Oregon POLST Program

March 9, 2018

Oregon POLST Program News
Oregon Advances Communication Skills
Communication skills are vital to quality goals of care conversations. On January 26th, 136 OHSU senior medical students were tested on their communication skills related to some of the most difficult ethical issues they will face in practice including giving bad news. All medical schools teach communication skills. This year, however, OHSU is raising the bar on expectations. Before graduating, OHSU medical students must demonstrate mastery in communicating honestly, compassionately and without medical jargon. "If you don't deliver tough news well, the impacts can last forever," said Dr. Susan Tolle, director of the OHSU Center for Ethics in Health Care and chair of the Oregon POLST Coalition. We hope the result will be that graduating OHSU students will have the skill they need to be able to elicit the patient's goals and complete POLST forms that reflect their wishes. Click here to read the article published today in U.S. News & World Report.
Strengthening POLST Research   
We are happy to announce that Dr. Joan Teno has been recruited to Oregon. Her vision will help broaden the research about POLST in the larger context of serious illness. Dr. Teno has devoted her career to understanding how to measure and improve the quality of care for those with serious illness.
New Oregon POLST Registry EMS Video
The Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue recently interviewed Dana Zive, Director of Oregon POLST Registry, about the new 2018 POLST form. Click here to view the interview and learn more about how form changes impact EMS.
End-of-Life Care for Hospice Patients
A recent article in The Bulletin discusses the difficulty of getting opioids for hospice and palliative care patients. "We’re starting to see a little bit of difficulty locally and nationally in getting ahold of some opioids. . ." Dr. Laura Mavity, Palliative Care Specialist at St. Charles Bend. (The Bulletin, 2/24,
POLST Webinar: "Sharing Recent Oregon POLST Developments"   
On April 30th, the Oregon POLST Coalition Leadership Team will host a webinar to present recent developments in Oregon’s POLST Program including:

  • New lay educational materials and a new approach to lay outreach and education
  • Innovation in systems interventions to reduce the use of POLST in those who are "too healthy"
  • New approaches to education of healthcare professionals

Webinar: "Sharing Recent Oregon POLST Developments"
When: April 30, 2018, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Pacific Time
Cost: Free
Questions? Email  
Upcoming Events    
March 16, 2018: Regional Palliative Care Conference "Advanced Illness & End of Life in The Gorge: Conversations About Palliative Care" in The Dalles, Oregon. Click here to view the brochure.

April 6, 2018: All-City Palliative Care. Lori Eckel, LCSW, OSW-C, Laura Mahar, NP, and Joe Stenger, MD, will present "Non-Beneficial Treatment: Policy Meets Practice" at the Legacy Health Emanuel Medical Center. Click here to view the event flier.

April 30, 2018: Oregon POLST Webinar "Sharing Recent Oregon POLST Developments." Register for the webinar here.

June 8, 2018: Statewide Palliative Care Conference "Fanning the Flames: Empowering Leaders in Palliative Care" in Redmond, Oregon. Dr. Joan Teno will be the keynote speaker. Click here for more information.

Valerie M. Jimenez
Executive Director, Oregon POLST Program
Oregon Health & Science University
3181 SW Sam Jackson Pk Rd, UHN-86
Portland, OR 97239
Phone: 503-494-3965

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