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St. Louis, Missouri


The Mission of the Gateway End-of-Life Coalition is to Promote High Quality End of Life Care for Patients and Their Families.


  • Educate the public, health care providers and students regarding optimal care for the maximum benefit of persons at end of life.
  • Promote collaboration among health care providers, patients, family members, educators and organizations that provide or promote end-of-life care.
  • Advocate for quality end-of-life care with policy makers.


The Hello Game Has Come To St. Louis

Gateway End-of-Life Coalition recently sponsored a program for African Americans designed to encourage conversation about end-of-life care preferences using an innovative new game called HELLO! In the game, participants respond to a series of questions about what's important to them in life and what would be important for other people to know if there came a time when they had a serious illness. Participants shared stories about their own lives and discussed how they would want to be cared for, and they received resources to help them talk with family members about their preferences and put them into writing. The Gateway Coalition plans to conduct several more of these programs in 2019, and if your organization is interested in collaborating with the Coalition please contact us at

Five ways to prepare young children to visit a loved one who is dying

The visits can teach children invaluable lessons on death, give them a chance to say goodbye and provide closure.  Click here for this article in the Washington Post by Jessica F. Hinton.


Facing an inevitable outcome, terminally ill patients meet extraordinary medical practitioners seeking to change our approach to life and death.  See the trailer here.

Cara Wallace, Gateway board member is a guest on St Louis On the Air, April 11.

 You can learn more and listen here.

What are the spiritual needs at the end of life? 

Do individuals become more religious as they die? This question has often been debated among academics who study death. Such debate avoids the central issue that the dying process raises profound spiritual concerns of meaning and connection for individuals.

Speaking of Psychology: Making talking about death easier

Talking to loved ones about important end-of-life decisions can spark a complicated landmine of emotions. So much so, many people put it off until it’s too late. In this podcast, Brian Carpenter, PhD, talks about why it’s important to have these conversations and how to approach these discussions successfully.

Why Some People Don't Die in Peace

This article by Dr. Karen Wyatt who describes herself as a hospice physician, death awareness advocate, and spiritual seeker who loves to help people live life fully and fearlessly, outlines the problems and offers solutions related to peace at the end of life.

Family Healthcare Discussions

As your family gathers for the holidays it offers an opportunity to discuss difficult, but important topics in life.  Free resources are available at the Center for Practical Bioethics.

Pope counsels Catholics on end-of-life decisions [An Article in Catholic Health World]

In a recent message on end-of-life care, Pope Francis said that it is permissible and moral for a patient to decide, in dialogue with medical professionals, that a proposed or ongoing course of treatment that might extend their life is nevertheless overzealous and disproportionate. The patient is not required by their Catholic faith to use every tool and treatment available, he said.  Click here for the full article.

10 of the best self-help books on grief (September 2017)

After the death of loved one, many people turn to grief self-help books to understand what they are feeling. The right grief book can shine a light on the complex emotions of bereavement, providing expert knowledge and compassionate care in your time of need.  Here are 10 of the best self-help books on grief, from respected doctors and those on their own journey through bereavement.  Click here. 

Medicalization of Dying

Health professionals have the assumed responsibility, once held by family and community, for the care of persons at the end of life, and they now widely influence how that care is understood and delivered. Philosopher Daniel Callahan has noted that American society, including the institution of medicine, has lost a sense of the normal or natural life span, including the inevitability of decline and death.  This article provides background for a needed discussion.  Link to Article    Medicalization of Dying PDF

The Conversation Project Comes to St Louis County Libraries

Using the Conversation Starter Kit, the Gateway End-of-Life Coalition will guide participants through the steps and considerations for having a discussion about end-of-life wishes.  An attorney and notary will be present for those ready to complete their advance directives.  Please spread the word.  For dates click here.

We Plan for Death Poorly in the U.S.

Where there is life, there is death. It is inevitable for us all; yet as a society, we speak of it with hand over mouth – in hushed tones, as if the mere verbalization of it would bring it upon us. In America, we don’t deal with death very well. We want to believe that we will live to grow old and that death will be a quick and sudden event. That’s not always the case. It’s not a fun topic to talk about, and therefore we don’t talk about it nor do we plan for it properly. Click here to read more.

What people most want in their final months

This April 2017 article in The Economist discusses a survey conducted jointly by The Economist and the Kaiser Family Foundation, an American non-profit focused on health.

