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Impact Your Organization and Your Community

As an organization working to improve community health, you need to show measurable impact. You want to stand out in your industry.
Most importantly, you want to improve quality of life.

A health care agent initiativeA health care agent initiative is an outreach effort aimed at encouraging people in your community to name a health care agent, the person who will make decisions on their behalf in a medical emergency. These initiatives can be key to honoring health care wishes and protecting quality of life in communities. can advance those goals.

We can help. Our best practices report shares what's working for health care providers, nonprofits and foundations leading successful health care agent initiatives.

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Benefits of a Health Care Agent Initiative

Health Care Providers

  • Improves patient satisfaction scores (which impacts funding, clinical outcomes, patient retention, and medical malpractice claims)
  • Reduces likelihood of lawsuits for care that is not congruent with patient wishes
  • Improves efficiency and reduces stress for care teams
  • Reduces prevalence of unwanted care (and associated costs)
  • Allows for reimbursement for planning conversations
  • Most importantly, helps honor patient wishes

Nonprofits & Foundations

  • Demonstrates measurable impact (number of health care agents named) to funders, donors and board members
  • Advances your mission in a new way
  • Combats health disparities
  • Reduces health care costs in your community

Who is behind this?

As the largest health philanthropy in Maryland, the Horizon Foundation has been leading our own health care agent initiative, Speak(easy) Howard, since 2016. Working closely with hospitals, primary care providers, assisted living facilities, faith communities and nonprofits, we’ve steadily increased the number of health care agents named in our immediate community - Howard County - each year.

Now, we are expanding our vision: we want to ensure every Maryland resident has frequent opportunities to name a health care agent. That means engaging more organizations in the effort.

We looked into successful health care agent initiatives led by health care providers, nonprofits and foundations and compiled our best practices and lessons learned to create resources that highlight what’s working and step-by-step processes organizations can take. No matter what level of time or funding you have, you can get started. We’re happy to help.