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Alliance Completes Advance Health-Care Directives at ‘Get It Done Today!’ Event

The Alliance for Living and Dying Well hosted its second annual Get It Done Today! event on April 16, in conjunction with National Healthcare Decisions Day, at the Santa Barbara Public Library.

The goal of this free community-wide event was to help the public complete their advance health-care directives. The alliance recognized an increase in percentage of completed advance health-care directives, which is a critical part of their mission to seek a seamless, compassionate continuum of end-of-life care.

Mayor Helene Schneider attended the event and presented an official proclamation to the Alliance recognizing National Healthcare Decisions Day, and the importance of the organization’s work in the Santa Barbara community.

“We were so pleased with the turnout at this year’s Get It Done Today! event, and to see so many community members taking the initiative to put their end-of-life wishes down on paper,'” said Susan Plummer, executive director of the Alliance for Living and Dying Well. “Completing an advance health-care directive through facilitated conversations with loved ones and your health-care agent is integral to ensuring that your health-care preferences and values are known and honored when you cannot speak for yourself.”

An exciting new development this year is that alliance partner Cottage Health System is now providing free electronic scanning of AHCDs, which immediately enters the documents into the hospital’s electronic records system where they remain on file and easily accessible to medical and health-care providers when needed. Community members just need t bring in a copy of their completed AHCD to any hospitality desk at one of the Cottage Health System hospital locations, and it will be scanned into the hospital’s electronic medical records system. This important service provided by Cottage Health System supports the alliance’s mission of ensuring AHCDs are available and accessible when they are most critically needed.

The alliance will continue to hold free community workshops on an ongoing basis all year long to continue offering these important conversations about end-of-life wishes, and have professional facilitators and trained volunteers at these events — both English and Spanish speaking — to facilitate the process of completing advance health-care directives. Currently they offer workshops throughout the Santa Barbara community:

» B’nai B’rith Congregation — Every first Monday of the month, 1000 San Antonio Creek Road, 3 to 5 p.m. For information and registration, call 805.845.5314.

» Garden Court — Every third Wednesday of the month, 1116 De la Vina St., 3 to 5 p.m. For information and registration, call 805.845.5314.

» Hospice of Santa Barbara — Every third Thursday of the month, 2050 Alameda Padre Serra, Suite 100, 4 to 6 p.m. Free Notary available. For information and registration, call 805.845.5314.

» Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care — Every second Tuesday of the month, 602 E. Montecito St. (Community Room), 4 to 6 p.m. The first 30 minutes will be a presentation overview of the Five Wishes Advance Directive form. After the presentation, trained facilitators will be available to meet one-on-one for guidance and to answer questions. For more information or registration, call 805.845.5314.

» Vista Del Monte — Every third Friday of the month, 3775 Modoc Road, 10 a.m. to noon. For information and registration, call 805.845.5314.

Appointments are required, so call now to reserve at 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, please call 805.845.5314 or click here.

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

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