Palliative Care Advisory Council- Minnesota Department of Health

Palliative Care Advisory Council

In the 2017 legislative session, the legislature created a Palliative Care Advisory Council under Minnesota Statutes, section 144.059.

The Council is made up of a variety of professionals who have palliative care work experience or expertise in palliative care delivery models. They come from a variety of inpatient, outpatient and community settings, like acute care, long-term care or hospice. They work with a variety of patients from pediatric to youth and adults. In addition, there are several positions on the council who provide a patient or caregiver perspective.

The Council currently has several openings. Please click here to apply or get more information. Board/Commission:Palliative Care Advisory Council or click here to get more information about the Palliative Care Advisory Council Application.

Palliative Care Advisory Council Agendas and Meeting Minutes
Agendas Meeting Minutes
February 13, 2019 upcoming
December 12, 2018(PDF) December Minutes (PDF)

Physician certified by American Board of Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine

  • Julie Mayers Benson, MD, FAAFP


  • Kirstin Lesage, MD

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, Chair
  • Dannell Shu
  • Deborah Laxson
  • Carol Shapiro

Representative from Health Plan

  • Howard Epstein, MD

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, Co-chair

Council responsibilities

By law, the Council must do the following activities; however, they have the flexibility to decide on other projects. By February 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.

Legislative Reports

The 2019 Legislative Report (PDF) outlines the progress made to date by the Palliative Care Advisory Council.  This report includes the Council’s working definition of Palliative Care, a report on the development of essential infrastructural components and preliminary collective action processes for its work.  The Council also reports on a completed pediatric palliative care assessment, the status of seven identified core focus areas as well as an analysis of legislative work done by other palliative care councils across the nation.  This report concludes with opioid legislative considerations as well as a summary of the Council’s priorities in the year ahead.

The 2018 Legislative Report (PDF) provides a brief overview of Minnesota palliative care data along with a summary of the early development efforts of the Council and its next year’s priorities.

Updated Tuesday, 19-Mar-2019 15:10:20 CDT