About Us

Founded at Gundersen Health System in 1991, Respecting Choices (RC) is an internationally recognized, evidence-based advance care planning (ACP) program. Respecting Choices provides training, consultation, and materials, and the RC ACP model has been implemented in over 80 communities and organizations around the world. Two decades of research has proven the program’s effectiveness.

First Steps®
First Steps ACP is the basic foundation for weaving ACP discussions into the routine of good patient care and preventative healthcare for all adults.

Next Steps ACP "A Disease-specific Advance Care Planning Program"
Next Steps ACP should be initiated for patients with chronic, progressive illness who have begun to experience a decline in functional status, additional illnesses, more frequent hospitalizations, or are at risk for complications that would leave them unable to make their own healthcare decisions.

The goal of this stage of planning is to help patients understand:

  • the progression of their illness
  • potential complications of their illness
  • specific life-sustaining treatments that may be required if their illness progresses

Last Steps® ACP–"A POLST Paradigm Program"
Last Steps® ACP is intended for frail elders or others whose death in the next 12 months would not be unexpected. Many of these individuals are living in long-term care facilities and are at risk of losing their decision-making capacity. Specific and timely life-sustaining treatment decisions are made and converted to medical orders that guide the actions of healthcare providers and are consistent with the goals of the individual.

For more information about Respecting Choices programs, visit www.respectingchoices.org.

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