Welvie Introduces My Life Letters to Help Consumers Communicate Their Advance Care Plan

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Welvie Introduces My Life Letters to Help Consumers Communicate Their Advance Care Plan

Welvie, a leading health care decision-support company, announced the introduction of its newest online product, Welvie My Life LettersSM. Building on the Company's successful surgery decision-making platform, My Life Letters is an innovative advance care planning program that helps consumers create personalized letters to family, friends and caregivers explaining their wishes for end-of-life care.

"The biggest obstacle in advance care planning is that people don't want to talk about it," said Welvie CEO Chip Tooke. "Our goal is to overcome that obstacle by helping program participants create personalized letters they can send to the important people in their lives."

My Life Letters guides participants, step-by-step, through a comprehensive advance care planning journey. The program asks questions about values and beliefs and what decisions participants would make for a number of potential treatment options that may arise for people with life-limiting conditions – from chemotherapy to feeding tubes. Responses are compiled and used to build letters used to clearly communicate wishes. Participants can edit the completed letters as they wish, then send them directly from the Welvie program. Program users can create as many letters as they want, or even update previous letters if their views change over time. 

The first and most important letter participants create is for their health care proxy — someone they choose to speak for them if they can no longer speak for themselves. Once contacted by a My Life Letters participant, proxies are invited to visit a companion Web site where they can explore the participant's values and decisions in more depth.

In addition, My Life Letters helps participants create state-specific advance directive documents. The advance directive can be stored on the site and attached to the letters when they're sent, allowing easy access electronically.

"My Life Letters is both an educational and communication platform," said Tooke. "After an in-depth review of all facets of advance care planning, the program facilitates the communication process by creating letters and supporting documents to engage health care proxies, family members and caregivers. There's nothing else like this on the market."

Only about a third of Americans have completed an advance directive. Often, when doctors and family members don't know a patient's wishes, they opt for the most aggressive treatments available.

"If you're trying to decide whether your spouse would want to be connected to a breathing machine, that's a huge burden," he said. "But if you have a letter saying that he or she'd rather just pass comfortably, and there's an advance directive attached to the letter, care decisions can be made with peace of mind."

About Welvie

Welvie improves lives by providing six-step online shared decision-making programs that help guide people into fully-informed decisions on complex health care matters. Welvie's My Surgery (surgery decision support) and My Life Letters (advance care planning) programs help people become more informed and more engaged health care advocates for themselves and their loved ones. The Company's programs have been implemented nationally with health plans, large employers, and government agencies. For more information about Welvie, visit  http://www.welvie.com.

Media Contact: Doug Kronenberg, Welvie, 877-780-0016, dkronenberg@welvie.com

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