For more information about the CRITICAL ConditionsSM
Lynne M. Kernaghan
Georgia Health Decisions
128 Hampton Way | Macon, GA 31220
kernaghanL@cox.net | 478-474-0095
- CRITICAL ConditionsSM General Information
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Getting Involved
- Related Studies
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the CRITICAL ConditionsSM Program important to me?
Imagine you are lying in a hospital bed unconscious and not able to speak for yourself. Decisions need to be made about medical treatments to prolong your life. How would your loved ones feel about having to make these decisions? Would they know what you want – or do not want? Those who have faced this situation can tell you how hard it is. They will also tell you how much they wish they had known what their loved one wanted. Don’t let this happen to your family. Use the CRITICAL ConditionsSM Planning Guide to talk to them about your final health care preferences.How did the CRITICAL ConditionsSM Program begin?
When the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation began their focus on end-of-life care in 1996, they awarded a grant to American Health Decisions to identify Americans’ attitudes, opinions and values about death and dying. Georgia Health Decisions undertook this project on behalf of American Health Decisions. The project encompassed 36 focus groups conducted across the country, resulting in the report entitled The Quest to Die with Dignity.
Following this nationwide study, Georgia Health Decisions conducted further research in Georgia to support the development of a comprehensive program to educate and assist Georgians in planning for their end-of-life care. The organization raised more than $1.5 million to develop and test the CRITICAL ConditionsSM program in eight pilot communities. Seeking to understand how to improve the end-of-life experiences for Georgians, GHD conducted focus groups with family members of loved ones who had died in 11 hospitals. The resulting report, A Silent Anguish, presented unique insights into the difficulties faced by patients and families during the last months of life. Beginning in 2000, GHD began working with health systems to implement CRITICAL ConditionsSM across the state. Today, more than 100 health organizations and trust/estate professionals utilize the CRITICAL ConditionsSM materials with their patients and in their communities.