Conversation of Your Life is a Mayors Wellness Campaign program that focuses on engaging communities in fruitful dialogue—the Conversation of Your Life—to let individuals’ family, friends, or doctors understand and respect their end-of-life wishes through advance care planning. Conversation of Your Life is generously supported by The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. 

To honor National Health Care Decisions Day (April 16), COYL taskforces are holding multiple community signing events throughout New Jersey during the month of April. We invite everyone to attend and to participate in these events. Find a local event and learn more here.


The Facts:

According to a recent “Health Matters Poll” conducted by the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute and the Rutgers Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling:

  •  61% of New Jersey adult residents are comfortable with the idea of aging and have thought about their wishes for medical treatment near the end of their life.
  • 6 out of 10 New Jersey adult residents have no written documents expressing their wishes for end-of-life care.
  • 38% of New Jersey adult residents have not had conversations about advance care planning.
  • Only 3 out of 10 New Jersey adult residents who are 65 years and older are aware about Five Wishes or POLST.

The public is comfortable with aging and discussing end of life, however very few are making plans and many are not aware of important end-of-life care options or advance care planning documents.

Our Goal:

After successfully piloting Conversation of Your Life in Tenafly, Princeton, and Gloucester Township in 2015, the Mayors Wellness Campaign expanded Conversation of Your Life into Camden, Mercer, and Bergen Counties in 2016, and expanded again into Burlington, Gloucester, Middlesex, Monmouth, and Somerset Counties in 2017. Conversation of Your Life’s goal is to develop and promote a community conversation around advance care planning. Our hope is that more individuals in New Jersey will engage in fruitful dialogue—the Conversation of Your Life—to let their family, friends, or doctors understand and respect their end-of-life wishes through advance care planning. Ultimately, we hope that these wishes are documented in writing.

Pilot Communities:

  • Tenafly, Mayor Peter Rustin
  • Princeton, Mayor Liz Lempert
  • Gloucester Township, Mayor David Mayer

Participating Counties:

  • Atlantic County, NJ
  • Bergen County, NJ
  • Burlington County, NJ
  • Camden County, NJ
  • Essex County, NJ
  • Gloucester County, NJ
  • Hudson County, NJ
  • Hunterdon County, NJ
  • Mercer County, NJ
  • Middlesex County, NJ
  • Monmouth County, NJ
  • Somerset County, NJ
  • Union County, NJ

Statewide Steering Committee:

  • Dr. David Barile, Goals of Care Coalition of New Jersey
  • Donald Pendley, Home Care & Hospice Association of New Jersey
  • Keagen Brown, VITAS Healthcare
  • Dr. Frank Urbano, AmeriHealth New Jersey
  • Linda Schwimmer, JD, New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute
  • Loretta Kaes, RN, Health Care Association of New Jersey
  • Dr. Randy Krakauer, Coalition to Transform Advanced Care
  • Edna Cadmus, RN, New Jersey Action Coalition/Rutgers University
  • Kathryn Collins, RN, New Jersey Hospital Association
  • Dr. Jessica Israel, Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health
  • Lani Alison, Regional Cancer Care Associates
  • James Curcio, Atlantic County Surrogate
  • Dr. Vikranta Sharma, VNA Health Group
  • Patricia Tumulty, New Jersey Library Association
  • Michelle Gentek-Mayer, Constitutional Officers Association of New Jersey

If you are interested in learning more about how your town can join the Conversation, please contact Adelisa Perez at 

  • Conversation of Your Life Tools

  • Camden County

    A calendar of events is forthcoming.
    Camden County Task Force:

    Michelle Gentek-Mayer, Chair, Camden County Surrogate
    Cheryl Austin, Camden County Surrogate’s Office
    Suzanne Moore, Camden...

    More More Information
  • Mercer County

    November 2, 2018 | 12:00 – 3:00 pm- Caregiver Conference – RWJ Fitness & Wellness Center, 3100 Quakerbridge Rd, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619
    November 3, 2018 |  1:15pm – 3:15pm –...

    More More Information
  • Bergen County

    December 13, 2018 | 11:00 – 1:00 pm – COYL Workshop – Anne Zusy Youth Center, First Floor 131 N. Maple Ave. Ridgewood, NJ 07450. Contact the Ridgewood Health Department at

    More More Information
  • Don't know what Advance Care Planning is? These resources will help!

  • Ready to start your Advance Care Planning process?

  • Related Articles

  • Horizon Foundation for New Jersey

    Conversation of a Lifetime is generously supported by the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey

    More Information
  • Robbinsville Mayor Fried Discusses Conversation of Your Life

  • Aging Insights Video Highlights COYL

    COYL is generously supported by The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey.