Photography by Greg Miller

Empowering Patients & Families

Bellwether Care Services

During the course of a serious illness and the ensuing encounters with the healthcare system, Bellwether Care can play many roles, such as a trusted, knowledgeable and objective advisor, a navigator, a champion, a supportive presence, a companion and a guide. Each family and patient will have different needs although all want to be fully informed and able to make thoughtful treatment decisions. The goal of Bellwether Care is to empower patients, caregivers, and families to participate fully in shared decision-making by providing them with the information they need and the opportunity to discuss and understand its implications.

Examples of Specific Services:

  • Help in forming concrete and achievable goals for care
  • Help in understanding both the potential benefits and the harms of alternative paths
  • Speak with healthcare providers as requested to clarify or coordinate care plans
  • Help in navigating the health care system in general
  • Help in understanding both the ability and the limit of what medicine can do to improve quality of life and to lengthen it
  • Teach about palliative care, hospice, and end-of-life choices
  • Discuss and help prepare for signature end-of-life documents—advance directives, durable healthcare powers of attorney, POLST’s (Physician orders for Life Sustaining Treatment)
  • Facilitate conversations with family and/or friends involved in decisions/care


Bellwether has worked with patients and families both local and distant. Through telephone, texting, and email we have been able to communicate efficiently and effectively.