Managing Attorney Robert W. Haley along with Attorney Laura E. Frazier and staff of The Estate & Elder Law Center of Southside Virginia, PLLC are pleased to announce that as part of our on-going training and continuing education today to better serve our clients and our community, Stephanie Wagoner, Laura Ann Gall, and Joanna Smart, members of our Life Care Planning team, attended training through the National POLST Paradigm program. 

POLST is the national acronym for Physician’s Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment.  In Virginia this form is known as “POST” (Physician’s Orders for Scope of Treatment).  The POST is used in addition to a Living Will and Advance Medical Directive/Healthcare Power of Attorney and a Durable Do Not Resuscitate/Do Not Resuscitate form (DDNR/DNR). Once signed by the patient’s medical doctor, the patient’s wishes for end of life care become orders for the level of intervention they wish to receive.

If a chronically or terminally ill or elderly, frail patient with a year or less to live wishes to have a POST, a facilitator can assist with discussing the patient’s end of life decisions and completing the form after talking with the patient about his/her diagnosis, prognosis, treatment options, and goals of care.  Once the form is completed and the patient has signed it, it requires a medical doctor’s signature to become an Order.  In the event of a medical emergency, when time is of the essence for medical decision-making, the POST form serves as an immediately available and recognizable order set in a standardized format. Emergency personnel follow the POST form medical orders to provide treatments the patient wants during an emergency, potentially avoiding unwanted hospitalizations and emergency department visits. For more information about this program, please check out this site:

This is a part of our firm’s growing Life Care Planning process that we offer which is a holistic, elder-centered approach to the practice of law that helps families respond to every challenge caused by chronic illness or disability of an elderly loved one. The goal of Life Care Planning is to promote and maintain the good health, safety, well-being, and quality of life of elders and their families. Elders and their families get access to a wider variety of options for care as well as knowledgeable guidance from a team of compassionate advisors who help them make the right choices about every aspect of their loved one's well-being. 

The Estate & Elder Law Center of Southside Virginia, PLLC specializes in Estate Planning, Life Care Planning, Guardianships, Medicaid Planning and Asset Protection. Mrs. Wagoner joined the firm in 2013 as a Certified Elder Care Coordinator in 2013.  She also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, with 28 years of experience in the healthcare field, and is a compassionate and dedicated advocate for our clients and her patients.  Mrs. Gall joined the firm in March 2014, incorporating nearly 20 years of experience in the geriatric healthcare field as an LPN with her work as a paralegal to bring our area’s elders a personal touch as she advocates for them as their Certified Elder Care Coordinator.  Ms. Smart has been affiliated with the firm since April 2018 and will soon be an additional dedicated and powerful advocate for our Life Care Planning clients as a CNA, LPN, and Certified Elder Care Coordinator.

For more information on available services, please visit or call 855-503-5337.