What's Right for You? Health Care Planning Workshop

Advance care planning is an ongoing conversation and decision-making process, better known as creating a living will or advance health care directive.

2-Part Virtual Advance Care Planning Workshop at Stanford Health Care

Stanford Palliative Care is proud to provide quarterly 2-Part, FREE Advance Health Care Planning virtual workshops for the public. 

"Advance care planning" is the term to describe the conversations and processes involved in making what is more commonly known as a "living will" or "advance health care directive."  In this workshop format, we'll talk about what's right for you and those close to you.  Whether you are a person living with a serious illness, a caregiver of a loved one, or the healthiest you have ever been, having some form of a care plan in the event you are unable to speak for yourself, is important for providing you and your family with the comfort and confidence knowing that your wishes will be honored no matter what happens. 

Come learn about the questions you should be asking yourself, your doctors, and your loved ones.  You may even leave with an advance care plan completed.

Part I: We will define and describe advance health care planning and provide a 4-step plan to help you get jump started on thinking about the questions you should be considering.

Part II: We will come back together to review an advance directive and provide time for discussion and questions.

Dates/Times & Registration Links

All sessions are free and open to the public. Registration is limited, so be sure to register soon!

January 2023

Part 1: Wednesday, January 11th

Part 2: Wednesday, January 18th

Time: 12:00-1:00pm PST


April 2023

Part 1: Thursday, April 20th

Part 2: Thursday, April 27th 

Time: 12:00-1:00pm PST


July 2023

Part 1: Thursday, July 13th

Part 2: Thursday, July 20th 

Time: 12:00-1:00pm PST


How Do I Get Started?

It’s normal to feel nervous about starting this process.  The good news is there are some clear steps you can take to get started.  Keep in mind, advance care planning is something you do over time.  You can always come back to your advance health care directive and change it.

1.  Talk with your doctor about your current health

It is important to know what all your health conditions are now, and how these conditions could change over time.  You will need to talk with your doctor to understand these things.  Once you know where you are now, it will help you think more clearly about the future.

2.  Think about what matters most to you

Think about your hopes and goals in life.  Think about the things you like to do or experience that give you joy and meaning in your life.  You may want to think about what fears or worries you have about the future.  It's okay to not know exactly what matters most to you, and it could change over time. 

3.  Choose a surrogate decision maker (A surrogate is someone who could make decisions for you if you were unable to do so)

Think about the person you would like to be your decision maker.  While your loved ones can make decisions together for you if they're all in agreement, one person will still need to be selected to make the final decision if there are differences in opinion. 

A good decision maker is someone who: 

  • You can trust to make the decisions you ask them to make.  Sometimes it can be hard for our loved ones to make the decisions we want. Finding someone who can follow your wishes is important. 
  • You can explain your values to, and what matters most to you, and they will listen and understand them.  You can talk to this person over time, and let them know if your decisions have changed.
  • Will be able and willing to speak up and voice your thoughts and feelings to the healthcare team
  • Is willing to play this role.  A decision maker does not need to live in your same city or state, but does need to be able to communicate with your healthcare team when they are needed

4.  Complete an Advance Health Care Directive

There are a number of Advance Health Care Directive forms that are valid in California, and here are a couple of our favorites:

  • Stanford Letter Project - provides steps to go through to think about what matters most.  It uses letter writing to think through these things.  After going through these steps, you will have a completed advance health care directive.
  • PREPARE For Your Care -an online step-by-step program to complete an advance health care directive, that is easy to understand.  It providesvideos of people thinking through their decisions at each step of the process.  This website allows you to choose the advance health care directive that is required in your state, and it provides them in multiple languages.  Click to download these PREPARE advance health care directives on the right side of this page.


Grant Smith, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine

Felicia Hui, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine

Shireen Heidari, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine

Josef Hannah, DO

Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine