News

News 12.19.16

ACCMA Community Health Foundation awarded $223K grant to promote end-of-life care planning

OAKLAND — The ACCMA Community Health Foundation, a charitable subsidiary of the Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association (ACCMA), has been awarded a $223,000 grant from the Thomas J. Long Foundation to support the ACCMA and East Bay Conversation Project’s (EBCP) efforts to promote end-of-life care planning.

The two-year grant will help fund EBCP training programs, educational events and other community outreach activities related to advance care planning. It will ultimately help EBCP move closer to its goal, which is to normalize “the conversation” about advance care planning among individuals, their loved ones and their health care providers.

“End-of-life care is inevitable, but many of us fail to have our final health care wishes known,” ACCMA President Kurt Wharton, M.D., said. “With this grant, the EBCP can continue to educate the community on the importance of having ‘the conversation’ and ensure that residents’ end-of-life wishes are being fulfilled. We thank the Thomas J. Long Foundation for its generosity and support, and for enriching the lives of our East Bay community.”

Surveys show that people want the benefits of advance care planning, but often fail to engage in the process to achieve those benefits. In a 2012 survey of California residents, 60 percent said that making sure their family is not burdened by tough decisions is “extremely important;” yet 56 percent have not communicated their end-of-life wishes to their loved ones. Eighty percent said that if seriously ill, they would want to talk to their doctor about end-of-life care, but only 7 percent report having had an end-of-life conversation with their doctor.

“The Thomas J. Long Foundation is proud to support the East Bay Conversation Project and its important work to expand advance care planning,” said Mark Friedman, CEO of the Thomas J. Long Foundation. “This grant supports the Foundation’s interest in putting individuals in the driver’s seat of their own healthcare decisions, such that their desires are honored as they near the end of their lives.”

Launched in 2013, EBCP is broad coalition of patient and senior advocacy groups, faith leaders, business organizations, physicians and health care organizations, elected officials, public health agencies, attorneys and estate planners, and others in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. It is affiliated with the national “The Conversation Project” program and supported locally by the ACCMA and Coalition for Compassionate Care of California. For more information, visit www.eastbayacp.org.


 

News 7.22.16

AAMSE Power of Excellence Award to Donald Waters, ACCMA Executive Director, for Advance Care Planning Promotion through the East Bay Conversation Project

 

DonAward

Alameda Contra Costa Medical Association Executive Director Donald Waters received a “Power of Excellence Award” from the American Association of Medical Society Executives (AAMSE) in recognition of the ACCMA’s tremendous efforts to promote advance care planning in our community under the auspices of the East Bay Conversation Project. This award is a reflection of the contributions of the many leaders and volunteers who have made this project a success, and especially of Don’s effective stewardship of the project over the past several years.

It is gratifying to see Don and the ACCMA recognized by their peers for the outstanding work they are undertaking in this important area. Congratulations to Don and to all who have been involved in making this project a success!


 

News 3.24.16

EBCP’s Linda Best is “Life is a Sacred Journey” Podcast Guest

East Bay Conversation Project Contra Costa Chapter Chairperson Linda Best was a recent guest on the bi-weekly podcast called “Life is a Sacred Journey” hosted by Micheal Pope to discuss the importance of having “the Conversation.”

Consider the facts: 80% of people say that if seriously ill, they would want to talk to their doctor about end-of-life care, BUT 7% report having had an end-of-life conversation with their doctor. Furthermore, 60% of people say that making sure their family is not burdened by tough decisions is “extremely important”, BUT 56% have not communicated their end-of-life wishes.

When it comes to end-of-life care, one conversation can make all the difference. Whether you’re getting ready to tell someone what you want, or you want to help someone else get ready to talk, this show will be a useful guide. Listen HERE.


 

News 1.15.2016

POLST Form Changes Effective January 1, 2016

As of January 1, 2016, Assembly Bill 637 has taken effect authorizing California nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) acting under the supervision of a physician, and within their scope of practice, to sign a Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form and thus make it an actionable medical order. The POLST form has been updated to reflect these changes in law. NPs and PAs who sign POLST forms after January 1, 2016, are strongly encouraged to use only the revised form with the 1/1/2016 effective date. POLST forms completed prior to 1/1/2016 and signed by the patient/decisionmaker and a physician will remain valid.  A list of the most impactful changes to the POLST form are below for reference as well links to find more information about these changes.

2016 POLST Form Changes

The revised POLST form includes a signature line for “Physician/Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant” on the front and instructions on the back is available online at http://capolst.org/.

A new space has been added to the reverse side of the form to include the name of the NP/PA’s Supervising Physician. The signature of the supervising physician is not required.

Links for 2016 POLST forms, Tools, Resources and Education

 

The ACCMA/East Bay Conversation Project can arrange for a clinical expert to speak to medical groups about this new law at local health care facilities and in other venues. For assistance in arranging a presentation call the ACCMA at (510) 654-5383 or send an email to eastbayconversationproject@accma.org.

 


 

News Release 11.06.2015

NPs and PAs Can Sign POLST Forms Starting January 1st

Effective January 1, 2016, the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form will be modified to add nurse practitioners and physician assistants — under the supervision of a physician and within their scope of practice – as additional authorized clinicians who may sign a POLST form with a patient. The East Bay Conversation Project, a community coalition promoting advance care planning in the East Bay, and the Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association are supporting efforts to educate  the medical  community and other advance  care planning advocates about how this change will be implemented.  We encourage you to take advantage of the following educational resources.

 

    • CCCC has scheduled a free webinar, POLST In 2016: NPs, PAs & the Impact of Assembly Bill 637, for November 19 from noon-1:00 pm. This webinar will cover AB 637, changes to the existing POLST form, and provide a refresher on key elements of the POLST conversation.  Registration is free and the webinar will be recorded and made available for future viewing.  Click for registration information

 

    • The ACCMA/East Bay Conversation Project can arrange for a clinical expert to speak to  medical groups about this new law at local health care facilities and in other venues. For assistance in arranging a presentation call  the ACCMA at (510) 654-5383.The POLST form will be revised to incorporate this change and will be available for download from the California POLST website (www.capolst.org) after December 2nd, and will be legally effective  on January  1st.  It is important that the new form be used by Nurse Practitioners  and Physician Assistants, rather than the existing form.

 

Questions may be directed  to the ACCMA at (510) 654-5383,  or by e-mailing eastbayconversationproject@accma.org.