At the end of the 1990s, based on data from two major studies of end-of-life (EOL) care, the Study to Understand Prognoses and Preferences for Outcomes and Risks of Treatment (SUPPORT), and the Hospitalized Elderly Longitudinal Project (HELP), a consensus panel report documented the problems and needs of patients with cancer and other life-limiting diagnoses at end-of-life. A national program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care, attempted to address these needs by funding demonstration projects to test various approaches to improve identified deficits. In 1998, Project ENABLE (Educate, Nurture, Advise Before Life Ends), one of four RWJF-funded cancer center/hospice collaborations of the Promoting Excellence program, began to address these issues. The jointly sponsored Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC)/Hospice of Vermont and New Hampshire (Hospice VNH) program provided an integrated approach to the management of life-limiting cancer. Project ENABLE was aimed at alleviating the symptoms of disease and treatment, enhancing clinician and patient/family communication, offering support for families, friends and other caregivers, addressing emotional and spiritual needs of dying people and providing conceptual and administrative structure to provide EOL care consistent with patients' values and preferences. Although patient symptom data is not yet available, other measures of success included improved access to hospice and palliative care services from the time of diagnosis and a sustained palliative care program at two of the three sites in which the program was implemented.