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TCMS/Winona State U Academic Partnership

When Leah Habicht and Elizabeth McLean, began their doctoral program in nursing at Winona State University, they had no idea they would become advance care planning (ACP) champions. As highly experienced nurses in patient-centered acute and hospice/palliative care settings, they are part of a new partnership between the Twin Cities Medical Society (TCMS) and Winona State University’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

With a strong interest in improving health for patients and their loved ones, Ms. Habicht and Ms. McLean are completing research on ACP among multicultural Minnesota communities.  With a focus on Latino/Hispanic perceptions in ACP, the students are using the new “Voices of ACP” Spanish language video to identify perceptions on beginning this important conversation and completing an Honoring Choices Minnesota health care directive.

They have completed literature reviews, developed a Spanish/English outcome survey, and conducted community-based ACP education sessions within the Latino/Hispanic community.  They will next evaluate changes in ACP perception after viewing the new culturally sensitive video and completing an education intervention.

winona doc students spanish speaking elders
Winona State U nursing doctoral students Elizabeth McLean (left) and Leah Habicht facilitate an ACP education session with Latino/Hispanic elders. Spanish-speaking elders at Centro Tyrone Guzman community center in Minneapolis learn the importance of completing health care directives

“We have been moved by many challenges facing advance care planning within the Latino community,” explain the doctoral nursing candidates.  “Our literature reviews revealed several barriers that initially seemed insurmountable.  However, our experiences have suggested that introducing ACP using culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate interventions can transform those barriers into opportunities. The Voices of ACP video is a tool that can open the door and invite members within the community to start the conversation.”

Dr. Jane Foote, EdD, their nursing faculty advisor believes, “This partnership between the Winona State University (WSU) Graduate Nursing program and Honoring Choices has benefits for the students, both organizations, and diverse Minnesota communities.  The graduate program benefits from connecting the faculty and students to a project that matters deeply to the health of Minnesota.  The student leadership and active participation supports the sensitive use of the new multicultural videos in navigating ACP family conversations.”

The final outcomes of the Latino/Hispanic ACP community intervention project will be published in an upcoming issue of the MetroDoctors journal.
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