It’s never too early to complete an advance directive

PeaceHealth offers free advance care planning workshops to the community

June 14, 2018

VANCOUVER, Wash. – When it comes to advance care planning, statistics show that there is a big difference between “talking” and “doing.”

According to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a recent study suggested that while 82 percent of people surveyed believe that putting their end-of-life care wishes in writing is a good idea, only 27 percent have completed that task.

Advance care planning is about sharing personal goals, values, religious and cultural beliefs, and what matters individually for quality of life with family, friends and medical providers. It’s also about completing an advance directive. Both will help to ensure a patient’s wishes are followed, in the event of a medical crisis.

PeaceHealth offers free community workshops year-round that walk participants through the elements of advance care planning. Upcoming workshop dates include:

  • Bellingham, Washington: Aug. 2 and Sept. 6, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Health Education Center, 3333 Squalicum Parkway. For more information, call Hilary Walker, advance care planning coordinator, at 360-752-5267.
  • Vancouver, Washington: July 10, Sept. 22 and Nov. 7, at PeaceHealth Southwest Health Education Center, 600 N.E. 92nd Ave. For more information, call 360-514-2190.
  • Eugene, Oregon: The next workshop will be offered July 30, at the PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center, University District, campus. For more information or to sign up, contact Athena Krupicka-Sklenar, hospice holistic care supervisor, at 458-205-7440.

PeaceHealth provider Avneet Rattan, MD, recently enrolled in one of the workshops for herself and for her patients. In one evening, she was able to complete her advance directive and have it notarized. She is now more prepared to have end-of-life care discussions with her patients and their families.

“It is important to me that I am able to talk to my patients about advance care planning, and explain that there is no minimum age to starting the ACD process,” she said. “We never know when we will need an advance directive.”

Karen Haggen, a PeaceHealth foundation and hospice legacy advisor, also participated in the PeaceHealth workshop.  Haggen talks to donors daily about planning and sharing their wishes in advance. But when it came to planning for her own end-of-life care, she hadn’t updated her advance directive since her children were young. She realized it was time to revisit those documents and have conversations now that her kids are adults.

At the workshop Haggen received step-by-step guidance, and experts were on hand to answer questions. She describes the process as quick and easy.

“It was really simple,” she said. “Six of us left the class with the advance care directive notarized and ready to drop in the mail. It felt so good to get that done.”

About PeaceHealth: PeaceHealth, based in Vancouver, Wash., is a not-for-profit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. PeaceHealth has approximately 16,000 caregivers, a group practice with more than 900 providers and 10 medical centers serving both urban and rural communities throughout the Northwest. In 1890, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what has become PeaceHealth. The Sisters shared expertise and transferred wisdom from one medical center to another, always finding the best way to serve the unmet need for healthcare in their communities. Today, PeaceHealth is the legacy of the founding Sisters and continues with a spirit of respect, stewardship, collaboration and social justice in fulfilling its Mission.

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Jeremy Rush,
Manager, Public Relations and Media

Phone:   360-729-2212
Mobile:  615-255-3967
Email:     Jeremy Rush

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