Dr. Kevin Valadares (chair of health administration and associate professor of health services) will be the Principal Investigator (PI) and will be responsible for the successful implementation, measurement and evaluation of the project. Dr. Katie Ehlman (Director of the Center for Healthy Aging and Wellness & associate professor of gerontology) and Dr. Marie Pease (associate professor of social work), both USI faculty, will be co-investigators. All three will assume the role of faculty coach and will be direct liaisons to the nursing homes. Members of the New Harmony Conversations Team will serve as peer mentors within the selected nursing homes.
Based on the Respecting Choices ® Last Steps ® model, this program will seek to recruit a total of 15 nursing homes and 75 ACP facilitators and train them in providing care planning for individuals with serious life-limiting illness, terminal illness, and advance frailty, and for those residing in a nursing home. The total number of nursing home residents affected through the project is projected to be 750, with 95 staff, family members and volunteers certified as Last Steps ® facilitators.