Voice your wishes with Advance Care Planning materials at ANMC

January 22, 2018

If you were not able to speak for yourself, how would you get the care you want?

Advance Care Planning makes sure your health care wishes are known if you become unable to speak for yourself. Alaska Native Medical Center now has Advance Care Planning materials created specifically for Alaska Native and American Indian people. These materials, including the “Your Care, Your Choices” Conversation Guide, use storytelling and vivid imagery to take you down the path of Advance Care Planning so you can choose the type of care you want and then document your choices in your Electronic Health Record.

“We wanted to be sure that the materials reflected the Alaskan lifestyle and traditions of storytelling in Native culture,” said ANTHC Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner Rona Johnson (Aleut from Kenai Peninsula). “The idea of being ready, for the ‘just in case’, is what Advance Care Planning is all about.

“In Alaska, you really need to be ready for anything.”

The new Advance Care Planning materials were created by the ANTHC Palliative Care Program. Southcentral Foundation piloted the material and helped create medical provider trainings for the entire Alaska Native Health Campus and other Tribal health organizations.

“It’s not easy to talk about unplanned events, such as a serious injury or illness,” said Dr. Chris Piromalli, ANTHC Palliative Care Medical Director. “The materials were created to help with Advance Care Planning and can help prepare people to have these important conversations with family.”

You can ask your health care team at ANMC about the resources available for Advance Care Planning. Your medical provider can walk you through the “Your Care, Your Choices” Conversation Guide, help answer questions, assist in completing Advance Care Planning documents, and make sure that these documents communicate your medical choices and the things that are important to you.

We hope the Advance Care Planning resources will help start this conversation between you and your family. It is important to know that this is a lifelong conversation. Advance Care Planning documents should be reviewed at least once a year to make sure they still represent your medical treatment wishes.

If you’re interested in learning more about Advance Care Planning, contact your health care provider. For downloadable resources available at ANMC, visit anthc.org/palliative-care/resources/.

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