Begin the Conversation, an advance care planning program created to encourage the use of advance care directives, was created in 2009 by Wilmington, North Carolina-based Lower Cape Fear LifeCare. To help everyone prepare for the unexpected, the goal is to encourage everyone to complete advance care directives with a focus on the value of conversations in advance care planning.
Advance care directives
A study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found two-thirds of survey respondents did not have advance care directives nor were they comfortable in having critical end of life conversations. However, most had preferences about the kind of medical care they would want if faced with end of life decisions. As a hospice agency, we see the benefits of advance care planning and communication every day. Not only is it important for the person expressing choices, it is a gift for family members.
Begin the Conversation History
After receiving a trademark for the program, the website BeginTheConversation.org was created.
A strategic plan was developed to spread the Begin The Conversation message. The plan includes television and radio advertisements, print articles, community and professional workshops and conferences, social networking, billboards (stationary and moving), and a variety of marketing tools like T-shirts, pens, bumper stickers, posters and more.
Because of its reach, as well as BTCs appeal and importance, we think more people are now aware of end-of-life choices. Since BTCs inception, our agency has also experienced tremendous growth, both in patient census and public awareness.
In 2012, BTC won a Carolinas Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society Silver Wallie Award in the mixed media campaign category. In 2013, BTC won honorable mention Best Branding/Re-Branding and honor mention Best Social Responsibility Campaign/Initiative in PR Daily’s 2013 Nonprofit PR Awards competition.
We are proud of Begin The Conversation successes, especially as we consider the number of people we can enable, encourage, and educate about important end of life conversations and advance directives even if we never see them as hospice patients and families.
Through a leasing agreement with Lower Cape Fear Hospice, BTC can be brought to your community or shared through your business or organization. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us today by calling 800-733-1476 or email Begin The Conversation.