Hospice of Santa Barbara and Mi Vida, Mi Voz Spread the Word in English and Spanish
Hospice of Santa Barbara (HSB) and Mi Vida, Mi Voz (MVMV) have launched a new advance care planning initiative for both English and Spanish speakers in Santa Barbara County. Advance Care Planning is a way for people of all ages to prepare for their end of life medical wishes. An Advance Directive assists individuals in making decisions about the types of healthcare they wish to receive in the case they become very sick or injured and are not able to speak for themselves. Additionally, it allows them to select a person to make healthcare decisions in the case they are unable to make them themselves. Everyone, 18 years or older should have a completed document regardless of health condition.
Get it Done SB!, the initiative targeting English speakers, and Mi Regalo, the initiative targeting Spanish speakers, seek to educate community members on the importance of having this conversation and the importance of completing and submitting documents to local medical facilities including Cottage Hospital.
Targeted workshops are being set up with local businesses and organizations to present the information and fill out the forms as a group. Community workshops, open to the public, will be scheduled in the coming months. Both initiatives were created to strengthen families by equipping them with the tools to engage in these difficult conversations and most importantly, to help individuals and their families complete and submit their MyCare document to their healthcare providers such as Cottage before a crisis were to occur.
Both initiatives emerged from years of collaborative work around end of life planning and in partnership with Cottage Health. The English initiative is led by Jeanne West, Community Engagement Manager of HSB and a past registered nurse, with nearly fifty years’ experience in health care settings and community outreach. She has collaborated with and holds relationships with dozens of local health organizations, skilled nursing and senior residential facilities, and other community organizations.
“Having these forms completed is a huge gift we can give our families. We have seen what can happen to families when these decisions are not made in advance of a loved one’s death,” said West. “Differing opinions on ‘what is best’ can lead to angry confrontations and even tear families apart. We want to do everything possible to avoid that,” said West.
Adriana Marroquin, Community Initiatives Manager at Hospice of Santa Barbara added, “Many in our Spanish speaking communities have never even heard of Advance Care Planning, let alone know it’s an option. Education about the topic is very important to empower individuals to make educated decisions on their medical care early on and avoid family conflict.”
To learn more about Get It Done SB!, visit: https://www.getitdonesb.org/
To learn more about Mi Regalo, visit: https://www.miregalo.org/
Hospice of Santa Barbara
Hospice of Santa Barbara provides professional counseling, support groups, and patient care services free of charge to individuals and families who are grieving the death of a loved one or experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness. Hospice of Santa Barbara also provides counseling in our offices and on fifteen local junior and high school campuses to children and teens who are grieving the loss of a loved one. For more information about Hospice of Santa Barbara, including volunteer opportunities, call (805) 563-8820 or visit www.hospiceofsantabarbara.org.
Mi Vida, Mi Voz
MVMV is a local community collaboration of organizations, sponsored by Hospice of Santa Barbara, focused on improving the quality of life of the Latino community by addressing social determinants of health and engaging in proactive end-of-life planning. The MVMV steering committee is made up of the following organizations Carpinteria Children’s Project, Casa De La Raza, City of SB Fire Department, Cottage Health, Family Service Agency, Housing Authority of Santa Barbara, Isla Vista Youth Projects, LISTOS, McDermott-Crockett Mortuary, Promotores De Salud Network, Ridley-Tree Cancer Center, and Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics.