Press Release

Being Mortal Project Extended Through June 30th, 2017

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 -- The national Being Mortal project, which has engaged at least 50,000 people across the country in conversations around end-of-life decision-making over the last year, will continue through the end of June 2017, the project’s organizers announced on Tuesday.

“We’re excited that the John and Wauna Harman Foundation, which provides financial support for this project, generously extended this important effort,” said Amy Tucci, president of Hospice Foundation of America (HFA), which is coordinating the screenings in communities across the United States.

Through a screening of PBS’ FRONTLINE Emmy-nominated film Being Mortal, based on the best-selling book by Atul Gawande, and a guided discussion, communities have taken the time to learn about their choices when it comes to end-of-life care and start to think about how to plan for it before it’s too late. Screening sites are required to partner with at least one community organization, such as a hospital, library, or school, invite the public as well as clinicians, and participate in surveys collected by HFA.

Being Mortal has received praise from both its participants and professionals within the medical community. Nearly 83% of participants would recommend the project to their friends and family, and 96% of medical professionals and clinicians would recommend the project to their colleagues. Ninety-seven percent of attendees who had never made plans for end-of-life care will now make them, as a result of the Being Mortal project.

The recent extension provides communities with an interactive tool for National Health Care Decisions Day, which will run from April 16 to 22. Nathan Kottkamp, Chair of the National Health Care Decisions Day Initiative, termed Being Mortal a “fantastic” program, as it effectively communicates the importance of planning for the future.

HFA is proud of the nation impact of Being Mortal, as it has affected rural communities and urban communities from Alaska to Maine. During its 15-month span, Being Mortal has reached all 50 states and the District of Columbia through 790 events, with 160 events and counting yet to be presented.

If your organization would like to become a screening site, please visit hospicefoundation.org and click on the links for the Being Mortal Project. With five months until the project is completed, there is plenty of time to set up an event in your community and make an impact.

For more information contact Cindy Bramble, cbramble@hospicefoundation.org or Amy Tucci, atucci@hospicefoundation.org or call 800-854-3402

About the John and Wauna Harman Foundation
The John and Wauna Harman Foundation (Harman Foundation) is a private family foundation rooted in its donors’ humble beginnings. Thus, the Harman Foundation values humility, compassion, education, and a concern for the most vulnerable in our society. Its mission is to improve end-of-life care in America by encouraging all Americans to have meaningful conversations with family and loved ones about their end-of-life care wishes before serious illness occurs, thereby improving quality of life as death is near.

About HFA 
Hospice Foundation of America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. HFA meets its mission by providing programs for professional development, public education and information; funding research, producing publications, and by providing information on issues related to hospice and end-of-life care. Our programs for healthcare professionals are designed to improve care of those with terminal illness and those experiencing the process of grief, and are offered on a national basis. Our programs for the public are designed to assist individual consumers of health care who are coping with issues of caregiving, terminal illness, and grief.