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Explore: Sonoma County

My Care My Plan Sonoma

My Care, My Plan: Speak Up Sonoma County is an Advance Care Planning community initiative. It aims to encourage everyone age 18 and older to contemplate, communicate about, and document their health care wishes.

Our initiative is a project of Health Action, a collaborative community effort to get citizens involved in creating a healthier Sonoma County. My Care, My Plan links organizations and individuals from the private, public, nonprofit and volunteer sectors, including local health care and social service organizations, to raise awareness about the importance of Advance Care Planning. The Sonoma County Human Services Department Adult and Aging Division provides support for the initiative.

My Care, My Plan is directed by a dedicated group of community leaders who volunteer on a steering committee. Additionally, physicians, nurses, social workers and administrators from all local health systems, nonprofit executives and other community leaders have helped to develop the curriculum for the initiative’s educational sessions on Advance Care Planning.

My Care, My Plan is a member of the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California, a collaborative of organizations and individuals that promotes high-quality, compassionate care for all Californians who are seriously ill or approaching the end of life.

Our Vision

My Care, My Plan’s vision is for every adult 18 and older in Sonoma County to become educated and empowered to express his/her wishes about end-of-life care, to have the opportunity to do so and to have his/her wishes honored.

We want to help people in our community contemplate, communicate about and properly document the kind of medical care they want before a medical crisis occurs or they face a serious illness. We want people to document those wishes in writing and have conversations with their health care agents, loved ones and doctors.

We’re inspired by La Crosse, Wisconsin, where neighbors help neighbors so that everyone has completed an Advance Health Care Directive as part of an advance care plan.

Our Challenge

Only 23% of Californians have actually completed an Advance Health Care Directive even though 82% agree that it’s important. Since 50% of us will become unable to speak for ourselves in future a medical situation, My Care, My Plan encourages more Sonoma County residents to take action for themselves.

Why is it Important to have an Advance Health Care Directive?

How MCMP is Meeting the Challenge

  • By raising public awareness about the importance of Advance Care Planning and making the conversation about this important process easier between families and loved ones
  • By informing and motiving adults 18 years and older to conduct Advance Care Planning, which includes completing an Advance Health Care Directive
  • By promoting more meaningful Advance Care Planning conversations between physicians and other health care providers and their patients in Sonoma County

My Care, My Plan’s Steering Committee

  • Dorothy Foster, MFT, Steering Committee Co-Chair, Psychotherapist in Private Practice
  • Taylor McCandless, MSW, Steering Committee Co-Chair, Sonoma Valley Hospital
  • Nina Arbour, St. Joseph Health Hospice Services
  • Brian Arendt, Heartland Hospice
  • Barbara Beaudet, PHN, Sonoma County Human Services Department, Adult and Aging Division
  • Gary Johnson, MD, Medical Director Palliative Care Services and Memorial Hospice, St. Joseph Health Sonoma County/Annadel Medical Group
  • Margaret L. Marquez, MD, Chief: Department of Nephrology and Medical Director: Life Care Planning/Outpatient Palliative Care Department, Kaiser Santa Rosa
  • Jenay Cottrell, Sonoma County Human Services Department, Adult and Aging Division
  • Lori Houston, Sonoma County Department of Health Services
  • Susan Keller, Community Network Journey Project
  • Ellie Wiener, MD, Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency
Learn about volunteer opportunities with My Care, My Plan: Speak Up Sonoma County.