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It is often difficult to imagine your end of life care—or end of life care for a loved one—in the event you or your loved one becomes incapable of making health care decisions. National Healthcare Decisions Day would like to change that. This April 16 is the 7th annual National Healthcare Decisions Day. On this day we encourage you to make your future healthcare choices known and protected.
Why should you bother with end-of-life planning?
There are several reasons.
First, advance care planning allows you to think about important issues when you don’t have to make immediate decisions or are under intense emotional stress. Another important factor is that it’s good to know your loved ones understand your personal wishes should you suddenly become unable to speak for yourself. And, if you happen to become the decision maker for a loved one who is incapacitated you don’t have to guess what that loved one wants. You’ll be prepared to act based on what you know. This advance care planning will also help avoid serious family conflict if you and your loved ones have different views on end of life care.
How do you get started with advance care planning?
You can begin advance care planning by considering the following questions:
• What represents a good quality of life to you?
• What concerns you the most about death or dying?
• How would you want to spend the last month of your life?
• Some people want to have everything possible done to delay death. Others do not want dying to be prolonged. Where do you fit in with these two requests?
• If you are in a position where you cannot speak for yourself, who do you want to make these decisions for you?
What are the next steps?
Advance care planning is a process. You may want to schedule an appointment with a medical caregiver such as your primary care physician, nurse practitioner or specialist. In addition, you may want to complete a document called an Advance Health Care Directive which allows you to state in writing your individual wishes for end of life care. For more information on the Advance Health Care Directive, click here. To download an Advance Health Care Directive, click here.
Please take the time today to think about your wishes or the wishes of your loved one. Start a conversation using the questions above and take the next step and prepare an Advance Health Care Directive. Advance care planning will not only help you shape the last stage of life, it will also give you peace of mind to know your decisions are in place and will be honored.
New Tool Helps Determine Where Important Health Care Programs and Services are Needed
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The region’s four health systems have teamed up to bring telling data to life through the interactive www.healthylivingmap.com – a tool that can identify communities facing the greatest health disparities and help determine important health care programs and services needed by those struggling with poverty, food insecurity, homelessness and/or isolation. Read More about Local Health Care Providers Partner to Improve Community’s Overall Health
Small Community Hospital Is National Role Model for Health-Care Excellence
BALTIMORE, Md. — Sutter Davis Hospital on Sunday evening became the only health-care organization to receive a 2013 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest Presidential honor for performance excellence, during Baldrige’s 26th Annual Quest for Excellence® Conference. Also honored was the Pewaukee School District in Wisconsin.Sutter Davis, a 48-bed hospital in Yolo County, is the first organization or business in the greater Sacramento area, and the first hospital in Northern California, to receive the prestigious national honor. Since the first businesses were recognized in 1988, 101 awards have been presented to 95 organizations. Past award winners include Boeing, AT&T, Motorola, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Cadillac, 3M, Lockheed Martin and the Henry Ford Health System.
“I congratulate the 2013 Baldrige Award recipients, two organizations that are leading innovative practices, dynamic management, sound financial performance, outstanding employee and customer satisfaction, and a solid commitment to excellence and proven results,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, who presented the awards. “The Baldrige program has had a tangible impact on the success of thousands of organizations worldwide and our nation’s economy, and the winners announced today will undoubtedly continue that legacy and serve as role models for their peers in the health care and education sectors.” Read More about Sutter Davis Is Only Hospital to Receive 2013 Presidential Honor for Excellence
Advanced Illness Management (AIM)® Reduces Hospitalizations, Health Care Costs
Yuba City, Calif. – Even with a history of cervical cancer and heart problems, 92-year-old Enes Cereni of South San Francisco says she enjoys time with her husband of 63 years and their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren thanks to Sutter Health’s Advanced Illness Management (AIM)® program, which launched in Solano, Sonoma and San Mateo counties recently, as well as in the East Bay Region and in San Francisco. Beginning today, patients with late-stage chronic illness in the Sutter Medical Foundation and Sutter North Home Health & Hospice’s service area can access the same resources and support available to Mrs. Cereni through AIM’s next major expansion in Northern California. The expansion extends access to eligible Sutter Medical Foundation and Sutter North Medical Group physician patients in Yuba and Sutter counties. Read More about Sutter Health Launches Innovative Advanced Illness Management Program in Yuba and Sutter Counties
The Women’s Imaging Center, which provides digital mammography and bone density screening at Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, is expanding its weekday services to include two Saturdays a month. The Women’s Imaging Center conducted a pilot study in February 2014 to see if Saturday hours would be beneficial to patients. Sixteen women made appointments for the first Saturday of the pilot study confirming that the extended hours will better help women get the screenings they need to safeguard their health.
Beginning Saturday, April 5, the Women’s Imaging Center will be open on the first and third Saturdays of the month, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., providing a convenient access for women in the community. For more information or to schedule a mammogram or bone density screening, please call 530-886-6562.
DAVIS, Calif. — Back in her teen years, Chris Dechoretz served as a volunteer candy striper at Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento, a job she “enjoyed very much.” Perhaps that’s why, after retiring from her UC Davis job in 2006, she immediately thought of volunteering at Sutter Davis Hospital.
“I wanted to do something that would provide meaning for both me and the organization, get me out of house and put me in contact with others,” she explained. “And I get the most pleasure from the camaraderie between volunteers and staff. It’s a very inclusive environment.”
Today, Dechoretz is co-president of the hospital’s Auxiliary, and eager to find others like herself willing to invest their time in serving Sutter Davis Hospital’s patients and staff.
“We always need more volunteers,” she said. “They are such a key part in making the hospital run smoothly. Last year alone, volunteers put in almost 20,000 hours, which translates to a value added to the hospital of $478,739, according to IndependentSector.org.” Read More about Sutter Davis Hospital Seeks Volunteers
SACRAMENTO – Richard Riemer, D.O., Sutter Neuroscience Institute’s regional medical director of Sutter Spine Care, was named the 2014 Physician of the Year by the Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons of California during its annual award presentation in February.
Dr. Riemer is a Sacramento neurologist who specializes in the evaluation of spine disorders and pain, as well as the evaluation and treatment of patients with a wide array of neurological conditions. He is on the OPSC Board of Directors and has served on multiple OPSC committees, including a two-year stint as chairman of the Legislative Committee.
The award is presented by OPSC to a D.O. – a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine – who best exemplifies the qualities of an outstanding osteopathic physician. Taken into account are such qualities as dedication and devotion to the profession, activity in the osteopathic community, and activity in the community in which the individual lives and works. Read More about Richard Riemer Named Physician of the Year by State Group