Health Care Planning Ambassador Program

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Peer-to-peer discussions to improve healthy living

Ambassadors are volunteers who start person-to-person health care planning discussions anywhere adults live, work and gather.  Ambassadors receive training in the Honoring Choices "Getting Started Tool Kit" to inform and inspire adults to make a personal health care plan. Ambassadors work closely with our network of Community Partners to help connect adults to essential care and services to improve everyday health living.

STAFF ARE WELCOME to become an Ambassador for effective health care planning discussions! REGISTER for a free Spring Ambassador Workshop listed below.

 

Ambassador

Photo of the three ambassadorsAmbassadors Lynne Booth, Wesmyne Faustin, Yetsenaira "Jessie" Alvira are hosting a "Pizza & Proxy Party" for adults & families at Clarendon Hill Towers, Somerville.

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"Everyone gets sick or injured- even at my age. It's important to have an advocate — a Health Care Agent — to help you get the care you want. I tell my friends, family and my fellow nurses, it's easy to do with the Honoring Choices documents." Jack, ICU Nurse

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"I talked with a woman whose husband was very sick and wanted his son to make medical decisions for him. The doctor refused because the son was not his Health Care Agent. She was so glad to have first-hand information and a free Health Care Proxy for both her husband and son."  Ana, Bi-lingual Social Service Advocate

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"I think people don’t realize that doing a simple Health Care Proxy & Personal Directive takes the burden off your family in knowing how to care for you. When a medical crisis happens, the decisions are already made and written in your documents."  Brenda, Westborough Ambassador

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"This was a fun presentation. Very interactive. A topic of real interest for adults of all ages. The great slide presentation really helped us direct this workshop to share useful information and inspire personal engagement." Janice Long, Executive Director, Hudson Council on Aging

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Photo of an Ambassador from Northborough"I’ve always been a proponent of emergency preparedness for my family and community. It seems to me that having Health Care Proxies and Personal Directives within my family, and being an Ambassador to my community, is a natural and sensible extension of that." Randy, Northborough Ambassador

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"I was so grateful to serve as my mother's Health Care Agent when she became ill.  We had previously discussed her wishes so our entire family was engaged. We were at peace knowing we were honoring what was important to her.  I wish that peace of mind to all of us and those we love, as we transition through our life journey." Denise, Ambassador Program Director

Become an Ambassador.  Attend a free Ambassador Workshop!

Volunteers, staff, or any interested community member can become a Health Care Planning Ambassador. Simply register for one of the free workshops below. Ambassadors receive everything they need to confidently talk with family, friends and everyone in their community about a Health Care Proxy and Personal Directive. Working with our Partners,Ambassadors help adults connect to needed care to improve healthy living. Here are the dates:

  • March 28- South Shore Workshop, Marshfield. See "Spotlight" below.
  • April 10 -  Metrowest-Boston Workshop, Belmont. See "Spotlight" below.
  • April 18 -  Holyoke Workshop, Holyoke. Register here.
  • April 26 -North Shore Workshop, Beverly COA. Register here.
  • May 2- Cape Cod Task Force, Cape Cod Hospital, Hyannis. Register Here.
  • May 30- Worcester Workshop, UMass Memorial Health Care. Register Here.

To get started, contact Denise here...

Here's how it works:

Who can be an Ambassador?

Adults, any age or walk of life, can help inform and inspire their family, friends, colleagues, fellow congregants and everyone in their community to make a health care plan. Ambassadors help adults make a plan within their own language, culture and ability. For example, Ambassadors can be:

  • Community volunteers and retired professionals
  • Bi-lingual adults to offer the translated documents & videos
  • Members of a church, synagogue or house of worship
  • Volunteers in health clinics, hospitals or care facilities
  • Employees working at businesses offering health care planning as an informational benefit
  • Anyone working with adults 50 and older offering care, activities & pathways for healthy aging

What does an Ambassador do?

An Ambassador receives basic training in the Honoring Choices Who's Your Agent?® Program's  Getting Started Tool Kit, and use of the multi-lingual and multi-cultural tools. Ambassadors learn how to start peer-to-peer discussions, provide up to date planning information, and help adults consider and complete a Health Care Proxy and Personal Directive (Living Will). Ambassadors can refer adults to our Community Partners for needed care and services. Ambassadors act as a bridge to understand the real-life  challenges adults face in getting every day good care. They provide that vital consumer feedback to the Community Partners who address the barriers and gaps in care, and work together to open up new pathways to healthy living.

 

Who can start an Ambassador Program?

Any Honoring Choices Partner or community group can start an Ambassador Program. It's easy to do. You recruit volunteers or interested community members and we'll help train and support your Ambassadors. You supervise your volunteers and we'll spotlight your programs and Ambassadors on the Ambassador program web page. If you are not a partner yet, no problem. We'll get you started with everything you need to host an Ambassador Program at your health care organization, community group, faith-based or cultural group... anywhere adults live, work and gather together!

