CCCC Approved for a $250,000 Engagement Award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute


Award will help recruit, train and empower patient-ambassadors for palliative care

SACRAMENTO — The Coalition for Compassionate Care of California has received a Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to recruit, train and empower patient-ambassadors for palliative care.

Clinical Director Shirley Otis-Green, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, OSW-C, along with Program Director Kristine Wallach, will lead this engagement project at CCCC. The project will focus on:

  • Recruiting and training small teams of “e-Patient ambassadors,” advocacy-organization representatives and palliative-care experts who will work together to craft and disseminate information about palliative care, advance care planning and person-centered health care to a nationwide audience
  • Guiding and assisting each e-Patient ambassador’s team in promoting palliative care information and research to disease-specific advocacy organizations
  • Creating and disseminating a toolkit of best practices to help all patients and advocacy organizations share information about palliative care, advance care planning, and person-centered services.

“We are very grateful to PCORI for this award, which will take our work in empowering patients who face serious illness to the next level,” said CCCC CEO Judy Thomas, JD. “Patients facing serious illness deserve unbiased information about their medical-care options. This funding and project will bring the genuine voices of patients who benefited from palliative care to those at risk of or dealing with serious illness.”

The project is part of a portfolio of projects approved for PCORI funding to develop a skilled community of patients and other stakeholders from across the entire health-care enterprise and to involve them meaningfully in every aspect of PCORI’s work.

“This project was selected for Engagement Award funding not only for its commitment to engaging patients and other stakeholders but also for its potential to increase the usefulness and trustworthiness of the information we produce and facilitate its dissemination and uptake,” said Jean Slutsky, PCORI’s Chief Engagement and Dissemination Officer. “We look forward to following the project’s progress and working with CCCC to share the results.”

Palliative care is specialized health care for people with serious illnesses. Although palliative-care services are appropriate at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided concurrently with curative treatments, many patients are unaware of the benefits of palliative care and may be reluctant to accept them. Supporting the integration of the key principles of palliative care into the messaging of existing advocacy organizations is hoped to drive consumer awareness (and ultimately consumer demand) for palliative-care services.

e-Patients are individuals who are equipped, enabled, empowered and engaged in their health and health-care decisions, allowing health care to be an equal partnership between e-Patients and the health professionals and health systems that support them.

“We are grateful to PCORI for bringing attention to the importance of providing truly person-centered care, and are looking forward to working with our e-Patient ambassadors to create communication campaigns highlighting the benefits of palliative care,” said Otis-Green. “We believe that the key principles of palliative care (an interprofessional, collaborative, team approach to reducing the multidimensional sources of suffering associated with serious illness; a contextualized whole-person approach to care with attention to the quality of life of the family as well as the patient) provide the foundation for the provision of person-centered, family-focused and culturally-congruent quality health care.”

CCCC’s project and other projects approved for funding by the PCORI Engagement Award Program were selected through a highly competitive review process in which applications were assessed for their ability to meet PCORI’s engagement goals and objectives, as well as program criteria. The CCCC project is funded through Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award #8621-CCCC. For more information about PCORI’s funding to support engagement efforts, please visit

PCORI is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress in 2010 to fund comparative effectiveness research that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence needed to make better-informed health and health-care decisions. PCORI is committed to seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work.

For media inquiries, please contact Judy Thomas at 916/489-2222.

CCCC is an interdisciplinary partnership of thought-leaders from healthcare systems and organizations, government agencies, consumer organizations and the general public. Through advocacy, education and resource development, we’re working to ensure organizations and communities have the information, resources, and tools to expand palliative care across the continuum of care.
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