Advance Care Planning

Advance Care Planning programs build on the Center for Practical Bioethics’  legacy work in end-of-life care, with emphasis on increasing participation by underserved communities. 

Caring Conversations® Community Education

These programs, tailored to diverse audiences, provide guidance through the advance care planning process. They explain what advance care planning is, why it’s important and how to go about it, including forms for documenting wishes, values and preferences for healthcare. In 2019, more than 17,000 people connected with our Caring Conversations® resources in English and Spanish, as well as in-person and virtual presentations. Contact the Center to find out how we can craft a presentation for your group. 

For more information, contact Cindy Leyland,, 816-979-1357.

 - Ask Us Why We Bring a Stuffed Elephant to Every Presentation -


Workplace Programs (CARE)

Known as CARE, this program offers companies the opportunity to provide advance care planning education and 24/7 availability for consultation as a benefit. The benefit also includes advocacy when an employee or a loved one experiences serious illness.

Ask any Hallmark and Evergy employees you know about our CARE program.

For more information, contact Cindy Leyland,, 816-979-1357.


African American Faith Communities

The Advance Care Planning and Healthy Living Through Faith project aims to increase African American participation in advance care planning activities throughout the life span, including but not limited to executing advance directive documents. Unfortunately, advance care planning has not been embraced within African American communities; only 18-36% of African Americans have an advance directive in place, and they are much less likely than other racial and ethnic groups to do formal Advance Care Planning.

While explaining the disparity is complicated, several surveys of African Americans have concluded that this group’s spiritual beliefs can conflict with traditional goals of advance care planning, palliative care and hospice. The Center’s previous work with African American pastors and congregations strongly suggests that advance care planning promotion must be rooted in the cultural and spiritual life of African American communities. It also highlighted the need for pastoral education around advance care planning throughout the lifespan and end- of-life issues.

This Advance Care Planning in African American Faith Communities project directly engages faith communities to promote advance care planning.

For more information, contact Cindy Leyland,, 816-979-1357.


Accelerated Advance Care Planning in Long-Term Care

The term “accelerated” refers to the need, magnified by COVID-19, for discussions with patients and families about treatment options prior to a health crisis that might separate the patient from family, their “home” and familiar caregivers. The Center is developing an accelerated 25-hour training curriculum for long-term care professionals and essential healthcare workers. Components will be available in multiple formats and lengths and offered to and in partnership with state long-term care professional associations, individual facilities and other healthcare providers across Missouri and Kansas. In addition, 10 hours of clinical ethics or case consultations will be available to address specific case needs.

For more information, contact Matthew Pjecha,, 816-979-1366.


Transportable Physician Orders for Patient Preferences (TPOPP)

TPOPP is the Kansas and Missouri version of POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment). POLST is a voluntary national program that seeks to better align treatment plans with the goals and values of seriously ill patients living with life-limiting illness. Under POLST, more than 40 states have adopted standardized medical order sets for such patients. These actionable medical orders follow patients across care settings.

The Kansas/Missouri initiative, sponsored by the Center, is the country’s only bi-state initiative. TPOPP depends on extensive participation and coordination among and between providers and care settings (e.g., hospitals, long-term care, EMS, etc.) for successful implementation. The Center piloted a program in Topeka in 2009 and has been training Kansas/Missouri providers at various stages of development of TPOPP coalitions since 2012.

For more information about TPOPP


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