Honoring Choices Minnesota joined the Hindu Temple of Minnesota at the annual celebration of Diwali, the Festival of Lights, on October 18 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  More than 2,100 participants of all ages attended this year’s event which included a large representation from the Twin Cities’ Indian community. India’s cultural and culinary gifts were showcased and included a huge traditional dinner, music, dance and other performances.

Diwali is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn each year.  It spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.  Diwali also honors the return of lord Rama and his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana from exile, as told in the ancient Hindu epic, the Ramayana.SEWA’s Raj Chaudery, Priyanka Shetty and Shobha Mucherla introduce advance care planning to Diwali participants.In a partnership with SEWA-AIFW (Asian Indian Family Wellness), SEWA community volunteers and Barbara Greene, Honoring Choices Minnesota’s Director of Community Engagement, spoke with participants at a shared exhibit table about why advance care planning is so important to the Indian community. 

“Being present at this event is part of the normalizing process,” explained Ms. Greene.  “We’re intentional in discussing this important family priority in many settings.  We explained to individuals of all ages that their physicians and health systems will be having this conversation with all persons over age 18.  Our presence at Diwali was to prepare individuals for this conversation, pass out new HCM stickers to family members and children, and greet participants.  Many individuals had already heard of our campaign.  It was clear that we’re successfully getting the word out to a broad segment of Minnesota residents!”

Enjoying a special Indian dinner is a highlight of the shared Diwali celebration.This is the second year that Diwali has taken place at the Minneapolis Convention Center – a testimony to the growing popularity of this festival in bringing together Hindus and others to enjoy shared food, music, and dance.  To learn more about SEWA-AIFW, visit their website.

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"Wonderful training!  I feel much more prepared."

"So helpful learning how to better engage patients in this important dialog."

"This seminar was very informative - the instructors are knowledgeable and passionate about ACP"

"I'm excited to add this to my practice."

These are quotes from attendees at our October training sessions, certifying more professionals and volunteers as First Steps Facilitators and Instructors. 

The Facilitator class brought new skills to 19 health care professionals and community volunteers, certifying them to meet with individuals and guide them through the ACP process.  This class is taught twice each year or can be customized for your needs and taught on-site.

ACP Design and Implementation was day 2 of the 3-day series.  In this class, participants learned the components of designing and implementing a successful ACP program in their work place, taking into consideration cultural issues, resources, challenges and benefits.

The third day of class was the Instructor Certification - bringing people to the level of being able to teach the Facilitator class.  Five students completed this class and can now lead classes as their places of work or in the community.  We congratulate Julie Shinn and Thibaut de Roos of The Waters Senior Living, Karla Dahl of Lifesprk, Elizabeth Mahan of Lake Region Healthcare, and Lynn Betzold, Massage Therapist, on their achievement!

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Honoring Choices Health Care Directives have been updated.  The original ("long") document has been edited for easier use, and a new "short form" document has been released to offer more flexibility in meeting the needs of individuals.  A quick online guide to both new forms is available here, and the directives can be downloaded here

Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions or if you have difficulty accessing the documents.

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Honoring Choices values the diversity of our communities and works to meet the needs of differing groups. In the July-August 2014 issue of the TCMS Journal, MetroDoctors, HCM work with culturally-diverse groups and with organizations serving people experiencing homelessness is featured.  See pages 24-27 for all the articles.

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