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Thursday, March 21 , 2019, 1:14 am | Fair 51º


Alliance for Living and Dying Well Appoints Director of New Advance-Care Initiative

The Alliance for Living and Dying Well is pleased to announce the appointment of Susan Sheard to direct its new initiative, the Disease-Specific Advance Care Planning Program.

Susan Sheard

Funded by a grant from the Santa Barbara Foundation, the Disease-Specific Advance Care Planning Program is initially working with people who live with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, known as COPD, and congestive heart failure, known as CHF.

According to Susan Plummer, executive director of the organization, “Susan Sheard has the ideal background for our new initiative. Thanks to her fine training and extensive experience, she is getting us off to a fast start.”

A Santa Barbara native and alumna of UCSB, Sheard is a graduate of the Yale Medical School’s Physician Assistant Program. Her clinical work in hematology and oncology has given her valuable insight into the issues confronting those living with chronic disease.

“I have had the privilege of caring for many patients at the end of their lives,” Sheard said. “This has caused me to wrestle personally and professionally with the societal and medical ethos in valuing quantity of days over quality of days in end-of-life decision making. I believe the work to change the culture of health-care delivery in this area is vital and exciting.”

Patients with chronic illness should consider meeting with Sheard, an advance care planning facilitator, when they are feeling well to discuss how their illness will likely progress and what specific future treatment decisions may be necessary. Planning is the best way to make sure goals, values, beliefs and preferences are respected by loved ones and healthcare providers. For more information about this program, contact Sheard at 805.845.5314 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The Alliance for Living and Dying Well, a collaboration of Santa Barbara area agencies, 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. ALDW is supported by the Cottage Health System Foundation, the J.S. Bower Foundation, the Santa Barbara Foundation and the St. Francis Foundation.

For information about the alliance, click here or call Plummer at 805.845.5314.

— Ann Pieramici represents the Alliance for Living and Dying Well.

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