Making a difference
We are living in an aging society. Persons of all ages and backgrounds face changes and challenges in their health and manner of living that are often bewildering - like walking into the unknown.
Whether you are in the sandwich generation and caring for aging parents and young children or a single person with no family close by, decisions on how you will age and who will care for family members will need your attention. How to begin difficult family and community conversations on aging is not an easy one. Ask any physician, nurse, social worker, or educator. While giving recommendations to others looks simple, when it's our own future, even the most skilled of persons experience unsettling, shaky knees.
If you are a health system, private non-profit, or public service agency, seeing the big picture is always challenging. Many of your staff are highly specialized in caring for an aging society. Yet, there are niches including high-level planning, evaluation of services, identifying new funding sources, and developing better education materials and curricula that are often neglected. As a specialist in aging from an inclusive community-perspective, these are exactly the skills and strengths that I can provide.
No two communities are the same. Each has its own culture and unique way of making decisions. The common thread, however, is engaging stake-holders who care about solutions and preserving quality of living.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Barbara in multicultural end-of-life care and advance care planning initiatives through the years. Barbara’s deep understanding of culturally diverse communities – as well as her extensive knowledge and experience in the field of cross-cultural education – have been a tremendous asset to our community. Through her coordinated efforts, clinicians, leaders, and other health care team members have been able to develop and apply better care practices with individual patients and populations. Barbara’s vision and her bringing together of talented persons resulted in the production of “Voices of Advance Care Planning”, a multicultural/multilingual advance care planning education video. This tool is reaching Latino/Hispanics, Hmong, and Somali populations in Minnesota and nationwide. Her work spearheading advisory groups to strategize, develop, and complete new cross-cultural actions is a testimony of how instrumental Barbara has been in the advancement of person-centered care. Working with Barbara in these and other projects has been a pleasure. Barbara’s enthusiasm, professionalism, and passion for helping communities in need has been not only an encouragement to many of us, but a true inspiration."
Miguel Ruiz, MD, ABHPM
Region’s Hospital/HealthPartners, Saint Paul, Minnesota
"Barbara was a key team member working in collaboration with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and other national health care organizations to develop new access and inclusion educational resources for hospice and palliative care providers across the country. Barbara brought critical ideas, compelling resources, and practical solutions to the group - and helped guide the successful publication of our NHPCO Access & Inclusion guide. Barbara also served as expert faculty in teaching our national Access and Inclusion for Hospice Managers, a 4-week online guided module for national manager development training. With a strong commitment to person-centered multicultural education and care, Barbara was a valued partner with NHPCO in these national ventures toward greater inclusion in hospice and palliative care."
Barbara Bouton, MA, FT
Vice-President of Professional Development
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Alexandria, Virginia
“The Honoring Choices Minnesota project remains to this day one of the most rewarding policy efforts I’ve ever been involved with in my career. In order for the project to succeed, it had to bring a diverse set of stakeholders as well as build and maintain their trust. Barbara did an amazing job leading this effort and building the program in the community.”
Executive Director Citizens League, Saint Paul, Minnesota
“Barbara is a creative leader and consultant who designs, implements and evaluates diverse health care initiatives that represent the member stakeholders within the communities they are intended to serve.
I have personally witnessed Barbara help improve the health of communities through sustainable relationships, deep listening and skillful navigation. I have seen large health care organizations, local non-profits, colleges/universities and other agencies work closely with Barbara as she builds strategic, sustainable bridges that span Hmong, Latino/Hispanic, Somali, East African and broad interfaith communities.
Our first collaboration took place 20 years and resulted in a large, interdisciplinary multicultural conference for professionals on end-of-life health issues in the Twin Cities. I was hooked! Barbara’s inclusive leadership approach, focus on quality results, integrity and spirit carried the day. In her most recent role at Honoring Choices Minnesota, Barbara guided navigation of difficult advance care planning and end-of-life care conversations within diverse populations. This has resulted in slow, culture change through ongoing end-of-life care dialogue and critical conversations.”
Elizabeth C. Walker Anderson, JD
Equitable Care System Director, HealthEast Care System