Advance Care Planning & Advance Directive by the Wisconsin Medical Society

Advance Directive form

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Visual Guide

Education & Resources

Health Care Agent Guides, CPR Guides

Advance Care Planning Wisconsin Contacts 

End of Life video series from Archdiocese of Milwaukee: Advance directives, decision-making, palliative care & more

Respecting Choices COVID-19 resources
Honoring Choices National COVID-19 Resources
Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest
Honoring Choices Virginia

Advance Care Planning webinars for physicians can be found here.

April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD)

National Healthcare Decisions Day is a day to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning (ACP).

Governor's proclamation

We work closely with organizations throughout the state who express interest in planning an NHDD event or activity. We manage statewide planning activities, host educational events, foster networking opportunities, develop planning tools and templates and evaluate the statewide impact of NHDD. For more information, please visit

Advance Care Planning & Advance Directive is an initiative of the Wisconsin Medical Society (Society) to build system change, advocacy and education around advance care planning. Through Advance Care Planning, the Society works to make advance care planning a routine and standard part of care across Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Medical Society:

  • Advocates for advance care planning as a process of understanding, reflecting on and discussing future medical decisions, including end-of-life preferences.
  • Serves as convener, coordinator and catalyst to make advance care planning a routine and standard part of care across the state.
  • Coordinates education and support with Respecting Choices to create a forum in which to share information.

With your help, we can improve advance care planning for patients, families, friends, providers and communities across Wisconsin.

Clinical training and guidance

Advance Care Planning partners with Respecting Choices® First Steps® Prime Affinity (RC) to train participating health care organizations to build strong advance care planning systems. More than just training facilitators, RC assists organizations in ensuring that conversations are offered routinely, conducted, documented and entered consistently in the medical record. Participants begin with a small-scale, six-month trial implementation, and use the lessons learned to expand across the organization.

Collaboration in the health care system

By collaborating around this model, clinical sites and communities enjoy greater benefits and avoid duplicating work to improve advance care planning. The Society and RC provide a platform for teams and stakeholders to share lessons and information, address challenges and share successes.

Physician engagement

Physicians are essential to effective advance care planning. Their trusted encouragement normalizes these difficult conversations, and their leadership is required for success in the health care setting. The Society works closely with physicians and provides them tools and continuing medical education to successfully engage their patients in advance care planning.

Common language, documentation and patient materials

The language around advance care planning is often confusing and undefined. The glossary is contributing to more standardized vocabulary across Wisconsin, and participants use a common advance directive and patient education materials, providing standard messaging on advance care planning.

Participating Organizations

  • Aspirus
  • Aurora Health Care
  • Bellin Health
  • Community Care, Inc
  • Fort Healthcare-Fort Atkinson
  • Fox Valley ACP Partnership
  • Gundersen Health
  • Marshfield Clinic Health System
  • Mercy Health Corporation
  • ProHealth Care
  • Rainbow Hospice Care
  • Reedsburg Area Medical Center
  • Saint Croix Regional Medical Center
  • SSM Health
  • Theda Care
  • Upland Hills Health
  • UW Health

Advance Care Planning & Advance Directive by the Wisconsin Medical Society welcomes new participants year-round. We ask organizations to agree to a shared approach to advance care planning; commit to the training program and implementation of advance care planning as a routine part of care; agree to collaborate fully with other organizations; and contribute financially to the program. Participating organizations also have access to unique resources that are only available to members. If you would like your organization to join please contact us at [email protected].