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A public engagement campaign advocating “kitchen table” conversations with family and friends about wishes for end-of-life care

The Conversation Project, co-founded by Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Goodman, is a public engagement campaign with a goal that is both simple and transformative: to make sure that every person’s wishes for end-of-life care are expressed and respected.

Too many people die in a manner they would not choose, so The Conversation Project offers people the tools, guidance and resources they need to begin talking with their loved ones, around the kitchen table, about their wishes and preferences.
The Conversation Project is not about promoting any specific preference for end-of-life care; instead, it seeks to encourage and support people in expressing their end-of-life wishes for care. 
Launched in collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), The Conversation Project’s cornerstone is a website that offers visitors a Conversation Starter Kit, and asks people to submit their personal stories to be shared on website and via YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.
By sparking cultural change at the kitchen table — not in the intensive care unit — The Conversation Project hopes it will become easier for people to communicate end-of-life wishes that can be expressed in advance and respected at the end.
IHI’s role in The Conversation Project
IHI strongly supports the work of The Conversation Project, believing that the successful transformation of the health care system requires the engagement of patients, families, and the general public. End-of-life care is something that every human will face. As a leader in health care improvement, IHI is committed to bringing the public into the conversation.

Have You Had the Conversation?

Learn more at The Conversation Project website:


Resources available include:

  • The Conversation Starter Kit
  • How to Talk to Your Doctor guide