Facing the End of Life with Dignity and Respect
  • Advance Care Planning Seminar at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital on May 3
  • Third CACCC Chinese Volunteer Hospice and Palliative Care 30-Hour Training to Begin May 31st
  • CACCC Helping Saint Francis Memorial Hospital Improve Palliative Care for Chinese Patients
  • CACCC Bereavement Support Group to Begin
  • CACCC Planning Suicide Prevention Outreach
CACCC Book Event
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CACCC's Third Chinese Hospice and Palliative Care Volunteer Training to Begin May 31st

The training is supported by a grant from Methodist Hospital & HealthCare Partners.

Applications are now being taken (see link below) to train 20-30 volunteers for the 30-hour training for Chinese-speaking hospice and palliative care volunteers.

The training includes history of hospice and palliative care, pain & symptom management, Advance health Care Directive and POLST, grief and loss and complementary care. The goal is to prepare these bilingual volunteers to provide linguistically and culturally sensitive care to Chinese American patients in hospice or palliative care settings.

Training sessions will be held from 8am to 5pm on Saturday, May 31, Sunday, June 1, Saturday, June 7, and Sunday, June 8 at Methodist Hospital, 300 West Huntington Drive, in Arcadia.

Organizations participating in this program include Methodist Hospital, HealthCare Partners, Hospice Touch Culver City, Mission Hospice, Nurse Plus Hospice, Roze Room Hospice, and VITAS Covina.

2013 New York Training

CACCC's 30-hour Volunteer Training was conducted for 45 volunteers in New York City between May 30 and June 2. The three and one-half day training was sponsored by the American Buddhist Confederation and the China Buddhist Association.

This was the second training conducted in New York by the CACCC. In 2009, the CACCC provided training for health professionals representing the agencies listed below:

Alzheimer’s Association
Beth Israel
Brooklyn College
Center for the Asian Family, Bellevue Hospital
Chelsea Village Program, St. Vincent’s
Continuum Hospice
Doula to Accompany and Comfort
Gouverneur Heath Care Services
Metro Jewish Hospice
Mount Sinai Hospital
New York City Department of Aging
New York Down Town Hospital
New York Hospice
New York University Langone Medical Center
NY University College of Nursing
Parker Jewish Community Health Programs
Pax Christi Hospice
St Vincent’s Hospital
Visiting Nurse Service New York New York City Chapter
VNS Hospice Queens
VNSNY (Choice) Manhattan

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A new revised Advance Health Care Directive and Hospice DVD and Booklet (containing both the Easy Form and the Standard Form, the California POLST form and updated community resources information) is being put together, funded, and distributed by the Amitabha Buddhist Society of USA. When available, the revised DVD and Booklet can be obtained from either the Society or the CACCC. Over 10,000 copies of the first edition were distributed by the society. Many thanks to the Amitabha Buddhist Society of USA Board, President, and Celia Chen, and the rest of the Project Committee for all their hard work.

Improving Palliative Care for Chinese Patients

Under a grant from Dignity Health, the CACCC is helping Saint Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco improve palliative care for its Chinese patients. Under the grant:

  • CACCC will provide consultation for pre and post palliative care patient needs assessments prepared by St. Francis and will develop pre and post surveys for health providers at the hospital on their familiarity with Chinese patient issues.
  • CACCC will provide Health Care training to nurses and ancillary staff based upon knowledge gaps identified through the above survey and on-site observations.
  • CACCC will provide consultation to the Palliative Care Coordinator and palliative care team members through participation in family meetings and working with the Palliative Care Coordinator to assess and advise the care team on culturally appropriate strategies and interventions.
  • CACCC will assess the availability of internal and external resources for serving Chinese patients and families by interviewing the Palliative Care Coordinator, Interpreters, Case Managers and Social Workers and make recommendations for filling the gaps.
  • CACCC will coordinate with the Palliative Care Team (Volunteer, Spiritual Care, Interpreters, Social Workers, Case Managers, Marketing and Communications) to develop community outreach strategies for recruiting Chinese community members to classes on End of Life Care and Advance Health Care Directive. CACCC will provide lay leaders to conduct the classes in Cantonese. Initial class target of 30 participants scheduled for April 11, 2013.

Hospice Foundation of America's First Chinese/English "Journeys" Available
The first-ever English-Chinese issue of Hospice Foundation of America's "Journeys, A Newsletter to Help in Bereavement," is available for purchase from the HFA website ( "Doing Everything We Can," authored by CACCC Founder Sandy Chen Stokes and CACCC Senior Consultant Phil Stokes, is designed to help with medical decisions related to caring for a terminally ill family member or friend. In this situation, it is natural for family members to wonder if they are doing the right thing, since it is not always clear what "Doing the Right thing" means. Family members may actually feel guilt, sometimes long after the loved one dies, if there are doubts about whether they have made the "right" choices. This issue offers a way to avoid that guilt.
CACCC Hospice Volunteer Support Groups
The CACCC has formed volunteer support groups to provide ongoing assistance to CACCC-trained volunteers serving in hospice and palliative care settings in Northern and Southern California. Each support group meets quarterly for three hours to share experiences. Meeting space and additional training from partner agency staff will be provided by local agencies. Cindy Wang and Alice Hwaun will coordinate the Bay Area group; Tina Byrne will coordinate the Sacramento group, and Sue Lo and Michelle Lin will coordinate the Southern California group.

Volunteer Support Newsletter
In addition to the volunteer support groups, the CACCC is publishing a southern edition and a northern edition of Heart to Heart, a newsletter now devoted to volunteer news and issues.

