The Alameda County Care Alliance – Advanced Illness Care Program (AACA-AICP) Care was founded three years ago after five pastors from various denominations in Alameda County to address serious and advance health care needs.
ACCA is a one of a kind faith-based program that helps persons needing advanced illness care and their caregivers address important needs including, advanced care planning, physical and psychological health, and spiritual support.
Partnering with the Public Health Institute and the UC Davis’ Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, ACCA has created a lay-led care system to provide advanced-illness care navigation throughout 12 African-American churches in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Key sponsors include Kaiser Permanente Community Benefits, Hillman Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, The California HealthCare Foundation, and The Stupski Foundation.
ACCA caregivers, referred to as Navigators, empower participants to manage their health conditions and connect them with information and community resources. Most recently, a person in need of care recently had heart surgery and required a special diet. Her Navigator was able to locate Project Open Hand, an organization that provides free, nutritious meals and groceries to those living with critical illness who are experiencing symptoms. The Navigator assisted enrolling their client in the program and was able to obtain healthy meals and groceries within the week of surgery, making the entire family load much lighter.
Another person needing care was diagnosed with breast cancer, which had spread through her body. She was given two months to live. Her Navigator was able to help her with advance care planning discussions around developing an advance directive to express her wishes for end-of-life care. She was also in dire need of healthy food and prepared meals. ACCA hub churches farmer’s markets, church members, faith leaders and pastors came together to prepare hot meals and provide spiritual support, until the participants passing.
Since its inception, ACCA has received national and international attention for its innovative work from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, the International Geriatrics and Gerontology Conference, and the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC).
The ACCA and its partners will honor caregivers for their tireless efforts caring for loved ones at the third annual Caregiver Recognition Celebration and Health Expo at the Greater St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Oakland, 1909 Market Street, on October 8th from 2 p.m.-6 p.m.
The event will also celebrate the work of the ACCA’s Advanced Illness Care Program™ and their support of more than 1,300 persons needing care and caregivers from ACCA congregations and the community over the last two years. Bishop J.W. Macklin will provide the keynote address.
For more information, visit www.accarealliance.org or contact Alexis Owens at [email protected] or Rev. Cynthia Carter Perrilliat at 510-427-4624.