POLST Progress in Arizona and Arkansas


POLST Legislation signed into Law

Approved by Senate and House Committee on March 6, 2017

On March 6, 2017, the entire Arkansas Senate passed Senate Bill 356, and the following day, the House Public Health Committee unanimously approved SB 356, which establishes the Arkansas Physician Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Act and provides for the use of a POLST Form.

We won our biggest battle… We are encouraged that we will finally pass the finish line! A very positive step for patient care in Arkansas.”
– David E. Smith, MD, Little Rock, Arkansas

This represents great efforts across many diverse interests and groups, including the Catholic Diocese of Arkansas, Family Council, Arkansas Medical Society, and Arkansas Hospital Association. People are hoping that this momentum will maintain and that people will continue to see an increase in their healthcare options for treatment. Green Health Docs offers Arkansas MMJ card certification online, which is one measure that people are focusing on next within the state.

Signed by Governor Hutchinson on March 16. 2017.

On March 16, 2017, Arkansas SB 356 was signed into law by Governor Asa Hutchinson, creating Act 504, which establishes the Arkansas POLST (Physician Order for Life Sustaining Treatment) and allows for use of a POLST Form in Arkansas. View legislative details about SB 356.

» View legislative details of Arkansas SB 356.


Arizona EMS Supports AzMOST

End-of-life care is improving in Arizona, thanks to the hard work and dedication of EMS representatives who led the recent adoption of a new protocol by the Arizona Department of Health Services Emergency Medical Services Council. The Council newly revised its Do Not Resuscitate Status/Advance Directives/Healthcare Power of Attorney Status: Adult & Pediatric protocol to include honoring MOST, MOLST, or POLST directives. EMS representatives spent months working with an end-of-life task force, reviewing national models and collecting evidence-based practices. The protocol adoption is a first for Arizona and demonstrates tremendous progress in the state’s approach to end-of-life care.

The task force is led by Sandy Severson, Vice President of Care Improvement at Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA), and is part of a statewide coalition known as Thoughtful Life Conversations. The coalition is leading work to empower Arizonans to make their life wishes and care directives known and to equip their healthcare teams with resources to honor them. As an advocate for policies that promote patients and their families having the most control over their end-of-life care, AzHHA is leading the development and adoption of Arizona Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (AzMOST, Arizona’s version of POLST). EMS providers are contributing to this effort, as well, and are integrally involved in the rollout of legal safeguards for Arizonans’ end-of-life wishes.

» Visit the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association website.