March 30, 2018

Dear CTEOL Members,

The Connecticut Coalition to Improve End of Life Care (CTEOL) is nearing its 20th year as the primary state organization to provide resources for statewide education on end-of-life care. As a group of diverse volunteers and professionals, our mission is to improve awareness of end-of-life and palliative care in Connecticut.

We advocate for professional and institutional standards, continuity of care, patient and family satisfaction, and an appreciation of spiritual, religious and cultural diversity. We foster an atmosphere of inclusion, open discussion, and creative thinking. We consider initiatives that may support clinical improvements in end-of-life care through education, networking, and policy reform.

During the past year, CTEOL focused on developing partnerships with organizations and volunteers that are committed to increasing awareness of palliative and end-of-life care for citizens and clinicians in Connecticut. A few of our accomplishments this year included collaboration with:

     *  Care Decisions, CT to integrate patient directed care strategies to improve quality of living for persons in CT with serious illnesses.

     *  Yale New Haven Health System to provide a Geriatric End of Life Nursing Consortium Train the Trainer educational two-day workshop.

     *  CT Inmate Hospice Program to support hospice education.

     *  Department of Public Health to disseminate MOLST Education.

In addition, CTEOL received a sizable grant from the CT Cancer Partnership to offer the Conversation Project to various local organizations. The Conversation Project is a national program that provides guidance and resources in how to talk about wishes for end-of-life care with family members, and providers.

To ring in the New Year, CTEOL members were invited to celebrate our accomplishments at the 19th Annual CTEOL Meeting. This annual event was graciously hosted by VITAS Healthcare, in January. During this event, the Board of Directors honored several community members for their continued service to Connecticut citizens, with the aim of improving care for all people living with a serious medical condition. With gratitude, we acknowledged the following recipients:

     Suzanne Blancaflor, MS, MPH: Living Legend Award in End-of-Life Care

     Joseph McNamara, MD: Safe Passage for Outstanding Pediatric Clinical Care

     Virtual Inpatient Hospice Program Yale New Haven Hospital: Safe Passage for Outstanding Clinical Care

     Colleen Gallagher, MA, CADAC, CCHP: Excellence in Achievement for Public Service in End-of-Life Care

     Gerard Kerins, MD, FACP: Excellence in Achievement for Public Service in End-of-Life Care

     Cynthia Lamont, LPN: President’s Award for Significant Contributions to CTEOL

This year, CTEOL is in the planning stages of several education offerings. We look forward to sharing these with you in the near future. Meantime, please renew your membership today, at: and consider participating on one of our committees: the Education Committee, Annual Meeting Committee, or Strategic Planning Committee. CTEOL also invites you to circulate this letter to your colleagues, who may be interested in becoming a new member of our critically important organization. Please continue to check our website throughout the year at:  for updates regarding CTEOL’s important initiatives and programs for the coming year.

Lastly, we invite you to tell us more about the work you are doing, so that we may spotlight your background via THE CTEOL NEWLSETTER. A few suggestions for topics might include activities that you are interested in pursuing, publications, and organizational initiatives. Please utilize the email above if you would like to be featured!

Kind regards,


President, Coalition to Improve End-of-Life Care (CTEOL)

A Message from our President