Honoring Choices Ambassador Program

A lovely woman enjoying a conversation with her senior father outdoors

Peer-to-peer discussions to improve healthy living

Ambassadors are volunteers who provide peer-to-peer health care planning information to adults & families in their community where they live, work and gather. Our Community Partners host Ambassador Programs to help ensure all adults can access health care planning information within their own language, culture and ability. Together we can increase access to up-to-date information, help adults make a plan that reflects their values and choices, and open up new pathways to improve healthy living.

 

Here's how it works:

What is the Ambassador Program?

The Ambassador Program focuses on the power of consumer-to-consumer conversations to inform and empower adults to make a health care plan and receive quality everyday care to improve healthy living.

The program goals are:

  • To provide all adults with accurate, Massachusetts-based health care planning information & documents within their language, cultural norms and traditions, and ability to make and communicate values and choices;
  • To connect adults to quality care in their community to address everyday health needs and improve health outcomes
  • To listen to consumer feedback on the actual challenges & barriers adults & families face to access information and get good care
  • To pass vital consumer feedback to our regional Partner Networks to address the barriers to healthy living including those of age, ability, race, culture, gender, and economics
  • To work closely with our Community Partners to open new pathways for access to healthy living

Who can be an Ambassador?

An Ambassador is a volunteer, any age or walk of life, who can help inform and empower adults anywhere consumers live, work and gather. For example, Ambassadors can be:

  • Adults 50 and older, community volunteers or retired professionals
  • Bi-lingual adults to offer the translated documents & videos
  • Volunteers at your church, synagogue or house of worship
  • Volunteers in health clinics, hospitals, assisted living, housing or care facilities — anywhere consumers receive care or reside;
  • Volunteers/advocates who help adults with cognitive, physical, psychological challenges, and help their caregivers, Agents and Guardians on the journey with them
  • Students, 18 and older, in health services, colleges, nursing or physicians programs
  • Volunteer/employees at local businesses to offer health care planning as an informational benefit to fellow employees

What does an Ambassador do?

An Ambassador receives basic training in the Honoring Choices Who's Your Agent?® Program to offer a 30 minute presentation on how to make a health care plan using the Getting Started Tool Kit.  Ambassadors learn how to open up peer-to-peer discussions to understand the practical challenges consumers face in accessing information and receiving everyday quality care. Ambassadors collect the information for the regional Partner networks. Ambassadors also help connect adults to their sponsoring Community Partner, if so desired, for individual help and to the broader Honoring Choices Partner Network of care and services.

Who can start an Ambassador Program?

Any Community Partner can build in an Ambassador Program. You recruit volunteers to represent your organization and target audiences you'd like to reach within your community. Ambassadors are supported and supervised by the Community Partner. Alliance Partners working with member organizations can start a program too.

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 or community group, faith-based or cultural group, school or business, residential or health facility... anywhere consumers gather!  Check with Ellen DiPaola for details at edipaola@honoringchoicesmass.com

What does Honoring Choices provide?

The Honoring Choices Ambassador Program is a first-of-its kind consumer driven health care planning information and engagement program. Here's how we can support you:

  • Tailor a program that best fits with your mission and your volunteer capability, whether it's with 2 or 20 volunteers;
  • Train your volunteers in the Who's Your Agent?® Program
  • Provide an electronic copy of the Ambassador's Manual that contains all information and tools and a simple consumer feedback data form to collect your consumer feedback
  • Transfer your vital consumer feedback to our Partner network to help address barriers to accessing information and getting good everyday care, and improve care in your community
  • Provide new initiatives and tools to support your reach into diverse communities, i.e. translated documents and videos;
  • Promote your program on the new "Ambassador Program" web page

How do you start an Ambassador Program?

Simply contact us and we'll get you started. You can start small with a few volunteers and grow your program. 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.  To learn more, contact Ellen edipaola@honoringchoicesmass.com

The First Ambassador Program is Underway!

ambassador flyer photo

Community Partners join forces to support peer-to-peer discussions

 

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

 

Four  Honoring Choices Community Partners- 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. Brenda became an Ambassador because she likes the friendly nature of the peer-to-peer discussions, commenting "It's a more personal and relaxed way to make your health care plan."

We recently meet with the new Ambassadors at the Marlborough Senior Center. Honoring Choices provided a training in the Who’s Your Agent? Program’s “Getting Started Tool Kit” and explored the role of an Ambassador.  The 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  our four Community Partners for their vision and commitment:   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.