Stories of uncertainty and distress people face when making medical decisions for a loved one were on the table April 11 when 40 health care and community stakeholders came together to advance the Conversation Project in Contra Costa County. The Conversation Project is a national initiative created to encourage and make it easy for people to talk with their families as well as with their doctors about the care they want if they become seriously ill.
Attending were representatives from health care, civic, and faith-based groups in the county as as organizations with a special interest in end-of-life care. Speakers included leaders from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Boston and the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California. During the day-long workshop, participants learned and exchanged strategies for reaching their own constituencies and beyond,. The ultimate aim of the workshop, said The Conversation Project's Lindsay Hunt, is "to change our culture from not talking about end of life to talking about it - starting with Contra Costa County".