About Honoring Choices® Virginia

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Have you wondered how to talk to your loved ones about what medical care you would or wouldn’t want in a medical crisis? 

Are you a health care provider that wants to have these conversations with your patients, but aren’t sure where to begin?

We’re here to help.

Too often in our health care system, individuals do not receive the care they wish for during a medical crisis. Starting a conversation about future medical care can be difficult for all of us, whether we are physicians, patients, family members, faith leaders or health care providers. It is, however, imperative that these conversations happen. And once they occur, it is equally critical that individuals’ choices are honored by those who care for them.

Honoring Choices Virginia, together with our partners and volunteers, is actively engaging the Commonwealth of Virginia to change the culture about future medical decision-making–also known as “advance care planning”.

Honoring Choices® Virginia was founded as a collaborative of the Richmond Academy of Medicine, Bon Secours Richmond Health System, HCA Virginia and VCU Health launched by the Academy in early 2015.

We embrace both a grassroots and systems-level approach in our work. As a Virginia Department of Health-recognized training site, we equip partners and volunteers across the Commonwealth to assist individuals and their loved ones in having important conversations about future medical decisions, using the nationally recognized Respecting Choices First Steps curriculum. We develop and provide inclusive, accessible educational resources and programming designed to support community members wherever they are at in the planning process–whether learning about it for the first time or updating an existing plan. We are also proud to serve as the convener of the Statewide ACP Alliance, a group of partners advocating for improved access to advance care planning and working to ensure that every Virginian’s wishes are honored in the delivery of health care.


Real, local stories about loved ones and choices they wish they could have made.

Our Impact

Want to learn more about how to get involved?

What Others are Saying About Us:

“My sister, Dad and I worked with a nurse at VCU’s Center for Advanced Health Management, who had completed the Honoring Choices training, to do advance care planning for my dad over the summer. Lisa was great … she made a tough process very manageable. Thanks to the Academy for doing this important work! While we’ve got a road ahead of us, completing Honoring Choices gives us a point of reference as we navigate the future.”

“By promoting and facilitating these conversations, Honoring Choices helps families and physicians understand and honor individual patient’s choices about their care. We have already seen that this can make the time spent together in the final days of life better for all.”

“The Honoring Choices facilitator training helped both me, as a physician, and [our] residents learn new skills for addressing end of life issues with patients and their families. We were taught specific tools for asking questions about sensitive issues and feelings in an unbiased and nonjudgmental manner. These are skills only briefly covered in a traditional medical school curriculum and will be useful throughout their careers.”

“My patient is …homebound and because of his multiple chronic medical conditions he has difficulty getting out to medical appointments. He resides alone and his two living relatives live out of state. He wanted to participate in an Honoring Choices discussion because he knew he needed to make some important decisions for his future care and felt this was particularly necessary with his family being out of town. Having gone through the process he now feels that both of his agents understand much better his wishes and their roles. He says that they now know when to get involved and ask questions.”

“Since my time as an Honoring Choices facilitator, I have experienced how the gift of a conversation benefits patients and families as they prepare for the unexpected. During conversations, I see people journey from apprehension, in discussing a topic that emulates vulnerability, to a place of ‘rightness’ once they have found their voice and expressed their desires. Families have said that knowing their loved one’s wishes gives them peace even though the situation they are preparing for will bring pain. To me, this program is beneficial because it offers clarity in the midst of impending heartache.”

“Honoring Choices has been invaluable to overall patient care and family experience. This is one of many stories: I sat down with a patient and his large family for the Honoring Choices conversation. He had CRF [chronic renal failure] and ESRD [endstage renal disease] and (eventually transitioned) to hospice. His transition was smooth, the family experience was wonderful, and his expressed wishes were well-respected. I know Honoring Choices has improved overall patient and family satisfaction.”

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