Fergus Falls Area has 28 New Advance Care Planning Facilitators

Fergus Falls Area has 28 New Advance Care Planning Facilitators

Training part of LRH “Live Well at Home” grant from MN Dept. of Human Services


(FERGUS FALLS, MN) Twenty-eight people were recently trained to be Advance Care Planning Facilitators at a session sponsored by Lake Region Healthcare (LRH) in Fergus Falls.

Utilizing funds from a Department of Human Services “Live Well at Home Grant” and funding from Otter Tail County Public Health’s Accountable Communities for Health grant, the facilitators were trained by Chaplain Mark Papke-Larson of Sanford in Bemidji using the “Respecting Choices” curriculum.

These newly certified facilitators include employees and volunteers from places including LRH, LB Homes, Lakeland Hospice, Pioneer Care, LSS, Otter Tail County Public Health and Social Services and Senior Coordinators from Grant, Traverse, and Wilkin Counties along with nursing instructors from MState and the U of M. They join eight previously certified facilitators in the community in being able to offer assistance in completing a Health Care Directive to area residents.

“Advance Care Planning (ACP) is a process where you think in advance of the health care decisions you would want made for you if you were unable to speak for yourself, or if you were near the end of mortal life with a very poor prognosis of recovery,” according to Deb Forstner, Chaplain/Advance Care Planning Coordinator at LRH. “The process allows you to think about and talk with the person/people you would want as Health Care Agent/s who would speak on your behalf in those situations, and to make this designation legal, in writing, and in your medical chart,” she said. The facilitators are trained to help guide people as they fill out their directive and answer questions they may have in the process.


“I recently asked several doctors at LRH if they had a Health Care Directive. Every single one said yes. I don’t think this is coincidental,” said Forstner. “I believe it is because they have very often witnessed first-hand the difficulties patients and families have when these conversations have not taken place, or there are various views and recollections of what the patient would want, and nothing has legally been put down in writing and in the chart to guide the medical team,” she added.


If you wish to set up a time with an ACP Facilitator, please contact Deb Forstner by email, daforstner@lrhc.org or phone, 736-8077. To find the Health Care Directive form on-line, go to the Lake Region website (www.lrhc.org); click “Community” (upper right had corner); and see the drop down for Health Care Directives.



About Lake Region Healthcare

Lake Region Healthcare is living out its vision to be Minnesota’s preeminent regional healthcare partner. With over 80 Medical Staff and over 900 employees, its team is dedicated to serving its patients and community with integrity, teamwork, compassion and excellence. For more information about Lake Region Healthcare, visit www.lrhc.org.



Photo ID:

Back Row: Amanda Heyda, Deanna Swenson, Mary Waller, Zoe Alaboud, Laurissa Stigen, Matthew Perrier, Jody Lien,Shawna Itzen, Mark Papke-Larson, Lane Magnusson, Nicole Burrows

Middle Row: Alena Deutslander, Cynthia Sprung, Krista Fix , Jenny Kruger, Mandy Westrom, Shelly Bartels, Jane Schmidt, Misty Bjerken, Peggy Lien, Connie Seltz, Deb Rapp

Front Row: Missi Isaac, Carrie Affield, Monica Berger, Jeani Trosvig, Amber Reed, Deb Forstner, Naomi Evans, David Swenson

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