Michigan Advance Care Planning Conference: Strengthen Best Practices &

Community Engagement

October 13-14, 2017  |  Lansing, MI

Keynote Speakers

Linda Briggs, MSN, MA, RN, Director, Program Development and Research, Respecting Choices®

Friday evening keynote address: The Power of Disruption and Collaboration in Transforming Person-Centered Care

With 25 years of nursing experience as a critical care staff nurse, nurse manager, clinical nurse specialist, and educator, Linda Briggs joined Respecting Choices® in 1999 to provide leadership in the development and dissemination of this internationally recognized program. She has been privileged to consult with healthcare leaders, organizations and communities around the world, providing education and support in implementing the principles of effective and sustainable person-centered decision making programs. Her clinical and research interests have focused on the disease-specific planning needs of patients with advanced illness and their families.


Briggs has led the development of the Respecting Choices® curriculum, co-authored several Respecting Choices® manuals and programs, and has published numerous articles regarding advance care planning and end-of-life care. In 2015, Briggs received recognition from the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards for the impact of the Respecting Choices® program. In 2017, Briggs transitioned to the role of Director of Program Development and Research as Respecting Choices® became a division of C-TAC Innovations.

Cathy Wurzer, Anchor of Morning Edition, Minnesota Public Radio, Co-Author of We Know How This Ends: Living while Dying


Friday morning keynote address: Convening Community Conversations on Living and Dying

Cathy Wurzer is the host of Morning Edition for MPR News. She is also the co-host of Almanac, a weekly public affairs program produced by Twin Cities Public Television for Minnesota's statewide public television network. Wurzer has won four Emmy Awards for her work on Almanac. Prior to her return to radio, she was an anchor and reporter for WCCO-TV, the CBS affiliate in Minneapolis. She has also been a talk show host for WCCO-AM radio, a producer for KMSP-TV, and political reporter for KSTP-AM radio.


As a long time broadcast journalist in Minnesota, Cathy covered the life and death of a man who had ALS in a series of award winning on-air conversations that proved to be a life changing experience for her professionally and personally.  The conversations over nearly five years on Minnesota Public Radio led to the publication of a book, "We Know How This Ends: Living While Dying", and the launch of a statewide initiative called "The Convenings"


The Convenings seeks to harness the power within a community to engage residents in conversations about living as fully as possible now until the end of life and how advance care planning plays a key role in these conversations.  The model is based on two live public events that Cathy hosts in each of the communities, which use music, poetry, readings, interviews and audience discussion with subsequent community events focusing on concepts introduced during these public events.


Cathy holds degrees in broadcast journalism and urban studies from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Wurzer was a trustee for the UW-River Falls Foundation and a member and past president of the Society for Professional Journalists Minnesota chapter. She is the author of "Tales of the Road: Highway 61." In her spare time, Cathy rides, trains and shows horses, fly fishes for trout, and loves clay sculpture and creating mosaics.

Carole Montgomery, MD, FHM, CPE, MHSA, Vice President, Clinically Integrated Pathways, Spectrum Health 

Saturday afternoon keynote address: Leadership Matters: Developing and Sustaining Advance Care Planning Programs 

Carole Montgomery is Vice President, Clinical Integrated Pathways for Spectrum Health, a not-for-profit integrated health system based in West Michigan. In this role, she is responsible for designing and leading the development of population health management programs that focus on integrating care across settings and specialties with an emphasis on success in both episode-based and population-based risk payment models.  In addition to standardizing clinical best practice, objectives include driving reliable engagement of patients through standard education, shared decision-making and advanced care planning for all patients.


Carole joined Spectrum Health in 2009 as Vice President, Access and Coordination of Care in the Spectrum Health Hospital Group.  She transitioned to her current role in 2013. Carole has over 20 years of experience in the practice of hospital based medicine and physician leadership in both physician group and hospital settings.  During her practice in a large, multi-specialty physician group, she served in a variety of leadership roles, including governance, administrative and medical director functions.


Carole earned her bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, her medical degree from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at Butterworth Hospital.  She earned her Masters in Health Management and Policy from the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health.

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Contact Us

2121 University Park Drive

Suite 150

Okemos, MI 48864

T: 517-908-8241
F: 517-347-4096

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