September 19, 2016

Horizon Holds Impactful Speak(easy) Discussions


Speak(easy) Howard discussions are making it easier for Howard County families to hold their own conversations about end-of-life decisions. These participants attended the daytime working session on Sept. 13.

On Sept. 13, more than 60 participants and 14 local organizations gathered at the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center to build ideas for the Horizon Foundation’s Speak(easy) Howard learning collaborative. The recently-introduced campaign is designed to change the way people in Howard County talk about and plan for the health care they want to receive in the future. Several faith, health and community organizations are participating in the collaborative.

The new Speak(easy) Howard electronic registry that allows residents to electronically appoint a health care agent also debuted at the learning session. The registry (powered by is a key piece of the campaign and will make it easier for residents to communicate their care wishes.

An evening session was held to educate residents on how to begin these important end-of-life conversations. An additional 30 participants attended the session, including Howard County residents, government officials and end-of-life care professionals. Council Chairman Calvin Ball also delivered the opening remarks.

Collaborative teams will reconvene in January to report on progress and how they are working with their organizations to help residents express wishes and ensure those wishes are respected. There will be another evening community discussion at that time.

A full public campaign is set to launch in the fall of 2017.