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Letter from Sandy

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October 30, 2012

Dear CACCC volunteers and Members,

My dedication to end of life care in the Chinese American community began in 1999 when I learned during my Dad’s year in ICU before he died that the Advance Health care Directive was not available in Taiwan and a DNR was illegal at that time (both are now available in Taiwan). Theywere available to Chinese Americans in the United States, but very few Chinese Americans were aware of this. I thought, “I couldn't do much to help my Dad, but at least I can do something to help people here.” As I set out to improve conditions surrounding death and dying, it quickly became clear that I was limited as an individual in what I could accomplish. Chinese Americans were making almost no use of hospice and few knew much about palliative care. Very few had completed an Advance Health Care Directive; most had not even heard of it. There were almost no materials in Chinese that covered end of life issues, and there was great resistance to discussing anything related to the impending death of a loved one. Existing health care agencies were struggling with how to serve Chinese patients with little knowledge of Chinese culture and few practitioners who could speak Chinese. End of life care Chinese-speaking volunteers were very hard to find, and those who were volunteering had limited training.

To cope with these obstacles, I decided on the following plan to improve end of life care for Chinese Americans:

    I decided to form an organization whose structure could involve the entire community in this effort, a coalition of already-existing groups with resources that could help us make a difference. That coalition would naturally include Chinese health care agencies and those non-Chinese institutions who were already or could potentially serve Chinese Americans. In late 2005, I formed an advisory board consisting of a core group of Chinese health providers and volunteers to help set the parameters of the organization that would ultimately form the coalition. Since we began with no money, it was clear that our work had to be done by volunteers, and we began recruiting them. Committees were formed and tasks assigned. We needed people to do community outreach, translate and create educational materials, train respite and hospice volunteers and caregivers, educate health care professionals about how to best serve Chinese Americans, establish a campaign in the Chinese media and set up a website to get the word out, and write grants and raise funds to support our work. In 2007 the CACCC was incorporated and received its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.

    I had known that health care institutions and national organizations working with end of life issues were very interested in finding ways to serve under-represented groups, so I invited them to join the coalition. The response was extremely positive and eventually led to working partnerships with regional and national organizations, our participation in national EOL events and conferences, and ultimately to our receiving grants to fund our activities. We even received national awards. All these added to the stature of our organization, improving our ability to do our work in the community.

    The CACCC has grown to include more than 80 affiliated agencies and more than 1,300 individuals who have either volunteered or participated in our work in some capacity. We now have three part-time contract staff positions to help us with the day-to-day work of the coalition. We have a resource office in Sacramento and are looking for a permanent location in the South Bay to serve as the CACCC headquarters. CACCC outreach and training has expanded from the San Jose area to San Francisco, Sacramento, the East Bay, and Los Angeles, and we have assisted Chinese organizations and hospitals, hospices and other community organizations serving Chinese patients in New York and Texas.

    Two years ago, I added the goal of building up sufficient reserves to hire a full-time Executive Director (ED) so I could have a retirement life with my husband and concentrate on education and patient care as a CACCC volunteer. As a coalition, we have spent our money wisely, and accumulated significant reserves. When I decided to start this end of life movement, Phil and I knew it would require a great deal of time and that I would have to spend much of it in the South Bay, so we decided that I couldn’t continue to work full time. We thought that in a couple of years everything would be in place and I could step down and retire in Shingle Springs. While it has taken a bit longer than Phil and I initially expected, I think that the time has come. I am announcing my resignation from the Executive Director position now so we can begin the search for my replacement right away. I plan to formally resign when the new ED is in place.
    I will continue to serve the CACCC, concentrating on end of life education and patient care, and will assist the new executive director (ED) until he/she has settled in, but will no longer be involved in the day-to-day operation of the organization.

    This has been a wonderful journey with wonderful people. I want to thank all of our volunteers, our board of directors, our partner agencies, grant providers, and members throughout the country and Taiwan for helping us crack the barriers to provide quality end of life care for the Chinese American community.

    I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to share this experience with you.

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    Graduates are wearing the new CACCC volunteer tee-shirt

    Hospice & Palliative Care Training
    at Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco

    Click here for story

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    CACCC Celebrated 6 Years of Achievement
    At its Afternoon Tea Fundraiser on November 6th last year, the CACCC) celebrated six years of community service and outreach to Chinese American communities in the United States.
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    Director Debbie Juan & Camera Crew

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    Video on End of Life Available on this Site
    Loving Life, Understanding Hospice, the 45 minute video the CACCC completed for the Hospice Foundation of America is now available on this website. The webcast is a comprehensive overview of end-of-life options and considerations for Chinese speaking communities in the United States. The video includes eligibility for hospice care, what is provided under hospice care, who qualifies for hospice care, interpretation services, the Medicare/Medicaid benefit and private insurance. The film highlights the roles of family members, volunteer caregivers, health providers, and other members of the hospice team. Interested agencies can link to the video by completing the form obtained from the HFA project page of this site. The video is part of an education and outreach project of HFA, funded through a grant from the Center for Medicare &Medicaid Services (CMS).
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    Project Director Celia Chen and Sandy

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    Sandy Doing the HFA Video

    AARP 2011 Honorees

    Inspire Award

    Maya Angelou
    Joy Behar
    Eve Behar Scotti
    Sandy Chen Stokes
    Tony Danza
    Helene Gayle, M.D.
    Pedro Jose Greer, M.D.
    Lisa Niemi Swayze
    Elizabeth Warren
    Henry Winkler
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