Our purpose is to help people get the medical care that they want and need when they need it most.
We want to help people to preserve their dignity, wellbeing and relationships whether they live or die.
We want to help those in decision-making roles to feel confident about their decisions, and reduce the stress and anxiety that too many feel due to lack of information, education, and preparation.
Plan Well Guide was born out of my sincere interest to help people think ahead and plan ahead so that they enjoy a high-quality life and death. My name is Daren Heyland, and I am an ICU doctor and creator of Plan Well Guide.
I see how ill-prepared many people are when serious illness and injury occur. I’ve experienced first-hand how families of critically ill patients often get extremely stressed over the burden suddenly placed upon them to make life and death decisions on behalf of their loved ones.
All of this extra stress and anxiety could have been prevented by preparing in advance for serious illness.
Informed by more than 20 years of research in communication and decision-making, I developed Plan Well Guide to act as an online tool to help people think ahead and be ready to discuss with doctors their values and preferences for life-sustaining treatments if they became seriously ill.
This challenge was particularly personal. Several years ago, my mother-in-law was experiencing severe frailty. She is the reason Plan Well Guide became what it is today.
My mother-in-law’s family doctor asked her about her medical plan in the event of serious illness. At the time, I was developing new tools to help people plan for serious illness. I took this opportunity to try out these tools with his mother-in-law.
We sat together and went through the materials, and then discussed things in more detail. We came to a shared conclusion about the medical care that would be best for her at that time in her life. We informed her doctor about what we discussed.
A few weeks later, I got a request from the doctor, asking if I would consider going through this process with her other patients.
So, my wife Becky and I began the process of helping people prepare for making decisions about their medical preferences, and Plan Well Guide was born.
Since then, we’ve gone through numerous trials, testing, iterating and improving, and we now have Plan Well Guide as it is today. Our mission is to help as many people as possible be prepared for the event of serious illness.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
~ Margaret Mead