Health Care Planning Ambassador Program

Adults Participate in Health Care Planning Ambassador Program

Health Care Planning Ambassadors  use the Getting Started Tool Kit to start powerful care planning discussions with consumers - anywhere adults live, work & gather!  Care professionals and volunteers enhance their knowledge as Ambassadors to confidently help adults, within their own language, culture and ability, complete a Health Care Proxy and Personal Directive(Living Will), and get connected to good care in their community.  Meet the Ambassadors below!

What do Ambassadors do?

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ENGAGE

Help adults start a health care plan and complete a Health Care Proxy & Personal Directive.

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LISTEN

Learn about the real-life barriers & challenges adults face in getting good care.

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CONNECT

Open pathways to help adults get care in their community and put their  plan into action.

Meet the Health Care Planning Ambassadors

Ambassadors receive training to start person-to-person planning discussions and host fun & informational community events. Over 100 Ambassadors are helping adults complete a Health Care Proxy,  Personal Directive and get connected to care in their community. Here are what the Ambassadors are saying-

Ambassador

Health Care Planning Ambassador, Joanna Brown"I have also seen, first-hand, the difficulty that ensues when someone has not completed a Health Care Proxy to name their Agent. The Honoring Choices program is so important, and I am glad to be an Ambassador." 

Joanna Brown, Certified Nurse Assistant

Ambassador

"We are happy to be working together as Ambassadors to help our North Shore community members.  We assist adults & families in making a plan, and connecting them to the essential care and services they need."

Candy Natti, RN, Lauren Gailitis,
Kaye Hapshe, LSW; SeniorCare, Gloucester

Ambassador

Jack, Health Care Ambassador"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, Emergency Dept. & ICU Nurse, Boston

Ambassador

Photo of the three ambassadors"We are excited to host "Pizza & Proxy" events to bring our residents together to learn how to protect their rights, and write down their care choices in a Health Care Proxy and Personal Directive."

Lynne, Wesmyne, and
Yetsenaira "Jessie", Clarendon Hill Towers, Somerville

Come Join Us! Ambassador Events & Workshops

Here are some of the Fall Ambassador community events and professional workshops. Please contact the group to register and learn more.

Holyoke. "Have You Named a Health Care Agent?", Oct 10, 1pm-3:30, at Holyoke Community College, "Living Well at 55+" series. Free. Presented by Ambassador Joanna Brown. To register call 413-552-2123.

Salem. "What's in Your Plan?" Oct 9, 2:30pm, Morency Manor Senior Housing-Salem Housing Authority, provided by Ambassador Robin Krawczyk, MSW, LICSW, Jewish Family & Children’s Services.

 

Somerville. Annual Wellness Fair, Oct.16, 4-6pm, Clarendon Hill Towers, Ambassador Jessie Alvira provides a Health Care Proxy & Personal Directive.

Boylston. "What's in Your Plan?, Oct 11, 11am-12 noon, at the Boylston Library. Hosted by Boylston Council on Aging.  All community members welcome. RSVP 508 869-6022.

Quincy. "Pie & Proxy Party", Nov 19, 10:30-11:30am, Atria Marina Place, hosted by Ambassador Randy Veraguas. Register by Nov 12 at  617-770-3264 and receive a free pie!

Waltham. "What's in Your Plan?"  Oct 16, 10 am, Pine St. Senior Housing, Waltham Housing Authority, provided by Ambassador Robin Krawczyk, MSW, LICSW, Jewish Family & Children’s Services.

 

Worcester. "What's in Your Plan? Workshop Series for Worcester Senior Center's Multi-cultural Community Groups. See all dates in "Spotlight" section below. 

Roxbury. "What's in Your Plan?" Oct 17, 3 pm, Roxbury Tenants of Harvard Senior Housing, Mission Park, Boston provided by Ambassador Robin Krawczyk, MSW, LICSW, Jewish Family & Children’s Services.

Become an Ambassador. Here's how it works:

SPOTLIGHT: New Ambassador Programs!

"Who's Your Agent?" Multi-cultural, multi-lingual seniors complete a Health Care Proxy using our free translated documents.

The Worcester Senior Center, an Honoring Choices Community Partner, recognizes the rich diversity in the elder population of Worcester. African American, Albanian, Bhutanese, Chinese, Latino and Vietnamese Elder Groups meet regularly to share cultures and participate in events.  Working with Linda Wincek-Moore and Yung Phan, the Senior Center is hosting a free “What’s In Your Plan?” workshop series for their multicultural members.  Denise Skrocki, Director, Honoring Choices Health Care Planning Ambassador Program, will lead the each community group session to help adults make a personal health care plan by choosing a Health Care Agent in a Health Care Proxy. The African American group can fill out a Health Care Proxy and Personal Directive using the English version. With the assistance of an interpreter, the Arabic, Vietnamese, Chinese, Albanian and Latino community groups can fill out an Honoring Choices Health Care Proxy in their native language using our free translated documents, and ask questions to better understand the document and make informed choices.  Group members using the translated documents then transfer the information to a Health Care Proxy in English. Members make copies of their documents and give a copy to their Health Care Agent, and a copy to their physicians to place in their medical record. Here is the series of workshops below. For more information, please phone the Worcester Senior Center at 508-799-1232.

  • Arabic Community:  October 9, 2018 – 10:30-11:30 am
  • Vietnamese Community: November 29, 2018 – 10:30-11:30 am
  • Chinese Community:  November 30, 2018 – 10:00-11:30 am
  • Albanian Community:  TBD
  • Latino Community:  TBD
  • African American Community: TBD

  UMass Medical School Graduate School of Nursing Ambassador Workshop

This September we were delighted to host an Ambassador Workshop for the nurses enrolled in graduate studies while working in diverse care settings. We reviewed the updated Getting Started Tool Kit to start early and on-going planning discussions with their patients. We had a robust discussion on the day-to-day challenges nurses experience in the field and generated some  practical solutions. Thank you to Jean Boucher, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, AOCNP, Associate Professor of Nursing and Medicine, DNP Program Director for inviting us to engage  and learn from their nursing students, as we continue to expand programs with  UMass Memorial Health Care, an Honoring Choices Community Partner.

Ambassadors host "Pie & Proxy" and "Pancakes & Proxy" Events

This Fall, the Ambassadors are celebrating the season with fun and informational community  and staff events. Expanding on their very popular "Pizza & Proxy" events, Ambassadors have added:

  • "Pie & Proxy" events with Apple Pie (or your favorite pie) and a free Health Care Proxy & Personal Directive. Share recipes and enjoy a sweet or savory pie;
  • "Pancakes & Proxy" for Saturday and Sunday events. Add a Pancake Breakfast to the fall calendar and provide a free Health Care Proxy and Personal Directive.

Honoring Choices provides the Health Care Planning Ambassadors with everything they need to host an event including a sample newsletter announcement, posters, a slide presentation and downloadable tool kits.  Contact Denise Skrocki, Program Director. skrockid@gmail.com

Photo of the three ambassadorsAmbassadors Helping  Residents Make a Plan

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. 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 make sure we talk about what I want for care."
  • "I did my Health Care Proxy years ago at a hospital. Now I wonder if they still have it? "
  • "I am not sure who to pick as my Agent, so I am starting with the Personal Directive."

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.