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For Immediate Release

Free Advance Care Planning Workshop October 16, 2018

Santa Rosa, CA  –  September 7, 2018  –  When someone is sick, it's natural to ask, "What can I do to help?" or "What can I do for you?" It feels good to fulfill someone's wishes. But if your loved one is so sick that he or she is unable to speak and you don't already know what he or she wants—that feels awful.

Yet roughly 50% of us are likely to be unable to speak for ourselves in a future medical situation. Advance care planning is the process of thinking about, talking about, and documenting your healthcare wishes and priorities—before a crisis occurs.

To help residents prepare, My Care My Plan: Speak Up, Sonoma County will host a free advance care planning workshop, Who Will Speak for You If You Can't Speak for Yourself? on Tuesday, October 16, 2-4 p.m., at the Redwood Credit Union Community Room, 3033 Cleveland Avenue, Santa Rosa. Register online at MyCareMyPlanSonoma.org under Events, by phone at (707) 565-5950, or by email to aasecretary@schsd.org.

"In my practice, I am commonly struck by the added burden families feel as they face the stress and conflict of choosing treatment strategies when they never had conversations with their loved ones ahead of time about the things that matter most to them in the context of life-threatening illness," says Gary Johanson, MD, Medical Director, Memorial Hospice and St. Joseph Palliative Care Services. "This added burden is so preventable through advance care planning."

"It might feel awkward to be the one to start that 'what matters most' conversation," adds Dorothy Foster, LMFT and co-chair of My Care My Plan: Speak Up, Sonoma County, "but it's a conversation you want to have on your own time--rather than in the emergency department under the pressure of a crisis."

Johanson and Foster will lead the October workshop, designed for anyone over age 18. Participants consider the type of care they would want in a health crisis, and how to make their wishes known through thoughtful advance care planning and clear, written, advance health care directives. The presenters will also offer ideas for how to talk with family, loved ones, and healthcare providers about medical treatment options, tradeoffs, and wishes.

My Care, My Plan: Speak Up, Sonoma County’s (MyCareMyPlanSonoma.org) vision is for every adult 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 their wishes honored in a medical crisis. This is an initiative of the Committee for Healthcare Improvement and Sonoma County Health Action, which mobilize community partnerships and resources to achieve equity and improve health for all in Sonoma County. MCMP is a collaborative of organizations and individuals from the private, public, nonprofit, and volunteer sectors, including local healthcare and social service organizations and other community partners.



Contact Information

Communications Manager
Human Services Department
County of Sonoma
Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Contact us by Phone
3600 Westwind Boulevard
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.508155, -122.795028
Mailing Address
PO Box 1539
Santa Rosa, CA 95402