April 1, 2020
Anna Gosline New ED of Mass. Coalition for Serious Illness Care

Anna Gosline
September 9, 2019 — The Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness Care, a Boston-based coalition of more than 100 Bay State nonprofits that is seeking systemic change aimed at ensuring delivery of health care appropriate to all state residents, today announced that Anna Gosline has been named as its new executive director.

Gosline succeeds Richard Averbuch, who retired after serving as executive director of Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness Care since its founding three years ago.

Coalition co-chair Atul Gawande said, “We know the transformative power that conversations between, families, friends, clinicians, and clergy can have on the experience of a serious illness. We also know that these conversations rarely happen when they should. Anna understands the magnitude and nuances of the challenge before us. But she also sees the path forward and how, by working together, we can create and sustain the culture change needed to improve serious illness care.”

Gosline will continue to serve as the senior director of strategic initiatives at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the primary funder for the Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness Care. She has held that post for the last six years.

“It’s an honor to lead this coalition and to support all the amazing work going on across the Commonwealth. We also have a unique opportunity to share our experience with the rest of the country,” Gosline said. “Health care might be uniquely local, but these issues are universally human.”

Previously, Gosline was director of policy and research at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, where she oversaw the foundation’s policy and research program.

Before joining the foundation, she managed a large-scale health system study for the state of Vermont. Earlie, Gosline was a health care journalist in the United Kingdom and Canada.

She holds a and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto, a master’s degree in health policy and management from the Harvard School of Public Health, and aa graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

According to results of a statewide survey the coalition conducted and released as its launch, there is "a stark disconnect between the beliefs and actions of Massachusetts residents when it comes to advance care planning." The survey found that while 85% of Massachusetts residents believed that physicians and their patients should talk about end-of-life care, only 15% had such conversations.

The coalition lists six priorities for achieving its mission. They are:
  • Everyone in Massachusetts, 18 or older, designating a health care decision-maker (health care proxy).

  • Everyone in Massachusetts, 18 or older, having conversation with their proxy to communicate their goals, values, and preferences for care at the end of life.

  • All Massachusetts clinicians having appropriate training to facilitate high-quality communication with patients on advance care planning and serious illness.

  • Everyone in Massachusetts facing a serious illness having had a high-quality, informed goals and values conversation with their care team.

  • All Massachusetts health care providers having systems in place to elicit and document goals, values, and preferences for patients with serious illness.

  • All Massachusetts health care providers having systems in place to share patient goals, values, and preferences across care settings to ensure they are accessible regardless of place of care.

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