1991:  Building a Coalition

In 1991, it was not uncommon for ill Oregonians nearing the end of life to receive unwanted medical treatment. To address this problem, The Center for Ethics convened a group of health care professionals including emergency medical services (EMS), medicine, nursing, hospice, and long-term care. Over a two-year period, the newly formed Task Force developed the Medical Treatment Coversheet (MTC); designed to help health care professionals honor the treatment preferences of their patients. 

Members of the 1992 Task Force that Developed and Evaluated the Medical Treatment Coversheet

  • Johnna Alexander, Oregon Health Decisions
  • Karen Art, Department of Justice
  • Holly Berman, Multnomah County Aging Services Division
  • Ray Broomfield, Oregon Fire Chiefs Association
  • Ann Brown, MD, American College of Emergency Physicians
  • Margaret Carley, JD, Oregon Health Care Association
  • Jim Davis, Oregon Council of Senior Citizens
  • Maggie Donius, RN, Oregon Nursing Association
  • Kurt Duffens, MD, St. Vincent Hospital
  • Patrick Dunn, MD, Chair, Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital
  • Ted Falk, JD, Oregon Health Decisions
  • Dan Field, JD, Oregon Association of Hospitals
  • Marshall Goldberg, MD, Kaiser Permanente
  • Schuyler Hoss, Oregon Association for Home Care
  • Joanne Hoyt, Washington County EMS
  • Ann Jackson, MBA, Oregon Hospice Association
  • Kathy Kato, Holladay Park Hospital
  • Howard "Skip" Kirkwood, Oregon State EMS
  • Gail Madsen, Oregon State EMS
  • Dan McFarling, Senior & Disabled Services Division
  • Jody Ann Noon, JD, Oregon Association of Homes for the Aging
  • Roy Payne, MD, Oregon Medical Association
  • Brenda Quint-Gaebel, Health Information Management Association
  • Nancy Sayan, Oregon Medical Assistance Programs
  • Trudy Schidleman, RN, Multnomah County EMS
  • Terri Schmidt, MD, Emergency Services, OHSU
  • Kathleen Smail, RN, Oregon State Health Division
  • Susan Tolle, MD, Treasurer, Center for Ethics in Health Care, OHSU
  • Molly Weinstein, JD, Senior & Disabled Services Division

The coalition was designed to assure key stakeholder representation while partnering with strong physician champions in EMS, academic medicine and within health systems. The Task Force recognized the need to clarify the distinction between advance directives and medical orders and changed the document name to “Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment” or “POLST.”  A major focus in these early years of the new ‘POLST Task Force’ was to address statutory and regulatory barriers to effective POLST implementation across all settings of care. 

Since 1992, the Task Force has continued to meet regularly. Initial meetings were held at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital with a high level of support by the Chief of Medicine; Dr. Stephen R. Jones. Task Force gatherings moved to the OHSU campus in 2007 and continue to address ongoing education, policy development, and research with a focus on continuous quality improvement.

The Oregon POLST Task Force members in 2000, front row (left to right): Susan Tolle, MD (Treasurer, OHSU), Trudy Schidleman, RN (Multnomah County EMS), Patrick Dunn, MD (Chair, Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital and OHSU), Terri Schmidt, MD (OHSU). Back row (left to right): Mark Bonanno, JD (Oregon Health Decisions), Ann Jackson, MBA (Oregon Hospice Association), Dan McFarling (Senior & Disabled Services Division), Tim Hennigan, EMT-P (Oregon Health Division), Jerry Andrews, EMT-P (Oregon Health Division), Chris Nelson, RN (OHSU), Dan Field, JD (Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems), Holly Robinson, JD (Senior & Disabled Services Division) and Anne-Marie Jones (OHSU).

The Oregon POLST Task Force members in 2000, front row (left to right): Susan Tolle, MD (Treasurer, OHSU), Trudy Schidleman, RN (Multnomah County EMS), Patrick Dunn, MD (Chair, Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital and OHSU), Terri Schmidt, MD (OHSU). Back row (left to right): Mark Bonanno, JD (Oregon Health Decisions), Ann Jackson, MBA (Oregon Hospice Association), Dan McFarling (Senior & Disabled Services Division), Tim Hennigan, EMT-P (Oregon Health Division), Jerry Andrews, EMT-P (Oregon Health Division), Chris Nelson, RN (OHSU), Dan Field, JD (Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems), Holly Robinson, JD (Senior & Disabled Services Division) and Anne-Marie Jones (OHSU).