Background: Innovative approaches to improving end-of-life care are needed. One strategy involves government/community partnerships to improve care. Objective: Engage health care provider and health care consumer communities in the State of Minnesota to improve end-of-life care. Design: The Minnesota Commission on End of Life Care was formed to make recommendations that would be used by public and private policy makers to improve care in the state. Results: An innovative selection process brought together a broad group of people to identify, prioritize, and make recommendations regarding end-of-life care in the state. Carefully selected leadership, good planning, and organization ensured a successful process that kept all appointed commission members engaged throughout the 18-month project. Using a consensus process, the Commission endorsed a framework for end-of-life care and made specific recommendations for improving access, education and public policy. This paper describes the process of developing and implementing the Commission, the challenges, successes, and lessons learned.