Partnerships – Palliative Care Advisory Council

Palliative Care Advisory Council

In the 2017 legislative session, the legislature created through law a Palliative Care Advisory Council under Minnesota Statutes, section 144.059. The membership mostly has experience working with people with serious or chronic conditions, and their families. They include health professionals who have palliative care work experience or expertise in palliative care delivery models from a variety of inpatient, outpatient and community settings, including: acute care, long-term care or hospice with a variety of patients, including pediatric, youth and adult.

There were over 75 applications for the council. An external review team ranked applications and the Commissioner of Health made final appointments. The next meeting of the Palliative Care Advisory Council will take place on December 6, 2017 at LeadingAge Minnesota, Conference Room E, 2550 University Ave W, Suite 350 South, St. Paul.

Palliative Care Advisory Council Agenda – November 15, 2017 (PDF) Meeting Minutes: Palliative Care Advisory Council – November 15, 2017 (PDF)
Palliative Care Advisory Council Agenda – December 6, 2017 (PDF)  

Physician certified by American Board of Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine

  • Dr. Julie Mayers Benson


  • Dr. Kirsten Lesage

Registered Nurse certified by National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses

  • Joan Chrastek

Registered Nurse

  • Rebecca Weber

Care Coordinator

  • Patrice Moore

Spiritual Counselor

  • Elizabeth Mahan

Licensed Health Professionals

  • Ginger Thompson
  • Mark Burnett
  • Adine Stokes

Licensed Social Worker

  • Malinda Wise

Patient or Caregiver

  • Jessica Hausauer
  • Dannell Shu
  • Deborah Laxson  
  • Carol Shapiro

Representative from Health Plan

  • Howard Epstein

Physician Assistant member of American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine

  • Ryan Baldeo

Members at Large

  • Karen Gervais
  • Karen Wald

Student Designee

  • Joy Liu

Council term

Members will serve a term of three years and may be reappointed. The council will meet at least twice yearly. There is no per diem or payment for members.

Council responsibilities

By law, the Council must do the following activities; however, they have the flexibility to decide on other projects.  By Feb 15 of each year, the council will submit to the appropriate legislative body:

  • An assessment of the availability of palliative care in the State of Minnesota.
  • Analysis of barriers to greater access to palliative care.
  • Recommendations for legislative action with draft legislation to implement the recommendations.

As results become available, they will be posted on this page.

More information

Frequently asked questions.

Please watch this website for future information about this exciting new council’s work and other resources.

To learn more about Palliative Care, please visit Palliative Care.