Our Purpose

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.

Our Story

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.

Our Team

“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

Dr. Daren Heyland

A critical care physician, Professor of Medicine at Queen’s University and internationally renowned researcher, Daren is also the founder of Plan Well Guide.
After years of seeing patients and their families come into the ICU and feeling unaware and ill-prepared for how to make life and death decisions, he knew he wanted to help people bridge the gaps between planning and process.
Over the last several years he has been focused on developing and enhancing Plan Well Guide as a means of empowering people to be managers of their own advance serious illness planning (ASIP) by providing them with the knowledge and communication tools to effectively collaborate with clinicians to make decisions about their medical care.
With the realities of the pandemic impacting thousands of people’s lives, he firmly believes how important it is now more than ever before that everyone make their ASIP, ASAP.

Kaden Wood

Product Manager
Kaden works tirelessly to provide the best possible experience on our website.
He had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Daren Heyland after graduating with a degree in Computer Information Technology. He has been responsible for user experience design, development coordination, and product management.

Brandi Bailey

Marketing Strategist
Brandi comes to us from the ad agency world, working for over 20 years as a media strategist based in Vancouver. Her role is to introduce Canadians to Plan Well Guide and to nurture those connections. In addition to her marketing background, she is also a trained End of Life Doula, and truly appreciates the value of conversations with loved ones about values and wishes.

Ade Akinyemi

Ade works hard as a full stack developer for the development of Plan Well Guide digital products.

Kathryn Perry

Communications Officer
A passionate communications professional for the last 15 years, Kathryn is currently finishing the nursing program with St. Lawrence College in Ontario. She has worked with Dr. Heyland for several years securing media opportunities with various broadcast and print outlets across Canada, raising awareness about Plan Well Guide.

Ariane Plaisance

Scientific Officer
Ariane Plaisance, an anthropologist by training, is currently finishing her PhD in Community Health at the Faculties of Medicine and Nursing Sciences at University Laval, in Quebec. She worked alongside Dr. Heyland to culturally adapt and assess the French translation of the Plan Well Guide French pamphlet and webpage.
To live well, age well, and die well, you need to Plan Well