said it has given a two-year, $100,000 grant to Atrius Health, headquartered in Newton, an alliance of six community-based medical groups and a home health care and hospice agency, to support its Serious Illness Communication Project (SICP).

SICP will help to start conversations between primary care clinicians and patients to ensure that patients receive the care they want and are at peace at the end of life. The project was initially developed to improve end of life care for cancer patients, working with patients and families at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This grant will expand that work to primary care under the direction of a principal investigator at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, an Atrius Health affiliate.

As one of the first accountable care organizations in Massachusetts, Atrius Health will have access to data allowing its staff to evaluate the impact SICP has on patients, families, and the healthcare system.

In addition, a $10,000 grant given to The Conversation Project (TCP) in Cambridge, a public engagement campaign, will continue The Center’s support to ensure that all Americans are able to express their wishes for care at the end of life. The Schwartz Center’s initial grant helped The Conversation Project launch a website with resources and tools that families can use to have conversations about their end of life wishes and preferences.

Co-founded in 2010 by Pulitzer Prize-winner Ellen Goodman and launched in collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, TCP offers people the tools, guidance, and resources to begin talking with their loved ones and their clinicians about their end-of-life wishes and preferences. Over the past year, more than 50,000 copies of TCP’s starter kit to help individuals start these conversation have been downloaded.

The Schwartz Center, based at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, was founded in 1995 by Ken Schwartz, a Boston healthcare attorney who later died of lung cancer at age 40, who found that what mattered most to him as a patient was the compassionate care he received from his caregivers.

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