Our family of Compassion in Dying affiliates continues to grow. Our New York affiliate is now up and running, and we continue to build affiliates in Alaska, Connecticut, and Southern California. The Northern California affiliate is in the process of expanding and relocating its headquarters from Palo Alto to San Francisco. The newest affiliates are hard at work organizing case management teams and speakers' bureaus and hope to be serving clients in their communities by the end of the year. Compassion in Dying Federation conducted case management training in Manhattan in April and has slated training in Los Angeles in mid-September.
In addition to counseling patients and families in Washington and Oregon, our two established affiliates have also been busy reaching out to their communities. The Federation's flagship organization in Washington continues to be involved in some amazing work. Compassion in Dying of Washington's Executive Director, Michael Bonnaci, is educating his community about death and dying issues through the fine arts. Father Mike, as he is affectionately referred to, is using various art forms, including poetry and theater, to create dialogue on death and dying issues.
And in Oregon, Compassion in Dying of Oregon's Executive Director, George Eighmey, has been discussing Oregon's first year experience of legalized aid in dying under the Death with Dignity Act with many hospice and healthcare organizations around the state. He has been helping to get the message out that the Oregon Death With Dignity Act's first year has been a resounding success, most notably in the significant improvement in end-of-life care for Oregonians. The Act's first year also disproved many opponents' fears of widespread use and abuse: Only 15 out of 29,500 deaths in Oregon in 1998 were hastened deaths (11 of which Compassion in Dying of Oregon represented).
The last six months of this year are sure to be as productive and exciting as the first. Affiliate coordinators on the East and West Coast are looking to develop several more affiliates. Discussions are proceeding to explore affiliate development in Washington D.C. and New Mexico.
Are you interested in starting a Compassion in Dying affiliate in you area? Please contact the Federation office at (503) 221-9556 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was provided by Compassion in Dying. It is a part of the publication Compassion in Dying.