About 2.4 million Americans die each year, most in old age, and most from – or accompanied by – chronic diseases. At the end of January, MCC staff traveled to Washington, DC for the National Summit on Advanced Illness Care to gain inspiration form new innovations in advanced care with participating medical institutions, public officials, faith leaders, and nonprofit organizations.

MCC Executive Director Peg Chemberlin presented on the panel Empowering the Public to Make Informed Decisions and Plans panel about our Graceful Journey partnership with with Honoring Choices and Minnesota faith communities. Graceful Journey inspires churches to be “Congregations of Care” on end of life issues.

Helen Jackson Lockett-El, Graceful Journey Program Staff, came away from the conference with a shared sense of mission on the importance of engaging churches in the process of advanced care, stating that “there must be a cultural shift toward healing spiritually, rather than just curing disease.” The support of a faith community helps Americans attain what we all wish for: a decent and dignified death, free from avoidable distress and suffering for our families, our caregivers and ourselves.

Photo from C-TAC Photostream