Community Health Organizations Collaborate to Provide Workshops on Advance Directives, End-of-Life Planning


​PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center (PIMC) will offer two workshops on Advance Directives later this month, led by Julianne Dickelman, MA, of the Whatcom Alliance for Health Advancement (WAHA) and PeaceHealth ethicist Ross Fewing, MA.

The workshops, which are free and open to the public, will be 1:30-3 p.m. and 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, in the Emergency Medical Services building adjacent to PIMC, at 1079 Spring Street in Friday Harbor. 

Due to their experience in health care, Dickelman and Fewing believe strongly in the need for conversations about end-of-life wishes and planning to ensure those wishes are honored.

“We like to think that we will always be healthy and able to make decisions for ourselves,” said Dickelman. “However, it’s possible we could develop a sudden illness or be involved in a serious accident. We might not be able to make decisions for ourselves.”

Dickelman and Fewing said that participants in the workshop will learn:
  • Why an Advance Directives, especially a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, are critical for every adult, regardless of age;
  • How to choose someone to be your Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care (your Health Care Agent);
  • How to talk to loved ones and physicians about your preferences for end-of-life care;
  • How to complete the Advance Directive paperwork.
Dickelman, the Advance Care Planning Project Manager for WAHA, is a certified Respecting Choices First Steps® Instructor. She has over 20 years’ experience in health care as an educator and program coordinator on topics related to holistic wellness, spirituality and medicine, ethics, self-care for caregivers, grief and advance care planning (death and dying). She holds a Master of Arts from Gonzaga University and completed a post-graduate residency in clinical pastoral education with Empire Health Services. 

Fewing is Director of the Center for Mission for PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center and one of two ethicists in the PeaceHealth Northwest Network, which includes PIMC. He has over 17 years’ experience in health care serving as a chaplain at Virginia Mason Medical Center and Swedish Medical Center before coming to PeaceHealth St. Joseph. Fewing earned his Master of Arts in Bioethics in 2005.