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Community Events/Workshops


The MERI Center also focuses on helping patients and their caregivers cope with serious illness. Monthly advance care planning sessions are offered, free of charge. Other workshops and events will be conducted regularly to educate and engage our community in issues related to Palliative Care and end of life issues.

Due to COVID-19 we have converted our workshops online, interactive sessions. We will continue to assess our ability to hold in-person workshops.


3rd UCSF Day of Remembering

Friday, May 21, 2021 3:00 PM PST

Grieving has been made more difficult during the pandemic due to physical distancing measures. The UCSF Day of Remembering is a time for us to come together, virtually, and honor and remember those whom we have lost. We hope that our community, near and far, will gather together for this virtual memorial service. The service will include reflections, readings, and rituals to offer comfort and support to the UCSF community: patients, caregivers, family, friends, faculty, & staff.

This virtual memorial service will take place over Zoom. Details will be provided upon registration.  Please have a candle, flower, or memento for the service. If you would like your loved one’s name and/or picture included in this service, please email: [email protected]

Approximate Program Schedule

3:00 pm Service Starts
3:05 pm Welcome Remarks
3:10 pm Reflections & Readings
3:35 pm Rituals
3:45 pm Closing Remarks

Call 415.509.8645 or email [email protected] with questions.

REGISTER

 


Advance Care Planning Workshops with Chinese Amerian Coalition for Compassionate Care (CACCC)

Flyer in Chinese and English

We have partnered with CACCC to present advance care planning workshops in Mandarin and Cantonese.  Each virtual series includes a Heart to Heart Cafe, where attendees use the Heart to Heart cards to determine what is most important to them, an Advance Care Planning workshop to discuss wishes with family members, and an Advance Health Care Directive workshop, with step by step instructions to fill out an advance directive.  

Upcoming Series:
Heart to Heart Cafe April 1, 2021 from 10 - 12 pm PST 
Advance Care Planning, April 8, 2021 from 10 am - 11 am PST
AHCD Workshop, April 8, 2021 from 11 am - 12 pm PST

 


Are You Living with a Serious Illness? Conversations about Living and Dying Support Group

1st Tuesday of the month, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM PST starting April 6, 2021

This group is for those with serious illness to meet and to connect with others.

Our goal is to provide a safe place for you to explore,

  • To  freely say out loud and share what you are experiencing, thinking and feeling
  • To listen and learn from each other: what helps, what hurts and what heals?
  • To express your concerns about the impact your illness has on others and yourself
  • To talk about sharing information and having conversations with your loved ones

Sessions are open to people with serious illness. Meetings held virtually via Zoom. Link sent upon registration. Registration closes the day before the group.

Facilitators:

Lacy Fetting is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Oncology whose keen interest in Palliative Care has often focused on supporting patients in their communications with children. Lacy works with the GI Medical and Surgical Oncology team at UCSF, Mission Bay.

Redwing Keyssar, RN, has been a Midwife to the Dying for 30+ years and is the Director of Patient and Caregiver Education at the UCSF MERI Center.  She is author of the book, “Last Acts of Kindness; Lessons for the Living from the Bedsides of the Dying.”

Judy Long is an outpatient palliative care chaplain (neurology and oncology) and resiliency educator. Judy has facilitated workshops on end of life, accompanied the dying, provided after death care, and led funeral/memorial services in varied settings. She also provides training in emotional balance and self-compassion.

To Register:

Call the MERI Center at 415.509.8645 or email us at [email protected].


Food for Thought: A Poetry Cafe

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Fridays, 11 am - 12 pm PST

Offered by Redwing Keyssar, RN, Author, Director of Patient and Caregiver Education at The MERI Center for Education in Palliative Care, UCSF/Mt Zion

In this one-hour “Poetry Café”, co-sponsored by the MERI Center for Education in Palliative Care and Art for Recovery, we will enter the realm of creativity through the art of “Poem-Making”

We will:

  • Create a safe environment for each other-with a short guided meditation and music
  • Listen to some poems read out loud and see how they make us feel
  • Use some specific words or “prompts” to encourage our own “poem-making”
  • Share our poetic explorations

In these challenging times, it is more important than ever to express our feelings and connect to our own creativity and community.   Join us in using poetry writing as self-care & to explore our feelings, fears & hopes.

 YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A WRITER!

“Poetry is simply speaking the truth. Each of us has a truth as unique as our own fingerprints”

~Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, from Intro to Poetic Medicine by John Fox

 Making poems can:

  • Surprise us
  • Allow expression of feelings in creative ways
  • Guide our own healing journey

REGISTER 


Last Acts of Kindness; Care & Compassion at the End of Life

Next Session TBD

A live-online 4-session workshop for anyone who wishes to foster confidence and resiliency in these difficult times,  as we care for our friends, our selves, our families, 

and community at the end of life.

We ALL will be in positions to be “end of life doulas” at some time--assisting friends and loved ones in the dying process. Most people however, have little training and minimal experience or understanding about what it means to “show up” at this delicate time. The Chinese letters for “crisis” can be translated as “Dangerous opportunity.” The dangers of the current pandemic offer us all an opportunity to be better acquainted with the real territory of death and dying.

