140 Chinese-Americans from San Francisco Bay Area filed a medical center conference room to find out how hospice care can improve the quality of care for their loved ones or themselves, who are or will be going through their last stage in life.
“This seminar is really a rare opportunity for Chinese-Americans to understand end-of-life care and hospice care, including body, mind, and spirit, in a complete and systematic way,” said Dr. Emery Kong, director of Herald Cancer Care Network (HCCN), a non-profit Chinese-American ministry. The event was held at the Valley Medical Center in Santa Clara, Calif., on March 2, 2013.
While hospice care has been widely adopted by mainstream American society, its adoption rate among the Asian/Pacific Islanders in California has been lower than four percent, according to a study in 2011. HCCN organized the End-of-Life Care Seminar in order to promote awareness and discussion on this subject in the Chinese context, in hopes that more people can have access to suitable and qualitative care that otherwise cannot be provided by family members or the hospitals.
According to HCCN’s statement, the organizers were able to gather 81 evaluation forms, in which the participants found the materials provided by the community partners as very resourceful and helpful. Based on the feedbacks, HCCN will hold smaller workshops, addressing specific topics surrounding End-of-Life care that are often times discriminated or shunned among the Chinese people, throughout this year and the next.
Towards the end of the seminar, Kong disclosed that HCCN will initiate a non-profit hospice Heart of Hope Asian American Hospice Care, which will have Chinese-American medical professionals providing medical services related to hospice care and end-of-life care. By serving Chinese-Americans in a Chinese context, the ministry hopes to break down cultural and language barriers for higher acceptance among the Chinese-Americans across the United States.
The contents of the seminar have been uploaded to the ministry’s website. It is available only in Chinese.