Consider the Conversation

The time to discuss end-of-life decisions is now                                               

 The greatest gift you can give your family is to have open and honest conversations surrounding your wishes about medical treatments as your health declines. Although many people avoid end-of-life discussions, taking proactive steps can help keep you and your loved ones from being blindsided when a medical emergency may occur. The key is having these conversations when you are healthy enough to have them – not when you are experiencing a health crisis.

To help community members start the conversation, Hope Hospice is sponsoring a film screening of the documentary, Consider the Conversation, followed by a panel discussion by medical and communication experts.

This free, thought-provoking event will be held on Thursday, July 24 at Castlewood Country Club, 707 Country Club Circle in Pleasanton from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. To make a reservation, go to or call (925) 829-8770, ext. 281.

Consider the Conversation highlights the American struggle with communication and preparation for the end of life. “This film inspires and empowers people to make their wishes known,” says Victoria Emmons, Hope Hospice CEO. “Hope Hospice is actively participating in The Conversation Project, a nationwide effort that is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care. This screening is one of several events we are devoting to this important project.”

According to the California HealthCare Foundation, 82 percent of Californians surveyed said it is important to put their wishes in writing – only 23 percent have actually done it.

Advance directives give individuals control over the health care they receive and the ability to name an “agent” to speak for them if they cannot speak for themselves. “It is our hope that the community will take to heart the message of this film and speak to their loved ones about their wishes for end-of-life care and complete their advance directives,” adds Emmons.                  A panel discussion with Questions & Answers will follow the film screening.

Panelists include:

Maureen Dudgeon, MD – Chief medical officer at Hope Hospice. Dr. Dudgeon is board-certified in hospice and palliative medicine and internal medicine. She holds an MA in bioethics. Her experience includes providing inpatient palliative care consultations and outpatient hospice care.

Rhonda Fisher, LCSW – Chief of Patient Care Services at Hope Hospice. She has 27 years of management experience in many healthcare settings; twelve of those were in hospice as director of Quality Management.

William Harvey – Certified financial planner with Spectrum Wealth partners. He is a member of the Hope Hospice Board of Directors.

Your decisions matter. Join others around the country in making your future healthcare decisions known to your loved ones. Take the first step at Consider the Conversation, and learn how to begin the conversation. Advance directives material will be available during this event.

About Hope Hospice

Hope Hospice is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, community-based agency that offers compassionate care, insight and guidance during a life-limiting illness. Our patients receive care in their homes or in a facility where they reside so they can live their lives as fully as possible, in comfort and dignity, surrounded by family and friends. For more information visit or call 1-800-HOSPICE.