Who We Are
Heart Tones  is Inspiring Hearts and Encouraging Souls. 
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Let’s Talk About It
Guide & interactive workshop series on end-of-life care planning

An intervention targeting African-Americans. These interactive workshops will provide individuals, families and caregivers with a conversational “framework” that educates and encourages end-of-life dialogue to take place with loved ones, hopefully, before a crisis occurs.

What would your wishes be if you were not able to speak for yourself due to a life threatening illness or accident? 
About the Workshop
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE WORKSHOP SERIES?
  1. To provide a learning environment that encourages “the talk” for individuals, families and caregivers before a crisis occurs.
  2. To provide helpful resources to equip individuals, families and caregivers with culturally relevant information regarding end-of-life care.
WHY THIS WORKSHOP NOW?
  • African Americans are one of the underserved populations that historically hold to cultural and spiritual values that often seem to counter the dominant culture’s views on death and end-of-life. The Institute of Medicine (IOM, 2006) identifies African Americans as an ethnic group that experiences grave disparities in U.S. healthcare systems.
  • African Americans constitute only 12.3% of the U.S. population, but have the highest death rate of all ethnic groups in this country, according to the National Research Council (2004).
  • In many African-American families talking about end-of-life is frowned upon and some fear that they will receive inferior care if they prepare advance care directives (Kagawa-Singer & Blackhall, 2001). Many researchers agree that racial and cultural differences can add to mistrust issues, confusion and lack of conversation between medical professionals, patients and family members (Loggers et al., 2009; Bullock, 2011; Muni et al., 2011).
  • The need to address these challenges in a culturally sensitive manner is apparent right now! Cultural responsiveness is a display of sensitivity that demonstrates a respectful understanding and appreciation of differences in order to provide effective interventions in a contextually appropriate way.
HOW CAN HEART TONES HELP OUR ORGANIZATION?
  • Heart Tones is already actively engaged and committed to responding to help meet this challenge by providing a series of interactive workshops and materials that are specifically designed to offer a culturally relevant process that considers the key factors that often influence African-American end-of-life decision-making, which are historical, cultural and religious differences (Taxis, 2006, p.78).
  • These ethnic and cultural elements often have a significant impact on decision-making about end-of-life in minority groups. Many within the African-American population hold certain beliefs, traditions and practices, as do other diverse cultures (Wicher & Meeker, 2012, p.29).
  • Heart Tones’ “Let’s Talk About It” workshop series offer a safe and inviting platform that encourages participants to talk about end-of-life challenges and barriers from their own perspectives.
WHAT BENEFITS WILL PARTICIPANTS RECEIVE FROM ATTENDING THIS WORKSHOP?

Heart Tones’ mission is to educate, equip and empower individuals, families and caregivers with resources and knowledge to help make informed decisions in healthcare and end-of-life planning through culturally responsive approaches.

Workshop participants will be able to:

  • Gain the knowledge that equips and empowers them to engage in meaningful conversations about what their and their loved ones wishes would be if they were unable to speak for themselves due to a life-threatening illness or accident.
  • Examine their own beliefs and values regarding advance illness and end-of-life care
  • Review a sample Advance Directive to help determine its best use for themselves
WHO IS THE TARGET AUDIENCE & BENEFICIARIES?

This intervention is for African Americans, a population that the Institute of Medicine (IOM, 2006) identifies as an ethnic group that experiences grave disparities in U.S. healthcare systems. African Americans constitute only 12.3 % of the U.S. population, but have the highest death rate of all ethnic groups in this country, according to the National Research Council (2004).

The research also shows that African Americans end-of-life choices are primarily influenced by four factors:

1) Shared cultural beliefs in the role of family and others

2) A general mistrust toward healthcare systems

3) The importance of spirituality and religion &

4) Having knowledge of and access to healthcare related services.

(Wicher & Meeker, 2012, p.28).

 

The beneficiaries of Heart Tones’ initiatives, workshops and resources are not only for African Americans, but also members of the larger U.S. society, including healthcare, social services, and faith-based organizations that seek innovative approaches to engage in public education efforts that result in end-of-life care conversations before a crisis occurs.

WHAT TOPICS ARE COVERED IN THE GUIDE
  • Taking Control of Your Life & Health
  • More to Life Than Being “Alive”
  • Getting Your House in Order
  • What’s All This “End of Life” Stuff About
  • Advance Directives Choices
  • Planning for Emergency Situations Before You May Need To
  • Embracing Life…Comfort Care Options

A sample “Advance Care Directive and Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare Decisions” is included inside The Guide.

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