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National Healthcare Decisions Day Webinar


Healthcare Decisions: What Matters Most Now

Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Montgomery County Palliative Care and End of Life Coalition hosted a webinar for National Healthcare Decisions Day with a focus on Advance Care Planning considerations for the COVID-19 pandemic.

While we shelter in place, we are reminded every day that emergencies CAN and DO happen. It is important to talk about the health care you and family members would want in the event of serious illness.

The webinar discussed:

  • the importance of having Advance Care Planning conversations now, in the midst of this public health crisis

  • reasons why everyone, of all ages and health status, should focus on this issue

  • advice from experts on how and why to have these conversations



  • Cora Abundo, RN, Transition Guide Nurse, Suburban Hospital

  • Kate Lu, LCSW, Clinic Director, Pan Asian Volunteer Health Clinic

  • Judy Peres, LCSW-C, Clinical Social Worker and Health Policy Analyst

  • Rachael Ruffin, Program Specialist, Montgomery County African American Health Program

  • Anita Tarzian, PhD, RN,  Program Coordinator, Maryland Healthcare Ethics Committee Network at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, Hastings Center Fellow

  • Stephen B. Thomas, PhD, Director, Maryland Center for Health Equity, School of Public Health, University of Maryland

For more information, contact:
Jackie Ogg,, 301-537-5627 
Tina Purser Langley,, 240-773-8290

Allison Stearns,, 301-869-0113​


On April 16, 2019, the Montgomery County Palliative Care and End of Life Coalition convened a panel of local and regional experts for a free Healthcare Decisions Day program in Silver Spring, Maryland.  The event, titled, "Beyond Hospice:  Palliative Care in Montgomery County" addressed the role of palliative care in helping ensure the quality of life during serious illness, the current status of palliative care services in Montgomery County and key challenges in providing these important resources to patients and families.

           Over 200 healthcare providers, hospice and palliative care staff, payers, patients and caregivers, and community members attended the event.

Panelists included: 

  • Tim Cox, Senior Director of Home-based And Post Acute Services, CareFirst

  • Jeff Goldman, Director, Nexus Montgomery Regional Partnership

  • Margie Hackett, RN, Suburban Hospital Transition Care Team Manager

  • Dr. Anna Maria Izquierdo-Porrera, Private practitioner for vulnerable homebound populations

  • Dr. Geoff Coleman, Medical Director Montgomery Hospice and its Palliative Care Outpatient Clinic at Shady Grove Adventists Aquilino Cancer Center

  • Dr. Henry Willner, Director of Palliative Care Medicine, Holy Cross Homecare and Hospice

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