USI awarded $330,000 grant to implement Advance Care Planning program


The University of Southern Indiana has been awarded a $332,360 grant from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) to implement an Advance Care Planning (ACP) program into nursing homes across southwest Indiana.

The three-year grant, entitled: Advance Care Planning in Southwest Indiana Nursing Homes: Promoting Quality of Life and Culture Change, will be implemented through USI’s New Harmony Conversations team. Dr. Kevin Valadares, chair of the Health Administration Program and associate professor of health services, is the principal investigator for the grant, and USI faculty members Dr. Katie Ehlman, associate professor of gerontology, and Dr. Marie Pease, associate professor of social work, will serve as co-investigators.

“Advance care planning is the term used to describe the conversations that people have about future health care preferences and how to design health care to ensure these specific wishes are carried out,” said Valadares. “Our work on this project will have a major impact in meeting the needs of our community, and the grant from the ISDH will take our work to a new level.”

Based on the Respecting Choices® Last Steps® model, this program will seek to recruit a total of 15 nursing homes and 75 ACP facilitators and train them in providing advance care planning conversations for individuals residing in a nursing homes. A total of 750 nursing home residents are projected to be affected over the three-year program.

For more information, contact Valadares at or visit