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Heart to Heart™ is a communication activity designed to make it easier for a family member, a caregiver, or a health provider to understand what a loved one wants done when life is ending. However, it is also used with perfectly healthy people who want family members to know what they would like when their lives are threatened by injury or disease.

Heart to Heart Cafés

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What is a “Heart to Heart™ Café”?

At a Heart to Heart™ Café, people - often strangers - gather to eat pastries, drink tea and discuss death.

Why would anyone want to do that?

Our objective is to increase awareness of all the things one must consider when death is approaching, with a view to helping people make the most of the time they have left. Basically, a Heart to Heart™ Café is a group-directed discussion of death. It is free and held in an accessible and confidential space. Heart to Heart™ Café topics are determined by attendees, using CACCC’s Heart to Heart™ cards.

How our cards are used in the Heart to Heart Café - A Quick Summary
  • Each deck of cards contains a total of 54 cards, 13 Spades, 13 Hearts, 13 Diamonds, 13 Clubs and 2 Jokers (Special Wish cards). A different issue is printed on each of the cards, with the exception of the Special Wish cards, which allow a participant to add an issue not included in the deck.
  • Each member of the group chooses 12 cards from his/her deck that are the most important to him/her - three spades, three hearts, three diamonds, and three clubs - and sets the rest of the deck aside.
  • The facilitator then asks each participant to choose three cards from the 12 that are the most important to him/her and list those cards on the Heart to HeartTM Participant Evaluation Form.
  • Next, the facilitator asks them to choose one of the three that is the most important.
  • The facilitator begins the discussion by asking one of the participants why that card is most important. Others who chose the same card are encouraged to add their explanations. As the discussion progresses, the facilitator answers questions about the issue raised on that card.
  • This process is repeated until all 12 cards chosen by participants have been discussed, or there is no more time remaining.
  • After the discussion has concluded, each group member “revises” his/her choices if necessary and records them on the Heart to HeartTM Personal Summary Sheet/To Do List
  • Using the Personal Summary Sheet/To Do List and resource materials provided by the facilitator, participants then complete their Advance Health Care Directive or take it home for completion.
The facilitator reminds participants to share their preferences with those who may be responsible for carrying out the participant’s preferences. Participants are also encouraged to use their own Heart to HeartTM deck to foster discussion of issues involved in advance care planning among family members, friends, etc. Educational materials are available at each Café and opportunities for further education are provided on the Participant Evaluation Form.
CACCC volunteers have already conducted:
10 Cafés in the Los Angeles area
5 in the South Bay
3 in Sacramento
1 in Taiwan

Two more Cafés are scheduled on November 22 in Sunnyvale.
Want to attend CACCC’s Next Café?
Want to get your family involved?
Want to learn how to do your own Café?

To participate in a Heart to Heart Café, or to sign up for CACCC’s next Facilitator Training, contact us at

Heart to Heart Facilitator Training

The CACCC provides Facilitator Training to prepare volunteers to conduct Heart to Heart Cafés.

The six-hour training includes:
  • Working with CACCC
  • What do I need in order to hold a Heart to Heart™ Café?
  • What does it take to host a Heart to Heart™ Café?
  • Being a Heart to Heart™ Café facilitator
  • Venues, refreshments and timing
  • The Heart to Heart™ Café session
  • Publicizing your Heart to Heart™ Café
  • Money, sponsorship, and volunteer ethics
  • Heart to Heart™ Café quick start guide
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CACCC's 3rd Heart to Heart Café Facilitator Training was held at the City of Hope in Southern California on July 29.
TEST CAFE´S HELD Prior to the Facilitator Trainings, CACCC held two test Cafés in Los Altos, one on April 25 and one on May 23. Once the trainings were completed, CACCC's first formal Heart to Heart Cafés were held on July 16 in Sunnyvale and on July 20 in Los Angeles.
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Nine CACCC volunteers received Heart to Heart Café Facilitator Training on July 6 in Sacramento: Janice Tsai, Frances Choo, Angela Hamilton, Tina Bryan, Christine Han, Peggy Lee, Ying Lee, Paul Chow, and Lucy Chao.

A week later, another eleven volunteers received the training in San Jose: Jean Yih CM, Diane Chi CM, Kofen Lai CM, Kai Lam CM, Sherry Shih, Bernie Kwan, Ai-Chung Wu, Cindy Chen, Maggie Chang,  Teresa Cheng, and Carrie Huang.
One Facilitator Training was conducted in Taichung during CACCC’s Taiwan Tour. The latest Facilitator Training was held on November 1 at City of Hope.
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Hui Ju Liang provides a personal view of our Facilitator Training



1021日清晨天露曙光,與同事秋華驅車北上,參加由台中榮總緩和療護病房主辦的「安心卡工作坊」,主講者是令人敬佩的護理前輩,也是美華慈心關懷聯盟(Chinese American Coalition for Compassionate Care)的創辦人陳明慧女士(Sandy Chen Stokes)。

走入台中榮總緩和療護病房的大廳,隨即感受到工作人員的用心,場地佈置像回到自家客廳般溫馨,這真是個適合知性成長的好所在。一開始,Sandy即破除我原本抱持的狹隘觀點,自以為學習重點是如何使用「安心卡」(Heart to Heart Card)作為溝通生命末期議題的工具。原來,安心卡的角色是一場生命對話的引子,其所延伸而出的溝通過程,表達對生命末期的想法與期待,進而化作行動,將此訴諸文字,即「預立醫療自主計畫」(Advanced Care Planning),這才是安心卡的重要目標。




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The Chinese American Coalition for Compassionate Care, the only coalition in the nation devoted to end-of-life concerns in the Chinese community, is an active working coalition of 48 Partner Agencies and over 1,300 individual members.

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