Advance Care Planning

Advance care planning is a process that helps you communicate your values and wishes for medical treatment in case illness or injury prevents you from speaking for yourself. This planning process clarifies what family, friends, and health care providers need to know if you become unable to make health care decisions. Planning now for health care in the future is an important step toward making sure you get the medical care you would want.

The East Bay Conversation Project is a community-wide coalition dedicated to promoting understanding and engagement in "The Conversation" about advance care planning to ensure individuals' health care treatment preferences are known, documented, and honored. The project provides resources to engage in advance care planning and is continually interested in recruiting organizations and individuals to champion the effort. It is supported by grant funding and administered by the ACCMA Community Health Foundation, a charitable subsidiary of the Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association (ACCMA). 

For information in Chinese, please visit the Chinese American Coalition for Compassionate Care. For information in Spanish, please visit PREPARE.

What Can We Do For You?

Through an extensive network of volunteers, the East Bay Conversation Project provides the following to health care professionals and the general public:

  • FREE advance care planning presentations — We offer presentations about advance care planning to groups, as well as screenings of the film Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. For individuals, we can connect you with trained advance care planning advocates to discuss the process, the forms, and how to have “the Conversation.” Length: typically 20-60 minutes, depending on needs.
  • FREE advance care planning workshops (“Making Conversations Count: A Workshop on Advance Care Planning”) — Offered quarterly, these “deep dive” trainings are perfect for health care professionals and individuals who want a more comprehensive look into advance care planning tools and how to have “The Conversation” with others. Length: 4 hours.
  • FREE speakers and resources — The project offers many resources to help people engage in advance care planning (from AHCDs to helpful toolkits), as well as volunteer assistance to those wishing to learn more about “The Conversation”.

To request a presentation, contact Leslie Dietterick, project coordinator, at

To RSVP for a training, please visit

How Can You Get Involved?

Interested in participating in the project? Here's what you can do:

  • Join a Steering Committee — The East Bay Conversation Project is volunteer-driven and receives its direction from two steering committees: one in Alameda County and one in Contra Costa County. Each committee meets quarterly to discuss outreach strategies, plan advance care planning events, and more.
  • Become a Speaker/Presenter — A core offering of the project is education through community presentations and facilitated discussions. If you would like to help us lead these activities, please let us know and we will make sure you are prepared.
  • Join us on Facebook — Help us build our social media community on our new Facebook page:
  • Join our project newsletter — Distributed quarterly, the East Bay Conversation Project newsletter includes important announcements, information on upcoming events, and advance care planning news.​

To learn more or to sign up for the newsletter, email Leslie Dietterick, project coordinator, at


Advance health care directives (AHCDs) are legal documents through which you express your choices and wishes about end-of-life care in advance. They share your wishes with family, friends, and health care professionals in clear and simple language to avoid confusion later on if you are not able to speak for yourself.

AHCDs and POLST forms:

  • California Coalition for Compassionate Care offers a standard form in EnglishSpanish form; and Chinese form. Free.
  • California Medical Association Advance Healthcare Directive Kit: For English, click here; for Spanish, click here. $6 per copy.
  • PREPARE for Your Care offers free easy-to-read advance directives in multiple languages here.
  • For downloadable state-specific forms from Caring Connections, click here. Free.
  • Advance care directive forms entitled Five Wishes. Available in multiple languages. $5 per copy.

More Resources

  • Coalition for Compassionate Care of California (CCCC) – provides Californians with numerous tools and educational resources on advance care planning. CCCC is a non-profit organization that promotes high-quality, compassionate care for all Californians who are seriously ill or approaching the end of life, and is comprised of a statewide collaborative of organizations and individuals representing healthcare providers, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, hospices, consumers, state agencies and others.
  • The Conversation Project – a national project sponsored by the Institutes for Healthcare Improvement and co-founded by award winning columnist Ellen Goodman which provides a “Conversation Starter Kit” to assist individuals in having “The Conversation” about end-of-life care with their loved ones, as well as numerous tools to complete advance care planning.