Respecting Choices

Dr. Bernard “Bud” Hammes is Executive Director, Emeritus of Respecting Choices. For the 32 years prior to this position, Hammes was a member of the medical staff, Director of Humanities, and Clinical Ethicist at Gundersen Health System in
La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Hammes came to the clinical setting with a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame. His work primarily focused on improving care for patients with serious illness and as part of his position at Gundersen, he founded and helped develop the nationally and internationally recognized program: Respecting Choices.
Hammes served as editor for the book “Having Your Own Say: Getting the Right Care When It Matters Most,” which was released in 2012. He has authored or co-authored 46 articles and book chapters focused on clinical ethics, advance care planning, and care of patients with serious illness.

Hammes was awarded the PDIA Palliative Medicine Community Leadership Award by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine in 2012. This award recognizes an individual for contributions to the advancement of the field of palliative medicine through the education and training of future leaders.

In 2015, he received recognition from the Tribeca Disruption Innovation Awards for the impact of the Respecting Choices program. This award celebrates those whose ideas have broken the mold to create remarkable impact.

“All patients deserve care that is scientifically sound and person-centered. To provide the best care, we must achieve both.”

Hobbies and Interests
Hiking, gardening, downhill skiing, waterskiing