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Participants in the training with New America Media

By Liz Salmi, Director of Communications
Coalition for Compassionate Care of California

Research conducted by the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) shows attitudes and experiences surrounding the end of life, when broken down by race and ethnicity, vary widely.

For the second year in a row the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California (CCCC) and CHCF teamed up with New America Media—the “associated press” for ethnic media—to train a contingent of journalists in an effort to educate more diverse communities on the topics of palliative medicine, hospice, and end-of-life care.

On August 28, CCCC and CHCF provided New America Media fellows with a chance to learn first-hand from experts about issues related to the end of life. The journalists also got a chance to meet with and interview a patient, family member, and a palliative care team in Los Angeles.

The day kicked off at the California Endowment where fellows heard presentations from Karl Steinberg, MD, chief medical officer for Shea Family Health, and Vincent Nguyen, DO, palliative care program director for Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian. The presentations from Drs. Steinberg and Nguyen provided a framework for the complicated topics the journalists would hear about later in the day.

The second part of the day was spent with Dr. Brad Rosen and the supportive care medicine team at Cedars-Sinai. Dr. Rosen’s team is a shining example of how palliative care involves professionals from around the spectrum of healthcare, including social workers, chaplains, dieticians, pharmacists and registered nurses, in addition to physicians and nurse practitioners.

The New America Media journalists were interested in hearing first-person stories about providing or receiving end-of-life care, and got to interview the entire Cedars-Sinai team as well as a Cedars-Sinai patient, and a family member who recently lost a loved one.

As part of the fellowships journalists are tasked with covering stories related to palliative medicine, hospice, or the end of life. So far, stories on advance care planning and POLST have been published in the Chinese Daily News/World Journal.

A collection of stories written over the past year can be found at

The Coalition for Compassionate Care of California thanks Coalition members for making this training possible: Cedars-Sinai, Vincent Nguyen, DO, and Karl Steinberg, MD.

Thank you to the California HealthCare Foundation and New America Media for partnering with us to make this a successful and rewarding experience.

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