National Healthcare Decisions Day – Begins April 16th

An important part of growing older is thinking through and sharing your healthcare wishes with your loved ones, caregivers and your doctors. National Healthcare Decisions Day will be a week long event, from April 16 to 22, and North Texas Respecting Choices along with other national, state and community organizations are highlighting the importance of advance healthcare decision-making.

NTRC is providing information and tools for the public to talk about their wishes with family, friends and healthcare providers, and execute advance directives in accordance with Texas state laws. Please visit the Getting Started tab to download a planning guide or the Resources tab to see other patient or provider resources. For more information about National Healthcare Decisions Day, please visit


Upcoming Event – Free Screening of “Being Mortal”

Dr. Atul Gawande, M.D. Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School. photo credit: Tim Llewellyn

On Thursday, September 22 at 7 p.m., Dr. Tom Deas, Jr., Vice President, Physician Development at NTSP, will be hosting a free screening and discussion of the PBS program “Being Mortal” at McKinney Church at 4805 Arborlawn Drive in Fort Worth. “Being Mortal” is a 2016 Emmy-nominated video by Atul Gawande, M.D. and his patients on end-of-life decisions.

Attendees will be part of a national dialog taking place in our community that asks “Have you and your family had the tough conversations and planned ahead?”

“Being Mortal” delves into the hopes of patients and families facing terminal illness. The film investigates the practice of caring for the dying and explores the relationships between patients and their doctors. It follows a surgeon, Dr. Atul Gawande, as he shares stories from the people and families he encounters. When Dr. Gawande’s own father gets cancer, his search for answers about how to best care for the dying becomes a personal quest.

After the screening, there will be a guided conversation on how to take concrete steps to identify and communicate wishes about end-of-life goals and preferences.

Watch a short trailer here.

See this moving documentary, join the conversation,and explore what matters to you.
All are welcome.

Thursday, September 22, 2016 7-9 p.m.

McKinney Church, 4805 Arborlawn, Fort Worth, TX, 76109

RSVP by September 19th:
or 817-921-5200 ext. 102

We hope to see you there!

This event is a program of Coalition for Quality End of Life Care

NTSP Introduces “North Texas Respecting Choices(TM)” Program

FORT WORTH, TX — (Marketwire) — 02/20/13

North Texas Specialty Physicians, an Independent Physician Association comprising nearly 600 family and specialty doctors, is introducing an initiative called “North Texas Respecting Choices™.” This educational initiative is designed to motivate patients and families to engage in conversations about end-of-life care planning and to document those decisions. NTSP and their partner providers serve over 75,000 Medicare patients across Tarrant, Collin, Parker, Denton, Johnson and Dallas counties.

NTSP team members have sought assistance and are undergoing extensive training with experts from Gundersen Lutheran Health System in La Crosse, Wisconsin, in order to implement this end-of-life approach in North Texas. Gundersen Lutheran has spent more than 20 years promoting advances in palliative care and end-of-life care planning in its community, and it is now acting as a consultant to other health care organizations that wish to roll it out in their communities.

“During times of crisis, it is sometimes physically impossible for patients to give proper guidance to the medical team, and it is very difficult and stressful for family members to make decisions about end-of-life care when they are wrestling with their own emotions,” says Stuart Pickell, M.D., Medical Director of NTSP. “That is why we are encouraging our patients to engage in these crucial conversations now with their physicians and family members. Helping patients to have the conversation about end-of-life care goals gives patients control over some of the most important health care decisions,” says Pickell.

Caregivers in La Crosse found that the Respecting Choices approach meant that people are far more likely to have talked about what they want with their families and physicians before they are in the throes of a crisis. NSTP plans to approach all of its 75,000 patients with information about this initiative, making the materials available in both English and Spanish and online. NTSP staff and physicians will begin sharing information with patients and families about the North Texas Respecting Choices™ initiative this week and encouraging the start of conversations.

Through its Health Information Exchange, SandlotConnect, NTSP staff members have the ability to document patient decisions about end-of-life care. “By capturing this information in Sandlot Connect, NTSP can then make the information available electronically to any health care provider in the North Texas region, ensuring that the patients’ wishes will be recognized and followed,” said Pickell. “By encouraging patients and families to make these important decisions now, and capturing it so it can be accessible to providers, we know we can reduce the stress and burden on patients about end-of-life decisions.”

About North Texas Specialty Physicians

Fort Worth-based North Texas Specialty Physicians, known as NTSP, is an Independent Physician Association comprising nearly 600 family and specialty doctors who are dedicated to delivering the best medical care to the residents of Tarrant, Johnson and Parker Counties in North Central Texas. Unlike some physician groups, NTSP is governed by a board of local doctors and is managed by resident health care experts. Since its founding in 1995, NTSP doctors have delivered high quality care to more than 15,000 patients each day.