Start an Ambassador Program in time for April National Health Care Decisions Month. We are offering a series of Health Care Planning Ambassador Workshops for your volunteers  and host care provider/community  groups. Read more here.

How do I learn more?

For more information, contact Denise Skrocki, Ambassador Program Director, for more information. Click here.

We are thrilled to have received a grant from Tufts Health Plan Foundation to specifically support Ambassador Programs that elevate the voice and expertise of adults 50 and older. Everyone is welcome! Let us know how you are helping adults enjoy healthy aging.

SPOTLIGHT: Ambassador Programs

Photo of the three ambassadorsWelcome to Our Newest Ambassadors

Ambassadors Lynne Booth, Wesmyne Faustin, Yetsenaira "Jessie" Alvira (picture here, left to right)  attended the Metrowest-Boston Ambassadors Workshop to bring the program to the residents at Clarendon Hill Towers, Somerville. They discoverer that many of the residents did not have information about a Health Care Proxy & Personal Directive. Some of their seniors residents do not have family members, and had not talked to anyone about what was important to them and their choices for care. Armed with the  training and tools, the 3 Ambassadors are hosting multiple "Pizza & Proxy Parties" for adults & families in May. They are excited to get started, and Ms. Booth put it well saying... "we can't wait to make a difference".

Daughter Emily hugs mom.Belmont and Watertown Council on Aging(COA) co-host the Metrowest-Boston Ambassador Workshop

Lil Hartman, Belmont COA Director, and Anne-Marie Gagnon, Watertown COA Director co-hosted an interested and diverse group at the Belmont COA for our Metrowest- Boston  Ambassador Workshop. In attendance were seniors who wanted to start their health care plan, seniors who become Ambassadors to help others make a plan, and care providers from all over the region who came to start an Ambassador Program at their organization. There was a wonderful feeling of working together and moving forward to help all seniors make a plan to improve healthy living. Thank you Lil and Anne-Marie!

Photo of Health Care AmbassadorsSouth Shore Partners & Friends Gather to become Ambassadors

Care providers from all over the South Shore who help senior community, came together for lively discussion and train-the-trainer workshop to bring the Ambassador Program to their local organizations. Many of those in attendance become Ambassadors themselves!  A great day- thank you to Colleen Ferguson, Executive Director,Village at Proprietors Green, Lynda Chuckran, Welsh Senior Living, and Carol Corio,Old Colony Palliative Care & Hospice for their continued commitment to our shared mission of helping seniors and their families live their best lives.

Photo of Ambassador leading a group discussionNorthborough Seniors: "What's in Your Plan?"

The Northborough Senior Center, an Honoring  Choices Community Partner,  hosted a "What's in Your Plan?" presentation for their community.  Randy Cumming, the Northborough Ambassador, led the presentation and invited comments to get the conversation started.  The attendees were enthusiastic about the getting first-hand information from a fellow community member, and the opportunity to have a discussion of this important topic. They all received planning documents to get started on making their own health care plan. Randy says that being an trained Ambassador allows him to help others as a "sensible part of emergency preparedness" for his family and for his community.

"Pizza & Proxy Party" hosted by Hudson Senior Center Ambassadors

"Our first Pizza and Proxy Party was  a lot of fun and well received," says Janice Long, Executive Director, Hudson Senior Center. "We had a great turnout of community seniors and first-time younger seniors."  The group enjoyed local pizza and viewed an informational slide presentation on how to make their own health care plan. Ambassadors shared their personal stories and listened to some of the road blocks and concerns of their fellow community members. Everyone was grateful to receive a "Getting Started Tool Kit'. Some adults were ready to fill out a Health Care Proxy and have it witnessed by fellow seniors at the event. A few participants comments included:

  • " I learned to carefully choose an person to be my Agent and to be sure we talk first about what I want for care to make sure my Agent can do that for me."
  • "I did my Health Care Proxy years ago at a hospital. Now I wonder if they still have it. I  learned I need to keep my original copy for my personal records, so I can make changes if I need to and share it with others."
  • "I am not sure who to pick as my Agent, so I am starting with the Personal Directive to write down what I want for care in case of an emergency."

Photo of 10 adults at recent Honoring Choices Ambassador training.Four Community Partners host a joint Ambassador Workshop!

Hudson Senior Center, Marlborough Council on Aging,  Northborough Senior Center and Arthur P. Bergeron, Elder Law Attorney, Mirick O’Connell, Westborough are working together to promote access to information and healthy living for all adults & families in their region. They invited interested volunteers from their organizations to become Ambassadors at the Marlborough Senior Center. Ambassadors will help adults in their community exercise their right to make a health care plan with free information and tools,  talk about the challenges and barriers adults face in getting timely, affordable good care, and help connect adults to needed care and services to improve everyday healthy living. Many thanks to Janice Hudson, Executive Director, Hudson Senior Center; Trisha Pope, Executive Director, Marlborough Council on Aging, Kelly Burke, Executive Director,  Northborough Senior Center, and Arthur P. Bergeron, Elder Law Attorney, Mirick O’Connell, Westborough.