Great River Home Health and Hospice introduces The Conversation Project

In recognition of National Home Care and Hospice Month, Great River Home Health and Hospice is introducing a new initiative titled The Conversation Project. Its goal is to ensure everyone’s wishes for end-of-life care are expressed and respected.

The public-engagement campaign was developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Goodman. According to The Conversation Project, 90 percent of people say talking with their loved ones about end-of-life care is important, but only 27 percent have done so.

Great River Home Health and Hospice is offering a free Conversation Starter Kit. The kit is a step-by-step guide to help prepare for end-of-life conversations. To download a Conversation Starter Kit, visit, or call Great River Home Health and Hospice at (319) 768-3350 to request a copy by mail.

“Our goal is to get people talking in their living rooms instead of delaying this critical conversation,” said Amy Burkhart, community liaison, Great River Hospice. “This is better than having the conversation in a hospital or nursing home waiting room.”

It is common for family conflicts and damaged relationships to arise when family members disagree about care for a loved one who is dying. Without knowing their loved ones’ wishes, people often experience complex grief issues when wondering if they did the right thing.

“We encourage people to consider this conversation during the holiday season,” Burkhart said. “It’s never too early, but it can be too late.”

The Conversation Project is a self-guided tool for people, regardless of health status or age, who want to convey their wishes to others. For those with life-limiting conditions, Great River Hospice offers facilitators trained in helping families with this important conversation.

To schedule an appointment with a facilitator or receive more information, please call (319) 768-3350.