2004:  Center for Ethics Convenes National POLST Paradigm Task Force

Other states began expressing interest in Oregon’s pioneering POLST experience. Convened under the leadership of Dr. Patrick Dunn and with administrative support from the OHSU Center for Ethics, regular phone meetings of the POLST leaders from the six most advanced POLST Paradigm states began in 2004. The thirteen Founding Members of the National POLST Paradigm Task Force (NPPTF) were Patrick Dunn, MD, Chair (OR) and Susan Tolle, MD, Treasurer (OR), Bud Hammes, PhD (WI), Woody Moss, MD (WV), James Shaw, MD (WA), Sally Denton, (WA), Judy Black, MD (PA), and Patricia Bomba, MD (NY) with advisors Terri Schmidt, MD (EMS), Margaret Carley, JD (Long-term Care), Susan Hickman, PhD (Research), Charles Sabatino, JD (Legal), and Malene Davis (Hospice).

First face-to-face meeting of the National POLST Paradigm Task Force in New Orleans, 2007.  (Not pictured: Sally Denton, Malene Davis)

First face-to-face meeting of the National POLST Paradigm Task Force in New Orleans, 2007.  (Not pictured: Sally Denton, Malene Davis)

Judy Black, MD

Judy Black, MD

Margaret Carley, JD

Margaret Carley, JD

The initial criteria for state inclusion in the NPPTF was a minimum of three years' experience using the POLST Paradigm at the regional or statewide level. In 2004, only six states met this requirement:  OR, WA, WI, PA, NY and WV.

In 2004, the Oregon POLST Program was the most mature program with longest history and had the strongest research program, the most EMS experience and the highest level of penetration in long-term care. As a result, the composition of the initial thirteen Founding NPPTF included five members from Oregon.

Dr. Susan Tolle led funding efforts for the NPPTF from inception to 2015. The NPPTF adopted the same standards of accepting private donations and grants only, and not accepting funding from health care industry sources (NPPTF conflicts of interest policy). By mutual agreement the NPPTF could not accept health care industry support as long as they were part of the OHSU Center for Ethics. Effective January 20, 2017, the NPPTF became independent of the OHSU Center for Ethics and approved a change in its funding policy, allowing support from health care industry sources. As of March 2017, the differences in NPPTF and the OHSU Center for Ethics policies are being considered by the Oregon POLST Coalition and the Center.