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Signups Under Way for ‘Get It Done Today!’ Event to Complete Advance Health Care Directive

By Jennifer Zacharias for the Alliance for Living and Dying Well |

The Alliance for Living and Dying Well is pleased to announce its second annual "Get It Done Today!" event on April 16, in conjunction with National Healthcare Decisions Day.

Get It Done Today! is a free community-wide event to help the public complete their advance health care directives. The event will take place at the Santa Barbara Public Library’s Faulkner Gallery from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

People understand putting their end-of-life wishes down on paper is a good thing, but most don’t get around to doing so. Completing an advance health care directive through facilitated conversations with loved ones and your health care agent is integral to ensuring that one’s health-care preferences and values are known and honored when you cannot speak for yourself.

“Research shows that having an advance health care directive contributes greatly to peace of mind and assurance that one’s health care at the end of their life will be consistent with one’s values, preferences and quality of life,” said Susan Plummer, executive director of the Alliance for Living and Dying Well. “Currently, in Santa Barbara County, only 10 percent of patients arrive at Cottage Hospital with a completed and accessible AHCD. Get It Done Today! is an opportunity for anyone in the community to come and begin the conversation, learn more about the process, or take the initiative to complete theirs.”

A critical new development that is greatly assisting the alliance’s efforts to educate and assist the public about AHCD’s is that Cottage Hospital is now providing free electronic scanning of these documents, which enters them immediately into their hospital system, where they remain on file and easily accessible to medical and healthcare providers when needed. All individuals need to do is bring in a copy of their completed AHCD to any hospitality desk at any of the Cottage Health System hospitals, and it will be scanned into the hospital’s electronic medical records system.

This important service that Cottage Hospital is now providing not only improves accessibility of the individual’s AHCD, but makes it easy to find for the medical and healthcare providers and also supports the Alliance’s mission of ensuring AHCDs are available and accessible when they are most critically needed.

The alliance will have professional facilitators, notaries, and trained volunteers — both English and Spanish speaking — onsite during the event to facilitate the process of completing advance health care directives. Appointments are required, so call now to reserve 805.845.5314.

The Alliance for Living and Dying Well is a collaboration of Santa Barbara area agencies that seeks a seamless, compassionate continuum of end-of-life care. The alliance fosters learning and healing through discussions of our mortality, and it promotes practical planning, such as advance health care directives. For information, click here or call 805.845.5314.

— Jennifer Zacharias is a publicist representing the Alliance for Living and Dying Well.




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