Visitors from South KoreaThe Coalition for Compassionate Care of California (CCCC) continues to grow our coalition-building efforts outside of California!

Last month, an end of life delegation from South Korea traveled to California to learn more about best practices in POLST and advance care planning from CCCC. The delegation was comprised of representatives of the Korea Ministry of Health and Welfare, Korea National Institute for Bioethics Policy, and the hospice and palliative care branch of the National Cancer Center of Korea.

Laws regarding the Act for Korean Life-Sustaining Treatment Plan (similar to POLST) and Korean Advance Directives were recently enacted by the South Korean Parliament, and the visitors were gathering information and best practices to guide regulations and implementation.

The delegation was specifically interested in how California’s POLST and advance care planning program was developed and spread through local coalitions, and the current efforts to establish a statewide electronic POLST registry. Other topics of interest included palliative care, pediatric palliative care, and the End of Life Option Act.

During their two-day visit, the delegation met with a number of CCCC partners including representatives from the California Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA), California Health Care Foundation, the statewide POLST Task Force, and Joanne Hatchett, RN, MS, FNP, co-author of the California standardized POLST curriculum.

Heart to Heart is a card game designed to help people reflect on their personal values and preferences for care at the end of lifeA highlight of the visit was meeting with Sandy Chen-Stokes of the Chinese American Coalition for Compassionate Care of California. Stokes facilitated a spirited round of Heart to Heart, a card game designed to help people reflect on their personal values and preferences for care at the end of life. California’s diverse population and experience working as partners with Asian-American communities provided valuable anecdotes about cultural differences in talking about the end of life and medical decision-making.

CCCC looks forward to maintaining our relationship with our South Korean counterparts and learning how programs such as POLST will be implemented across the Pacific.

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