This workshop will:

  • Prepare us to show up at the bedsides of the dying—using the tenets of Palliative Care: to help relieve suffering physically, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically
  • Offer guidance in supporting caregivers-- both professional and “family” caregivers
  • Assist us in creating personal toolkits for caregiving at the end of life
  • Help us understand how our own myths and beliefs about life and death affect our roles as care-givers and care-receivers
  • Offer practical knowledge about the dying process
  • Pain and symptom management (an overview)
  • Hospice and Palliative care issues
  • Signs and Symptoms of approaching death
  • Be a step towards facing our own mortality, which is key to serving others 

Registration is for all 4 sessions Sliding scale suggested donation:  $25-150. No one will be turned away. Maximum number of participants: 20. 

Co-sponsored by Commonweal and the MERI Center for Education in Palliative Care at UCSF/Mt Zion.


Loss, Losing, & Loosening*: Exploring Grief and Healing Through Poem-Making
*quote from Eric Poche

A weekly poem-making workshop led by Redwing Keyssar, RN, Author, Poet
Tuesdays | 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Redwing Keyssar,RN, Author & Poet, will guide us in using poem-making to examine our grief and to find healing in our creativity.

This is an open group that will meet weekly.  Come once, come every week; there is no commitment to join every week.

Each week we will:

  • Use poem-making to explore your grief, whether you are grieving the loss of a loved one or struggling due to this global pandemic 
  • Find healing through poems
  • Create a supportive & caring community

You DO NOT need to be a writer or a poet to join.


Poetic Medicine for the "Wounded Healer"

Wednesdays, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PST starting March 3, 2021

“The wounds are the places where light enters.”   ~Rumi

Many of us, whether we identify as being in the “healing arts” or not, have wounds that we understand as the foundation of our own ability to heal and to have compassion for others.  In these sessions we will open to whatever it is we consider our own “wounded places” and allow our poem-making to be part of our healing process. 

“Everyone alive has suffered. It is the wisdom gained from our wounds and from our own experiences of suffering that makes us able to heal.” 
~Rachel Naomi Remen

The psychologist Carl Jung coined the concept of The Wounded Healer. He took the insights of this Archetypal healing from Greek Mythology. Chiron, the wisest Centaur, was once inflicted with a severe physical wound. In his way to recovery, he found the goal of being a “Teacher of healing.” Many wise people have said, healing is not a process between the healer and the wounded. It’s a process of two equals. The teacher does heal the wounds, but the one who orchestrates it is the healer’s own experience of healing.

Redwing Keyssar, RN, Author & Poet, of the UCSF MERI CENTER for Education in Palliative Care will guide us in using poem-making to explore the concept of what it means to be a “wounded healer”  and to find healing in our creative process together. 

We will:

  • Use poem-making to explore ideas about health and healing
  • Create a supportive & caring community

Resiliency for People with Serious Illness

Tuesdays, April 20 - May 25 | 10 am - 11 am PDT

Resiliency for People with Serious Illness is a live-online program of six weekly 60-minute classes. In each class, you will learn evidence-based skills to help make your self-care sustainable.

Teaching methods include brief lecture periods mixed with experiential exercises. You will also have opportunities to speak with others in structured break-out groups (pairs or triads) as well as in the larger group.

There will be one break during each session.

Each class will have its own theme and the opportunity to practice new skills in a safe place, so that they’re more available during the days ahead. Themes include:

•Grounding and positive intention setting
•Repertoire of stress responses and meeting difficult emotions
•Mindful self-compassion
•Challenging relationships
•Reframing helplessness
•‘What works for me?’ -- wellness journals to cultivate a positive mindset


Sustainable Caregiving for Care Partners of People with Serious Illness

Tuesdays, April 20 - June 8 | 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Sustainable Caregiving for Care Partners of People with Serious Illness is a live-online program of eight weekly 90 minute classes. In each class, you will learn evidence-based skills to help make your caregiving sustainable.

Teaching methods include brief lecture periods mixed with experiential exercises. You will also have opportunities to speak with others in structured break-out groups (pairs or triads) as well as in the larger group.

Each class will have its own theme and the opportunity to practice new skills in a safe place, so that they’re more available during the days ahead. Themes include:

•Attentional balance and grounding
•Positive intention setting
•Repertoire of stress responses and meeting difficult emotions
•Mindful self-compassion
•Challenging relationships and patients’ concerns around “being a burden”
•Reframing chronic sorrow
•Balance and growth in adversity
•‘What works for me?’ -- wellness journals to cultivate a positive mindset


What Matters Most?

A free in-depth Advance Directive Workshop for all Patients​

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MERI offers free two-part workshops throughout the year in advanced care planning for patients, staff, and caregivers that enable you to: 

• Create a personalized plan to honor your wishes

  • Have your questions answered

• Complete your new or revised Advance Directive for Healthcare and have it notarized for free (in-person workshops only)

Session 1: 
Learn about the Advance Directive Form, what questions to ask yourself and your family, things to consider about your wishes, and how to complete the form.

Session 2: 
Bring your completed form to the workshop, ask any additional questions you or your family may have, and have your form notarized on-site at no cost to you.

Online Workshops:
Wednesday, May 12th & 26th | 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Wednesday, June 2nd & 16th | 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Wednesday, July 7th & 21st | 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Via Zoom Cloud Meetings

Please plan to attend both sessions
You don’t have to be a UCSF patient to attend!