Educate, empower, and inspire individuals to engage in comprehensive advance care planning so their healthcare preferences for the future will be expressed and honored.


Advance care planning is embraced as common practice within all communities we serve.

Honoring Choices Minnesota History

In 2007, discussion about Advance Care Planning began at a meeting of the Twin Cities Medical Society Foundation Board. The following year, two exploratory meetings were arranged—one with community members and the second with senior leaders of hospital systems and health plans. The purpose of both meetings was to gauge the interest level in collaborating and coordinating resources related to advance care planning. Community members wholeheartedly agreed that there was a need, and senior leadership gave their unanimous support to:

  1. not compete
  2. provide resources to support an initiative
  3. advocate internally within their respective organizations and advance the initiative.

The medical society then formed an advisory council and began to set the framework for the community collaborative. In 2009, a name and logo were selected and educational events began. A new Minnesota-specific health care directive and educational materials were developed. From 2010-2021, Honoring Choices Minnesota broadened its community outreach to multicultural groups, vulnerable populations, rural communities, faith communities, young adults, medical and nursing students, employers, associations, and health and human services organizations. With the complexity of the COVID-19 pandemic, funding challenges arose in 2021 and TCMS ended programming on 12/31/2021.

In September 2022, Light the Legacy, a central Minnesota nonprofit committed to educating and inspiring communities and health care professionals about advance care planning, purchased the Honoring Choices and Honoring Choices Minnesota trademarks from the Twin Cities Medical Society. Light the Legacy is in the process of adopting the name ‘Honoring Choices’ and will continue to lead this important work statewide.

Light The Legacy History

Light the Legacy emerged in November 2009 as a community group of physicians, nurses, chaplains, administrators, and volunteers who came together with the common goal of improving end-of-life care in Central Minnesota. The multidisciplinary group included representatives from Heartland Hospice, St. Cloud Hospital Hospice/Home Care, V.A. Medical Center, St. Cloud Hospital Palliative Care Program, St. Cloud Hospital Pediatric Palliative Care Program, Coborn Cancer Center, Geriatric Services of Minnesota, Quiet Oaks Hospice House, and area nursing homes.

In January 2010, it was determined that a community project centering on advance care planning would have a significant and measurable impact on the level of care provided to patients in Central Minnesota. After attending a presentation by Dr. Ken Kephardt regarding the experience of the Fairview system with Honoring Choices, a Twin Cities advance care planning initiative, the local group decided this was how Light The Legacy was meant to proceed in its mission. Honoring Choices utilizes a staged approach to advance care planning as developed by Respecting Choices in Lacrosse, Wisconsin. Partnering with and modeling itself after Honoring Choices, Light The Legacy began bringing this powerful movement to the St. Cloud area. Members of the original group and additional volunteers soon formed the Advance Directives Initiative Steering Committee in order to implement the project.

Light the Legacy’s current goal is to promote the utilization of health care directives by adults of all ages in Central Minnesota. In February 2011, our organization was awarded a grant from CentraCare Health Foundation that allowed us to begin implementation of a three-phased project. The first phase, involving planning and preparation, was executed successfully. This brought us to Phase 2, a pilot program to test our methods and perfect our program. We are excited to report that our first pilot project is well under way at Health Partners Central Minnesota Clinics under the direction of Dr. Patrick Lalley. We are now looking expectantly toward the completion of Phase 3, expansion and permanent establishment of Light The Legacy’s Honoring Choices-based program in Central Minnesota.

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