Foundation Activities

Planning Healthcare My Way: A Guide To Future Healthcare Decisions

In 2017, The Cunniff-Dixon Foundation collaborated with Dr Bob Pearlman and Mellissa Bottrell to bring to life an Advance Care Planning project that was put into motion several years ago under Dr Pearlman’s initiative and vision. In early 2018 we now see the fruits of their work both in digital and print form. “Planning My Way” is now a comprehensive website along with print modules that educates readers and users on how to take control, manage and prepare for current and future health care decisions. Learn more at:

Planning MyWay: While Healthy
Planning My Way: While living with a Chronic Condition
Planning My Way: For Care Near The end of Life


Denver 2018:  Thought Leadership Retreat

On April 9th and 10th, 2018, The Cunniff-Dixon Foundation gathered 27 of its 34 physician award winners (see the next paragraph for info on the awards) from the past 8 years for a thought leadership retreat in Denver, CO.  The Foundation flew in the attendees from all over the country for what became a very special two days.  Drinks, mingling and dinner was followed by a deep discussion about palliative care physicians caring for older loved ones (mostly parents) led by Dr Richard Payne.  The following day, the group convened in a private meeting room with a set agenda led by selected awardees and guest speakers.  The success of the event has already begun talks of more like-minded events with this amazing group of physicians in the future.

Denver Photo Story_finalPDF_Reduced

Foundation Prizes

Caring for patients who are near the end of life has emerged as an important focus for American medicine. Not only is the proportion of people who die from chronic and degenerative diseases increasing, but also their final year or two often remain highly uncertain, and their suffering considerable. Increasingly, physicians in all specialties need skills and virtues necessary to provide excellent care for those near the end of life. The Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Awards aim to foster those skills and virtues by providing financial prizes to those physicians, young and old, who have demonstrated exemplary care and initiative with their patients in these situations and with their colleagues. The time and care required to provide such knowledgeable and compassionate care typically receive little financial compensation. These awards attempt to recognize that current economic reality and to offset it in some modest way. To learn more about the prizes and recipients click here.

CME Symposia on The Art of Medicine at the End of Life

Initiated in 2007, the Symposia provide physicians and surgeons in all specialties with a solid overview of current issues, dilemmas, and ‘best practices’ in end of life care. Faculty members tend to be national leaders in their respective fields. The most recent ‘Art of Medicine at the End of Life’ symposium took place in May of 2009 at the New York Academy of Medicine . As in 2007, a superb faculty provided material that was highly interactive, using short didactic presentations, open discussions, and case presentations to enhance one’s understanding, comfort level, and skill in working with patients who are at or near the end of their lives.

Cunniff-Dixon Collaborations

Through developing partnerships around end-of-life issues with leading professional organizations, the Foundation intends to become a ‘trusted source’ for medical education in end-of-life care. In 2008 we established a collaboration with The American College of Surgeons to develop a curriculum for training U.S. surgical residents in clinical, ethical, and legal aspects of palliative care for surgeons. This project was completed in December 2009 and the manual is now available on our website in PDF form. As we are not affiliated with any one medical school and solicit no financial support from health care corporations, we believe we can best fulfill our mission through serving as a resource for individual physicians and surgeons and their professional organizations. The PDF of this curriculum manual is now available