Gateway Board Members on Aging America Radio

Board Chair Joan Bretthauer and Jen Galantowicz were interviewed recently on Aging America Radio about End-of-Life conversations. They talked passionately and simply about why and how these conversations can enhance our lives - and deaths.  To listen, click here and scroll down to the show titled 4/29/2017  "End of Life Planning"

NHDD 10 Year Celebration: A Call To Advance Care Planning

National Healthcare Decisions Day is celebrating 10 years of inspiring, educating, and empowering the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. To mark this occasion, there will be a congressional briefing on May 3rd in Washington D.C.  Ellen Goodman, Founder of The Conversation Project, will moderate a round table discussion featuring Nathan Kottkamp, Founder and Chair of NHDD, Edo Banach, CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, Judge Patricia Banks on behalf of the American Bar Association, and Father Charles Bouchard of the Catholic Health Association about how we can ensure that everyone's wishes regarding end-of-life care are both expressed and respected.

How to Choose a Health Care Proxy & How to Be a Health Care Proxy

The Conversation Project, a five-year-old grassroots initiative based at Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), has just published a new, free resource: How to Choose a Health Care Proxy & How to Be a Health Care Proxy.  Learned more about this latest proxy kit and the issues surrounding choosing a health care proxy on the free April 6 Audio program  WIHI: Who’s Your Health Care Proxy?  Click here.

This art exhibit encourages St. Louisans to contemplate death and end-of-life care

St Louis Magazine highlighted the recent event at St Luke's Hospital highlighting the need for Advance Care Planning in a unique and entertaining fashion and the work of our member, Rebecca Lasatar.  In the article they point out, that the Before I Die exhibit can continue beyond the event.  The wall is reusable and can be used in other spaces. The article noted the collaboration with Gateway End-of-Life Coalition.  Check out the article in St Louis Magazine, here.

2017 National Healthcare Decisions Day and St Louis On the Air

As part of our community's celebration of National Healthcare Decisions Day Gateway End-of-Life Coalition board members Brian Carpenter, PhD and Ginny Rice, Attorney at Law were guests on  St. Louis on the Air, hosted by Don Marsh.  They discussed the importance of advance care planning for end-of-life decisions.   Listen here.

Applications for the Missouri Palliative Care and Quality of Life Interdisciplinary Council are now being accepted.

Members appointed by the governor will include; two board-certified hospice and palliative medicine physicians licensed in this state; two certified hospice and palliative nurses licensed in this state, a certified and palliative social worker, a patient and family caregiver advocate representative, and a spiritual professional with experience in palliative care and health care.  Info Page on the new council:

5 Things That People Who Are Dying Want You to Know

In this article, a hospice chaplain reveals what she's learned about supporting loved ones as they prepare to embark on their last journey.  Click here.

The Debate Across The Nation Over “Death With Dignity” Laws

On Monday, November 27th a thoughtful discussion occurred on The Diane Rehm show.  Listening to educated, experienced people talk through the complicated, personal issues that come up at end of life will provide you with something to think about.  Click here to listen.

Get ready for National Healthcare Decisions Day

Every year, organizations across the U.S. join together on April 16th to celebrate National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), a day of conversations and action about advance care planning.  How can you hold an event that will get your community, your staff, and your patients talking and taking action? We've got the answer: hold a Conversation Event

The American Nurses Association (ANA) is now promoting that nurses lead by example.

Nurses have an ethical duty to promote advance care planning conversations and provide care that is consistent with palliative care practice standards. Given their focus on providing patient and family centered health care, nurses are often the first to recognize the need for palliative care and advocate for palliative care services.  In the coming months the Professional Issues Panel will release their findings on further integrating palliative and hospice care into the U.S. healthcare delivery system and the role nurses can and should assume going forward.  For more information click here.

H.R. 3119, the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA)

Palliative care focuses on improving quality of life, and relieving suffering for patients with serious and chronic health conditions. It is a team-based approach that involves doctors, nurses, social workers, and other specialists to provide an extra layer of support alongside curative treatments. Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage of a serious illness.  H.R. 3119 would:

  • establish workforce training programs to improve the training of health professionals in the medical subspecialty of palliative care, as well as core competencies
  • establish a national awareness campaign to inform patients, families and health professionals about the benefits of palliative care
  • direct NIH to expand research funding specific to palliative care.

Please consider contacting the staff of our cosponsors to encourage their bosses to speak with Energy & Commerce Committee leadership to apply pressure for a mark-up on the bill.  For more information click here pqlc-pcheta-final-push-memo-10122016.

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