Free Zoom Workshop on Advance Directives!

To recognize National Healthcare Decisions Day 2021, the Central Virginia Advance Directives Collaborative is excited to partner with Honoring Choices Virginia to offer two FREE public Zoom workshops on advance directives! Join us, April 20th (5:30 pm – 7 pm) or April 22nd (10:30 am – 12 pm) for My Care, My Choice: Tools to Help You Have a Say in Your Care if You Can’t Speak for Yourself. All Virginians are encouraged to join to learn more about how to ensure you have a say in your care, even if you can’t speak for yourself. The workshop will focus on talking about making a plan, creating an advance directive, and much more. For more information and to register visit

Community Conversations: Finding Your Voice at the End of Life

Hospice of the Piedmont – Hospice of the Piedmont will be launching a virtual series of events called Community Conversations. The first event, which takes place on March 10, at 2 p.m., focuses on how patients can take control and find their voice at the end of life. Maintaining quality of life after receiving a life-limiting diagnosis requires more than just medical treatment—it requires that patients have a voice in their care. During this one-hour live online event, Hospice of the Piedmont will dive deeper into a dialogue around this topic.

President & CEO Ron Cottrell will be joined by Chief Medical Officer and Director of the Education Institute Dr. Tim Short for a thought-provoking conversation about the trajectory of patient care after a life-limiting diagnosis. Mr. Cottrell will share a personal testimonial of how his family’s life was impacted by a terminal diagnosis, and Dr. Short will share his perspective on patient care at the end of life, backed by years of clinical and educational experience as a palliative care and family medicine doctor. Through this discussion, participants will have the chance to learn more about patient-centered options for comfort and compassionate treatments in the face of terminal illness.

Participants who tune in for the live event will have the chance to submit questions and voice their concerns about end-of-life issues during the question-and-answer segment. Medical staff and other members of Hospice of the Piedmont’s interdisciplinary team will be on hand to answer questions and address concerns. The live event will also be recorded and available for viewing after March 10.

This event is free and open to the public. For online registration and more information, visit   

How to Have ‘The Talk’ During COVID-19 – For parents of adolescent children, the toughest talk is sitting down with the kids and discussing the facts of life. But for adult kids, the toughest talk can be sitting down with their elders and discussing their life and death decisions. COVID-19 has made that very personal talk far, far more complex — but even that much more critical.Read more…

JABA CEO Moderates Discussion on Advance Care Planning for Virginia Governor’s Conference on Aging

We talk a lot about how we want to live our life. What are our goals? And yet, we often avoid a discussion about our goals for end of life. This has come more to the forefront during COVID.

Moderated by JABA CEO Marta Keane, this webinar will explain the importance of advance care planning, and how to approach it- what resources are available and who should be part of the discussion. Nathan Kottkamp and Dr. Angela Stiltner have a long history of advocating and educating on this topic. They will share their expertise and answer questions. It is time to start the conversation!

Pandemic Underscores Need for End-of-Life Training

NPR – The COVID-19 pandemic caught most Americans by surprise, showing us the many ways we were not prepared for a widespread health emergency.  At the University of Virginia, two professors of nursing say we should have trained more medical professionals in how to help patients and their families face the end of life. Read more

Get Proactive and Develop a COVID-19 Care Plan – Tom Reynolds jokes that his doctors say he’s the “healthiest sick person we know.” The 71-year-old in Cocoa, Fla. resident has gone through 20 medical procedures.

“I have not been a good steward of my body,” he admits. “My wife and I were thinking ‘What if we get the coronavirus?’ We both have compromised immune systems.”

The coronavirus pandemic spurred him to put everything in writing.

Stress about susceptibility to COVID-19 may actually make a person more prone to illness. One way to manage stress is to take control of your health.

Reynolds maintains a sense of control by being proactive. He has been discussing his health and care plans with his loved ones for years.

“They’re very familiar with them. I don’t hold anything back,” he says.

Reynolds has been clear with his children about his health care and end-of-life wishes. The coronavirus pandemic spurred him to put everything in writing. Read more

‘No Intubation’ — For Some, COVID-19 Changed Their Living Will -Last month, Minna Buck revised a document specifying her wishes should she become critically ill.

“No intubation,” she wrote in large letters on the form, making sure to include the date and her initials.

Buck, 91, had been following the news about COVID-19. She knew her chances of surviving a serious bout of the illness were slim. And she wanted to make sure she wouldn’t be put on a ventilator under any circumstances.

“I don’t want to put everybody through the anguish,” said Buck, who lives in a continuing care retirement community in Denver. Read more

A Good Life And A Good Death: What Is Palliative Care?

NPR Radio – “He will not die on your watch.”

That’s what the family of a patient told Sunita Puri when she was a resident in internal medicine. They were chilling words for the young doctor as she took over the care of a very sick man on the overnight shift.

To Puri, the patient, who had widespread metastatic liver cancer, appeared to be dying. She tried to talk with the family about forgoing heroic measures, to let him have peace in his last hours. But they were adamant.

“Do everything,” they told her. Hours after admitting him to the intensive care unit, she was overseeing chest compressions to revive him after his heart stopped. “I was blinking back tears,” she recalls. The man died that night.

Few people would say they want to die while undergoing painful last-minute resuscitation or while hooked up to machines in a hospital. Yet it’s the death many Americans end up with. Now a palliative care doctor at the University of Southern California, Puri is fighting for an alternative. Read More