Earlier this month, Cambia Health Foundation President Peggy Maguire joined Courtney Martin, renowned author and founder of the Solutions Journalism Network, for a conversation at the 2018 End Well Symposium. End Well, a powerful, one-day event, brings together a diverse group of voices including actors design, technology, policy, health care and activist communities, to explore and imagine how to live well during illness and near the end of life. As part of a dynamic list of guest speakers, Peggy and Courtney discussed how the Foundation is investing in human-centered innovation and solutions that serve people in their moments of truth and helps transform their journey through the health care system.
Purposeful Investing to Drive Change
While sharing her family’s personal health care experiences, Peggy highlighted how Cambia Health Foundation engages strategic philanthropy to advance palliative care and accelerate a movement that infuses empathy in health care and results in a more human-centered experience.
“Palliative care should be a model for the entire healthcare system. Palliative care is about honoring life. This not about a return on investment, it’s a return on humanity.”
She spoke about the Foundation’s commitment to seek partnerships that deliver patient-centered, family-oriented care to improve quality of life by focusing on what matters most to people and addressing the physical, intellectual, emotional, cultural and spiritual needs of patients and their families.
“Palliative care starts with what matters to people. The big fallacy is that it’s about giving up. It’s not. It’s about honoring life and keeping the spirit up to help the whole person live well with serious illness.”
Leadership and Workforce Development
Making palliative care accessible to everyone is a priority for the Foundation. In support, Peggy highlighted its signature program, Sojourns Scholar Leadership program, which works to identify, cultivate and advance the next generation of palliative care leaders.
“Sojourns Scholars are doing transformative work,” she shared. “Our program focuses on strengthening individual leadership skills and helping scholars to implement innovative palliative care projects that will advance the field. By working with a mentor, scholars find their highest use by capitalizing on the opportunity to lead at a national level and drive meaningful changes beyond their institution.”
Moving Forward – Call to Action
Rounding out the conversation. Peggy spoke about the positive strides in the last decade and shared how awareness and investment for palliative care has grown.
”We are now part of a funders collaborative that works together to identify and jointly invest in innovative projects.”
Unfortunately, the greatest barrier to palliative care access continues to be ignorance. Peggy cited the need for a culture shift, like that of the birthing movement, that results in people with serious illness understanding what palliative care is and means to them and the best ways in which to go about asking for it. She expressed excitement at the diversity of the audience and encouraged everyone to continue working together.
“Make it personal,” she said. “Think about the moments of truth and how you want your loved ones to be treated because every person matters and every moment matters.”