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Advance Care Planning

It's Too Soon...Until It's Too Late

Advance care planning is an important process that helps you make decisions about the medical care you want and who can speak for you if you are unable to speak for yourself.

Make your medical wishes known.

CaringMatters and MyDirectives can help!
Create your own digital plan or upload an existing one.

Either way, you can do it all FOR FREE!

Advance Care Planning - Getting Started

Many people may not know about advance care planning and how everyone over age 18 needs to make important decisions about their future medical care. Some people may think it is only for individuals who are older, ill or at the end of their lives. The truth is that advance care planning is an important process that helps you make decisions about the medical care you want and who can speak for you if you are unable to speak for yourself.

There’s a saying “It’s too soon…until it’s too late.” No matter your current health status, it’s important to consider these crucial decisions ahead of time and let your loved ones know about them. As a part of your advance care planning, you can document your decisions and preferences in an advanced directive. This legal document names your health care agent, the person you choose to speak for you and act on your behalf if you become incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself. The advance directive also contains a Living Will that documents your decisions about the use of emergency treatments that can possibly keep you alive. These decisions relate to when or whether you will receive treatments such as CPR, ventilation, artificial nutrition and hydration, and pain medications.

An important reason to complete an advance directive is to make sure that your loved ones are not burdened by uncertainty when called upon to make tough decisions about your medical care. Completing an advance directive is not a complicated or expensive process. There are many online resources and tools to help you complete an advance directive. 

For more information or to request an educational session through CaringMatters to increase awareness about advance directives, please contact Leigh Bluestein at or


National Healthcare Decisions Day Program

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

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Healthcare Decisions Day is a national campaign to raise awareness about the needs of those with serious illness. Events are held annually across the country on or around April 16, following Tax Day.

As Ben Franklin famously said, "In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes.

Understand the Tools that Document Patient Goals and Wishes for Care


This webinar, presented in English with Spanish interpretation, by CaringMatters and the Montgomery County Palliative Care and End of Life Coalition focused on advance care planning and the available resources to document choices for future care. Viewers learn which tools are used to document patients’ intended goals and wishes, including patient treatment preferences during serious illness and end-of-life care. The webinar highlighted the available tools that can help ensure treatment is aligned with patient preferences, including through My Informed Decision On Video (MIDEO).



•Amy Griboff, Esq., LL.M. in Elder Law, Estate Planning Attorney

•Ferdinando Mirarchi, DO, FAAEM, FACEP, Founder of My Informed Decision On Video (MIDEO)

Who should attend? 
Anyone concerned with serious illness or end-of-life care for themselves or their loved ones, or are otherwise involved with patient care including healthcare providers, hospice and palliative care staff, payers, and caregivers.

Montgomery Community Media Interview: Evento Virtual En 
Español Sobre Cómo Prepararse Antes de Morir, April 9, 2021

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National Healthcare Decisions Day Program

Friday, April 16, 2021

Honoring the Medical Wishes of Those We Love:

A Latino Community Perspective


View the recording of the Montgomery County Palliative Care and End-of-Life Coalition's Spanish language webinar with members of the Latino community who discussed the following topics:

  • Unique considerations on honoring the healthcare wishes of those we love and care for

  • Successful strategies for having these important conversations

  • Community resources that can help


  • Anna Maria Izquierdo-Porrera, MD, PhD, Executive Director, Care for Your Health (moderator)

  • Maria Alvarez, Caregiver and CaringMatters Volunteer

  • Lissa Berroa-Garcia, MD, Hospice and Palliative Care Physician, Montgomery Hospice

  • Rosa Guzman, Community Health Promotora, Montgomery County Latino Health Initiative

  • Rev. David Wells, Pastor, St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church

National Healthcare Decisions Day Program (in Spanish)


National Healthcare Decisions Day Program (English Translation)

Voice Your Choice: Preparing for Health Care Emergencies
February 22, 2021

Presented in partnership with 

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Presenter: Valoria Walker, Advance Care Planning Trainer, Voice Your Choice Program at JSSA

Online Advance Care Planning Resources

The Conversation Project - This public engagement initiative provides free resources to help guide conversations about end-of-life care and advance care planning.

Five Wishes - This website offers an advance directive booklet for purchase. When complete, this advance directive document is valid in 42 states.

MyDirectives.comThis site offers digital advance care planning resources and stores documents accessible online throughout the world.

Voice Your Choice - Voice Your Choice is a county-wide campaign, led by JSSA, to encourage ACP for all Montgomery County residents.  Their website has a link to the online ACP tool.

Maryland Attorney General Advance Directives
This Maryland state website provides free access to paperwork necessary to complete an advanced directive that is valid in Maryland. The site also lists contact information for the Attorney General’s office for further assistance with advance care planning.

Maryland MOLST MOLST is a medical order relevant to an individual’s current medical condition, which clarifies future health care and treatment preferences clear for medical professionals.

Montgomery County Palliative Care and End-of-Life Coalition - This organization’s mission is to help residents in Montgomery County understand their end-of-life options and available resources, and communicate them to family and health care providers.

National Health Decisions Day - The goal of National Health Decision Day is to educate the public about the importance of advanced directives, so that more people are knowledgeable about the topic and can help educate their own communities.  


Planning My Way - Planning My Way, a collaboration between the Cunniff-Dixon Foundation and several acclaimed medical professionals, is a user-friendly print and digital workbook experience that helps individuals and families think about, learn and communicate what matters to them as they contemplate both legal and future health care directives. 

Prepare for Your Care (English and Spanish) - Prepare for Your Care is a step-by-step program (available in English and Spanish) with video resources that offer guidance on questions surrounding decisions about medical care at the end-of-life.

Respecting Choices - Respecting Choices is a systematic based approach to Advanced Care, they use scientific evidence aligned with an individual’s goals and values based on discussions shared between the individual, family, and health care providers.

Speak(easy) Howard - Speak(easy) Howard is a Howard County public education initiative that helps residents think through their end-of life medical care preferences, talk about them with loved ones, and name a health care agent.

Hello Game - This interactive game aims to start conversations and express thoughts about living, dying and what matters most at the end-of-life.

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