About Us | Center for Health Decisions
The Center for Health Decisions’ (CHD) mission is to advance health and healthcare that reflects the values of an informed public.
Established in 1994 as Sacramento Healthcare Decisions, the Center for Health Decisions began with two local projects focusing on health care reform and end-of-life care.
- The Heart of Health Care series: CHD’s first project explored personal and societal values in relation to the healthcare reform debate that took place during the Clinton era. We helped develop an eight-part series in The Sacramento Bee called The Heart of Health Care.
- The ECHO Project: CHD’s second project, the ECHO Project, established its path for many years. Responding to national concerns about the use of life-sustaining treatment for dying patients – and who controlled those decisions – we brought together 1,000 community members and healthcare professionals in a three-year effort to improve hospital-based care and communications for those at the end of life. This endeavor sparked tangible changes in local hospitals and became a national model of community collaboration. The ECHO Project led to the creation of the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California, a statewide partnership promoting high-quality, compassionate end-of-life care.
Health Care at the End of Life
As part of the growing interest in the mid-1990s in improving care at the end of life, CHD played a leadership role in local, state, and national activities. For nearly two decades, we educated thousands of citizens, trained hundreds of health professionals and faith leaders, and worked with healthcare organizations to implement new end-of-life policies and practices. During that time, CHD established both the Compassionate Care Alliance of the Greater Sacramento Area and the Sacramento Area POLST Coalition to help move this important work forward. By 2014 CHD had transitioned its education and outreach activities to other organizations, including the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California.
From 1994-2013, CHD played a leadership role in local, state, and national activities related to improving end-of-life care. Through ECHO - Extreme Care Humane Options - educational materials, trainings and policy recommendations, CHD educated thousands of citizens, trained hundreds of local health professionals and faith leaders, and worked with healthcare organizations to implement new end-of-life policies and practices. By 2014 CHD had transitioned its education and outreach activities to other organizations, including the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California (CCCC).
Rising Costs of Healthcare
Beginning in 1999 CHD expanded its focus beyond end-of-life care to issues related to the rising cost of healthcare. Through a number of projects, we introduced the public to the concept of setting priorities when resources are limited. This work broadened our reach from primarily regional to an organization with state and national impact.
- Advance Care Planning/POLST speakers bureau. (Now being coordinated by the Greater Sacramento Health Ministry Network [GSHMN]; for more information contact Susan Carson by email at: Carson@DignityHealth.org)
- Consumer education materials. (Now available through Coalition for Compassionate Care of California)
- Finding Your Way (Can be viewed and ordered from the CCCC website;
to view on their website: Click Here, then click on the Talking About Advance Care Planning button which will take you to a PDF of the booklet.)
To purchase quantities in their online store: Click Here.
- Annual Partners in Caring seminar for faith leaders. (Now being sponsored by GSHMN)
- Regional POLST Coalition (2009-2012)
- Sacramento Regional Alliance (2001-2010)
- Statewide Coalition for Compassionate Care (participated 1998-2012)
- Wrotean issue brief on a regional collaborative effort to improve advance care planning and end-of-life care in Sacramento area nursing homes, 2011
- Produced a white paper highlighting the work of eight community POLST coalitions, 2009
- Co-authored an article published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine (2005): Improving End-of-Life Care in Nursing Facilities: The Community State Partnership to Improve End-of-Life Care – California
CHD receives funding from philanthropic grants, contracts with other organizations, donations, honoraria and in-kind contributions. We appreciate the following organizations for their recent or current support:
Grants and Contributions
- California Healthcare Foundation
- Dignity Health
- Kaiser Permanente
- Blue Shield of California
- LeadingAge Ca
- Sutter Health
- UC Davis Health
- American Institutes for Research
- Covered California
- Coalition for Compassionate Care of California
To learn more about CHD Services, please contact Program Manager, Patricia Powers at email@example.com