National Academy of Medicine

President’s Letter

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Improving End-of-Life Care in America

It’s been nearly a year since we released Dying in America, already one of the most frequently cited reports in our history. The report found major gaps in delivering care that aligns with individual values, goals, and preferences.

To reassess the landscape, catalogue improvements, and identify remaining barriers, the NAM convened representatives from more than 85 stakeholder organizations for a daylong working meeting on Monday, May 23. A meeting recap is now available.

Overall, the group found encouraging examples of progress in care delivery, communication and advance care planning, professional education and development, policies and payment systems, and public education and engagement, significant obstacles remain.

Meeting participants generated a streamlined list of priority action items that will inform the work of a new Roundtable on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The Roundtable, which will convene experts and host public workshops over the next three years, represents the next phase in the Academies’ long-term investment in this issue. To learn more about the Roundtable, contact Laurie Graig.

No care decisions are more profound than those made near the end of life. We are inspired by the significant gains we have already seen and proudly committed to a continued focus on this deeply important facet of Americans’ health and well-being.

Warm regards,
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Victor J. Dzau, M.D.
President, National Academy of Medicine