The Maine Hospice Council exists to ensure the continued development of Hospice and Palliative Care in Maine.
The Council provides education and technical assistance regarding end-of-life care, as well as advocacy for terminally ill and bereaved persons regarding quality end-of-life issues throughout the state.
From its beginning in 1984, the Maine Hospice Council has been the leading advocate, trainer, and educator for hospice care in Maine.
The Council Provides:
- Policy Development
- Educational workshops & seminars
- Collaboration with other organizations
- Technical Assistance (computer & program)
Through the following methods:
- Press releases
- Public speaking
- Resource center
- Newsletter: MaineLink
Programs & Collaborative Efforts of the Maine Hospice Council
- Hospice/Veteran Partnership: HVP is a coalition of people from Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities, the Maine Hospice Council and Center for End of Life Care, and community organizations working together to ensure that excellent end-of-life care is available for our nation’s veterans and their families. Our coalition is part of a national network of HVPs, established by the VA Hospice and Palliative Care Institute.
- Maine Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Coalition: The POLST program translates patient preferences into actionable medical orders in order to ensure that a patient’s wishes are honored. The POLST paradigm is based on effective communication about goals of care for people with life-limiting illness or advanced frailty. POLST was first implemented in Oregon in 1991 and was designed to improve the quality of care people receive at the end of life. Several other states have developed statewide or regional POLST initiatives and as many as thirty states are involved in exploring POLST or developing programs. The Maine Hospice Council and Center for End-of-Life Care serves as the administrative home for POLST, based on a unanimous decision by the Maine State POLST coalition.
- The Maine Pain Initiative: Previously The Maine Cancer Pain Initiative, a committee of the Council “Committed to making cancer pain relief a reality for all people in Maine.” Since 1995, the MCPI has hosted forums to address pain and symptom management issues for health care professionals and consumers.
- Hospice and Corrections: The Maine Hospice Council has been working with the Maine Department of Corrections (MDOC) and Maine State Prison (MSP) System to address issues of end of life care for incarcerated persons. In partnership with MSP and MDOC, the Council provides hospice volunteer training to prisoners at MSP. Inmates apply for the program, applications are examined by an interdisciplinary team, and trainings are held weekly at the Maine State Prison in Warren, ME.
- ALS Maine Collaborative: The Maine Hospice Council continues its partnership with the Maine ALS Collaborative. In the fall of 2008, Gary Sullivan partnered with Orm Irish and Lee Urban to co-found the ALS~Maine Collaborative. Their mission is to bring together Maine‘s top ALS-related organizations with the goal of improving services and the quality of life to the state‘s ALS population.
Community/State Partnership Grant 1999-2002:
In January 1999, the Maine Hospice Council, on behalf of the Maine Consortium for Palliative Care and Hospice, received a 3-year, $450,000 Community/State Partnership grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation entitled “Care at the End-of-Life: A Public-Private Partnership.” This collaborative project included 14 partners and seven distinct projects ranging from developing baseline data to educating medical students.