Released by: Health Services
For Immediate Release

National Healthcare Decisions Day 2017

Free local workshops offered

Santa Rosa, CA  –  April 13, 2017  –  My Care My Plan: Speak Up, Sonoma County is hosting local events as part of National Healthcare Decisions Day 2017 to inspire, educate, and empower the public and local healthcare providers about the importance of advance health care planning.


April 16 is designated annually as National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) but this year NHDD will be a week-long event (April 16-22) as part of emphasizing the message that “it always seems too early, until it’s too late.” Half of us will become unable to speak for ourselves in a future medical situation, yet only 23 percent of adults have advanced health care directives.

“Things can happen at any time, to any of us that might leave us unable to speak for ourselves in a medical crisis,” Dorothy Foster, MFT, Co-Chair of My Care My Plan: Speak Up, Sonoma County said. “Modern medicine can do some amazing things, but it can also require friends and family to make difficult choices for us. They can’t know what we would want unless we have talked about it.”

My Care, My Plan: Speak Up, Sonoma County is offering free, local events designed to empower individuals age 18 and older to consider the type of care each of us wants before a health crisis occurs and to find out how to make our health care wishes known through thoughtful advance care planning. These sessions offer answers to questions and ideas for starting and continuing advance care planning conversations with family, loved ones, and healthcare providers. Workshops help participants learn how to create a strong advance health care directive.

“As a physician, I recommend all adults engage in advance care planning. It is much more than a document. It is a process of communication that starts with talking about your values and what is important to you with key people in your life, and then, ultimately, putting your wishes into an advance health care directive. This combination of conversation and documentation is the ultimate gift to loved ones,” said Peter Valenzuela, MD MBA, Chief Medical Officer of Sutter Medical Group of the Redwoods and current chair of Health Action’s Committee for Healthcare Improvement. “My Care My Plan has been instrumental in educating the people of Sonoma County on the importance of advanced care planning and its impact on families. This is a prime example of how community partnerships can improve health care outcomes.”

Upcoming local events include:

Thursday, April 20, 2017 at Vintage House, 264 First Street East in Sonoma
Sponsored by Sonoma Valley Hospital
1:30 p.m. Advance Care Planning: Who Will Speak for You When You Can't Speak for Yourself? 
6:30 p.m. Advance Health Care Directive Workshop

Led by Taylor McCandless, MSW (Healing At Home, Sonoma Valley Hospital); Brian Arendt (Heartland Hospice); Elissa DeWolfe, RNC, ACHPN Palliative Care Advanced Practice Nurse (Hospice By the Bay); and Jenay Cottrell, Program Planning & Evaluation Analyst (Sonoma County Human Services Department Adult & Aging Services).

Register by calling the Vintage House at 707.996.0311 or Sonoma Valley Hospital at 707.935.5257.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at Sonoma County Human Services Department, Carnelian Room, 3725 Westwind Blvd in Santa Rosa (off Airport Blvd), 1:30-3:30 p.m.
1:30 p.m. (first hour): Focus on advance care planning issues and questions
2:30 p.m. (second hour): How to complete your advance health care directive

Led by Barbara Beaudet, PHN, Supervising Public Health Nurse (Sonoma County Human Services Department Adult & Aging Services) and Nina Arbour, Community Relations and Volunteer Services Manager (St. Joseph Health Hospice Services).

Online registration for these and other local advance care planning presentations and workshops, along with more information and resources, is available at www.MyCareMyPlanSonoma.org.

My Care, My Plan: Speak Up Sonoma County is an Advance Care Planning Community Initiative formed to encourage people to speak up about how they want to be treated in any medical situation in which they are unable or unwilling to speak for themselves.  MCMP is a collaborative of organizations and individuals from the private, public, nonprofit and volunteer sectors, including local health care and social service organizations and other community partners, who want to raise awareness of advance care planning.  The initiative’s vision is for every person in the county to become educated and empowered to express his/her wishes about end-of-life care, to have the opportunity to do so and to have his/her wishes honored. MCMP is a project of Sonoma County Health Action. Other upcoming dates are Tuesday, July 25, 2017 and Tuesday October 24, 2017.

  My Care, My Plan: Speak Up, Sonoma County is an initiative of the Committee for Healthcare Improvement and Health Action, mobilizing community partnerships and resources to achieve equity and improve health for all in Sonoma County


Contact Information

Communications Manager
County of Sonoma
Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Contact us by Phone
Health Services Administration
3313 Chanate Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
38.46875, -122.708432