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 was a community-wide coalition dedicated to promoting understanding and engagement in "The Conversation" about advance care planning to ensure that individuals' health care treatment preferences were known, documented, and honored. The project provided resources to engage in advance care planning and recruited organizations and individuals to champion the effort. It was 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 the Project Provided

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

  • FREE advance care planning presentations — group presentations, screenings of the film Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, and for individuals, referrals to trained advance care planning advocates to discuss the process, the forms, and how to have “The Conversation.” 
  • FREE advance care planning workshops (“Making Conversations Count: A Workshop on Advance Care Planning”) — offered quarterly, these “deep dive” trainings were for health care professionals and individuals who wanted a more comprehensive look into advance care planning tools and how to have “The Conversation” with others.
  • FREE speakers and resources — 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.”


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:

  • Free forms from California Coalition for Compassionate Care
  • 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 comprises a statewide collaborative of organizations and individuals representing health care 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 that 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.