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  Sacto. Regional Alliance

The Compassionate Care Alliance of the Greater Sacramento Region is a non-profit coalition of healthcare professionals and community members encouraging dialogue about end-of-life issues. Established in 2001, the Alliance provides consumer education, offers seminars for health professionals and faith leaders, and sponsors activities during California's Health Care Decisions Week.


Consumer Education

Free "lunch and learn" talks

Area businesses and state agencies are sponsoring Medical Decisions When They Count Most, a one-hour session to help employees of all ages prepare for decisions about medical care if they become unable to communicate their wishes.

Also available for civic organizations, congregations and senior groups, the program includes information on advance directives and talking with families and doctors about preferences for care. To schedule a speaker, contact SHD.

Educational Booklets

SHD's Finding Your Way booklet encourages early family discussions and helps those who are considering whether to initiate or withdraw life-sustaining treatment when the end of life is near (also available in Spanish). Mrs. Lee's Story, in English and Chinese, introduces end-of-life issues that concern Chinese elders and their families. Preview and order on End-of-Life Educational Materials page.

Advance Directives

California's Advance Health Care Directive is a way to make your health care wishes known if you become unable to communicate or prefer someone else to speak for you. An advance directive can serve one or both of these functions: Power of Attorney for Health Care (to appoint an agent) and Instructions for Health Care (to indicate your wishes).

To assist in making your wishes known, the Alliance provides the following free forms and other materials:

Free Advance Directive form
Free Advance Directive form (Spanish)
Free Advance Directive form (Chinese)
Fact sheet on Advance Directives
Choosing your Spokesperson

Organ donor registry

The Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry is a secure and confidential way to document your wishes for donation. Sign up at www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org or www.doneVIDAcalifornia.org (Spanish). For more information, call (916) 567-1600.

Seminars for Healthcare Professionals & Faith Leaders

Respecting Choices course

2009 courses: March 12 & 13; October 1 & 2
To register.

This two-day nationally recognized advance care planning facilitator training is designed for nurses and social workers from community and healthcare settings. Respecting Choices is sponsored twice yearly by the Alliance and CHW Strategic Learning Dept. Continuing education credits are available for RNs, MFTs and LCSWs.

Partners in Caring seminar for faith leaders

Next seminar: 2009 date tba

This one-day seminar is designed to help faith leaders support seriously ill and dying individuals and their families.

PIC participant
2008 PIC participant
photo by Renée C. Byer

Developed to bridge medical and ethical concepts with the spiritual aspects of end-of-life care, the program includes:

  • concepts in setting goals for care near the end of life
  • legal issues around life-sustaining treatment and advance directives
  • information about pain management, including myths and misconceptions
  • how to partner with the medical team to address suffering
  • ways to address spiritual needs of patients and families
  • how to facilitate communication and be present with the dying
Health Care Decisions Week

2009 Week: October 25 - 31

Held the last week in October, California's Health Care Decisions Week is a time for people to think about the kind of care they would want if they become seriously ill or incapacitated, talk with their loved ones and doctors about their wishes, and complete an advance directive document.

2008 activities included a free community lecture and book-signing by Dr. Pauline Chen, NY Times columnist and author, Final Exam: A Surgeon′s Reflections on Mortality; presentations on medical decision-making at area community and senior centers; and advance directive classes at local hospitals.

For more information, contact SHD.

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Alliance Participants

Chris Evans, RN, MSN, CO-CHAIR
Catholic Healthcare West Strategic Learning

Kathy Glasmire, CO-CHAIR
Sacramento Healthcare Decisions

Rev. Linda Amador
Kaiser Permanente Hospice

Deon Batchelder
Community Member

Susan Carson, RN
Health Ministries Association

Rosie Cox, RN
Common Ground Resources

Margaret Grayden
Yolo Hospice

Michael Gunther Maher, MD
Kaiser Permanente Sacramento

Anne Israel-Connolly
Area 4 Agency on Aging

Paul Janke, D.Min.
Lutheran Social Services of No. California

Terri Jellesed
East Lawn, Inc.

Candy Kodama, RN
Mercy Hospice

Nancy Madrick, RN
Eskaton Senior Connection

Terry McPeek, RN
Eskaton Senior Connection

Joan Mengelkoch
Sutter Medical Center Sacramento

Sue Mooney, RN
Fremont Presbyterian Church Parish Nurse

Vicki Owens
Golden State Donor Services

Betty Youngren
Funeral Consumers Alliance of No. Calif.

The Alliance is one of 20 community coalitions affiliated with the California Coalition for Compassionate Care, which promotes high-quality, compassionate end-of-life care for all Californians. Visit www.finalchoices.org.

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