|End of Life Choices New York has a long history of providing high-quality presentations and workshops to diverse communities throughout New York. To date, our programs have been largely in-person, which provide the opportunity to uniquely connect with New Yorkers and their communities. I started my position as Director of Outreach and Education in late February, and like many of you, I looked forward to our scheduled programs. However, shortly after I began, we had to cancel nearly all of our events due to COVID-19 – just when New Yorkers need information about advance directives and their rights and options the most.|
|But as it is often said, “necessity is the mother of invention,” and the initial disappointment turned into excitement as we began to rethink how to offer our services to New Yorkers during this time. Over our many calls and emails, it became clear that this time of social distancing has actually provided us with an opportunity to connect with even more people. By offering online programs, we can connect with New Yorkers all throughout the state who may be in locations where our in-person programs have not yet been offered. The programs can also connect us to New Yorkers who may not have been quite ready to come to an event, but are in search of reputable information.|
In honor of National Healthcare Decisions Day last week, we kicked off our new program with a video entitled, “Planning for a Better End of Life: A Guide to Navigating Today’s Healthcare System.” This video provides an overview of advance directives, palliative and hospice care, and available resources. We hope you will watch the video and share with friends and family. We are also inviting all those who watch the video to provide feedback anonymously by completing a short online survey.
As we had to cancel our library presentation series, we sent the video to our library partners and several have enthusiastically agreed to share it with their constituents. We are also working with libraries in Poughkeepsie and on Long Island to offer webinars for their communities. We look forward to growing our webinar programming, and will be in touch as these are scheduled.
We have also increased our social media presence to raise awareness of these topics, and we encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
This is just the beginning of our new virtual program, and we look forward to sharing more with you soon.
This Tuesday marked the two-month anniversary in my current position, and the experience has been quite different than I imagined. Indeed, the last two months are beyond what most of us could have imagined. But we are New Yorkers, and with each challenge we face, we get stronger, wiser, and more innovative.
We may be apart, but we are in this together, and we continue to be here for you.
Wishing you and your family good health,
Lillian Mehran, MPH, CHES; Director, Outreach and Education
If you would like counseling on end of life issues, at no charge, please call our Clinical Director Judith Schwarz, PhD, at 212-252-2015, or email her at email@example.com. To reach our general office, call 212-726-2010.
End of Life Choices New York seeks to expand choice at the end of life, respecting every individual’s wishes, and striving for the best possible quality of life and a peaceful death