We are pleased to have two outstanding speakers providing our keynote messages at this year's conference.
Gregory A. Plotnikoff, MD, MTS, FACP, is a practicing clinician/researcher who has received national and international honors for his work in cross-cultural and integrative medicine. He is a graduate of Carleton College, Harvard Divinity School, and the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Dr. Plotnikoff, “Greg,” consciously chose to attend divinity school before medical school in order to deepen his understanding of suffering and of human responses to suffering. After completing his residency in internal medicine/pediatrics, he helped establish the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota where he served as its first medical director. From 2002-2008, Dr. Plotnikoff served as an associate professor at Keio University School of Medicine where he studied, researched and taught the Kampo herbal medicine tradition in Japanese. While in Japan, he was active in East-West medical integration issues with the Japanese Society of Oriental Medicine, National Geographic and the World Health Organization. He is the recipient of several international awards for research and teaching as well as the Early Career Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Dr. Plotnikoff is well known for his work in interventional nutrition, herbal medicines and spirituality in clinical care. He has additional training as a hospital chaplain, in medical acupuncture, in mind-body skills and as a practitioner of Traditional East Asian Medicine. He is co-author of the book Trust Your Gut (Conari, 2013) and author of 22 textbook chapters and more than 50 first-authored articles in the medical literature including several in Japanese. His 2003 article on vitamin D and chronic pain is one of the most highly cited articles in the history of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Dr. Plotnikoff is a frequent invited speaker and has been quoted in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times as well as numerous national magazines. He has been heard on multiple radio programs including “All Things Considered” “Speaking of Faith” and “Science Friday.” He is a frequent commentator on local television, radio and newspapers.

Dr. Plotnikoff serves as an integrative medicine physician at the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing and also serves as a co-editor of the new journal Global Advances in Health and Medicine.
         Kao Kalia Yang, Hmong-American writer, reflects on Hmong end-of-life traditions, her grandmother's life and death, final conversations, and where the Hmong spirit goes in a world where there is no Hmong homeland.    Kao Kalia Yang's first book, "The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir" (Coffee House Press, 2008) was the winner of the 2009 Minnesota Book Awards in Creative Nonfiction/Memoir and Book of the Year. A graduate of Carleton College and Columbia University in New York City, Yang is currently finishing her second manuscript, "Still, Fluttering Heart:  The Second Album".  Her manuscript was awarded a 2013 McKnight Artist Fellowship.  

As a writer, Yang’s poignant experiences of the Hmong search for identity reaches audiences of all ages. Yang is also a sought after teacher and inspiring public speaker on Hmong culture and the struggle to create a new home in a foreign land.

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More than 80 individuals attended the 2013 conference.  Participants commented on the richness of the 4th annual event, which included structured sharing and best practices from health care systems, panel presentations on cultural diversity and medical-spiritual perspectives, spirited dialogue on pros and cons of adopting a supplementary one-page health care directive, and inspirirational keynote addresses from Penny Wheeler, MD, Allina Health, and Michele Kimball, AARP Minnesota.

Audience poll results:

  1. What age should we target as a standard for universal inclusion of advance care planning preferences
    in the electronic medical record?
    1. 50% AGE 55
    2. 23% AGE 50
    3. 10% AGE 45
    4. 10% AGE 18
    5. 6% AGE 60
  2. Are you in favor of having a short form available, in addition to the current health care directive form?
    1. 86% YES
    2. 8% NO
    3. 6% OTHER
The HCM Advisory Committee will further review and discuss these results.
Mark your calendars now:  Sharing the Experience 2015 is July 16!

Click through some photos from this year's event:

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Our doors open at 8:00AM.  Morning refreshments available, and after checking in we invite you to browse displays and information tables featuring some of our projects and other organizations focusing on ACP.

At 8:30, Medical Director Dr. Ken Kephart welcomes all and the conference officially begins! 
Pioneer integrative medicine specialist Gregory Plotnikoff, MD is an international leader in using therapeutic conversations for patient wellness and healing.   He will combine patient stories with his personal experiences, while focusing on the Courageous Conversations that take place among families in end-of-life care decision making.    Read more...
Picture3 By collecting, measuring, and analyzing data, Rainbow Research turns numbers into stories and helps Honoring Choices identify and focus on key elements to increase effectiveness and strengthen outcomes. 

Honoring Choices is building strong relationships with the University of Minnesota's Academic Health Center.  Today, medical students share how learning about ACP is impacting their lives and their future plans as physicians.
Picture4 ACP is growing - throughout Minnesota and our entire nation.  Learn what is trending and how Honoring Choices is responding.
  • Updated Healthcare Directives, including a new one-page "Short Form"
  • Outreach work helping bring ACP to vulnerable populations
  • Growth in building ACP awareness and offering training to health care students
  • Reaching out to more communities across Minnesota
  • Building a national network of Honoring Choices sites and programs

During the Lunch Hour, Epic (EMR) Representative Tyler Ackerson will present the latest updates and plans regarding ACP within the Epic system. All Epic users are invited to dine in the main conference room for the presentation; all others may dine in one of our break-out rooms or outdoors, on the patio.

Picture5 After lunch, we divide into 4 special topic sessions (handouts from all sessions will be available):
  • The LEARN Model of Cross Cultural Care
  • Implementing ACP in Healthcare Settings
  • ACP Without a Stethoscope
  • ACP & Faith: An Imam & a Rabbi Share
Read more ...
Picture6 Award-winning Minnesota Author Kao Kalia Yang shares the story of her Grandmother's final days, providing fascinating insight into the Hmong community and how they view end-of-life.

Picture7 We conclude the day with time for Q & A, and share what's in store for Honoring Choices in the coming year.
Two Special Sessions for attendees from other states - an opportunity to meet others, share updates, and work together to build a national network!  Thursday evening reception, Friday morning interactive session.

Read more ...

Changing the world is a big job. The most powerful tool is a story.

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