The Center for Healthcare Decisions is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization based near Sacramento, California. Established in 1994 as Sacramento Healthcare Decisions, we began our work with two local projects focusing on healthcare reform and end-of-life care.
Our first project related to the Clinton healthcare reform debate. Exploring personal and societal values, we helped develop an eight-part series in The Sacramento Bee called The Heart of Health Care.
Next we launched the ECHO Project, which brought together 1,000 community members and healthcare professionals in a three-year effort to improve care at the end-of-life. This endeavor sparked tangible changes in local hospitals and became a national model of community collaboration.
The ECHO Project also led to the creation of the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California, a statewide partnership promoting high-quality, compassionate end-of-life care.
As part of the growing interest in the mid-1990s in improving care at the end of life, CHCD played a leadership role in local, state, and national activities. For more than a decade, we educated thousands of citizens, trained hundreds of health professionals and faith leaders, and worked with healthcare organizations to implement new end-of-life policies and practices. During that time, CHCD established both the Compassionate Care Alliance of the Greater Sacramento Area and the Sacramento Area POLST Coalition to help move this important work forward. In 2011-12 CHCD transitioned these education and outreach activities to other organizations, including the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California.
Beginning in 1999 CHCD expanded its focus to issues related to the rising cost of healthcare. Through a number of projects, we began introducing the public to the concept of setting priorities when resources are limited.
This work has broadened our reach from primarily regional to an organization with state and national impact. Today, CHCD works to shed light on the challenges facing this country in reforming health care.