Maryland Department of Health Funds End-of-Life Planning Program for Faith Communities


Program Designed to Underscore the Value of Planning Now

The Maryland Faith Health Network (MFHN), a project of the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative Education Fund, Inc. (MCHI), announced today that it was awarded a grant from the Maryland Department of Health to educate local faith communities about the importance of end-of-life planning, including completing an advance health care directive. The program will include at least seven events held at various congregations throughout Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Carroll County. MFHN partners and the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS) will facilitate the educational sessions.

“We are honored to receive the Maryland Department of Health grant to educate families about the value of sharing one’s wishes with loved ones and providers, so those wishes can be legally recognized and honored,” commented Vincent DeMarco, president, MCHI. “Through our relationship with MVLS, we will give congregants the tools needed to codify their end-of-life wishes.”


The program is expected to reach upwards of 500 congregants and community members during the lifespan of the funding opportunity. MFHN member congregations that host one of the seven end-of-life planning events will receive a stipend of $100 and complimentary materials and refreshments. MFHN is collaborating with participating congregations to execute the educational program alongside sisterhood and brotherhood meetings, bible studies and other congregation-organized events.

The first event is planned for Sunday, October 22 from 9:30 - 11 a.m. at Kingdom Life Church, 125 North Hilton Street in Baltimore.

“All too often when an advance directive is not in place, families must pour their attention into potential conflicts with family members instead of focusing on mourning the loss of a loved one,” said Susan Francis, deputy director, Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service. “It’s important to learn the intricacies of end-of-life planning, which is why we are excited to participate in MFHN’s new program.”

About Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative Education Fund, Inc. (MCHI)

The Maryland Faith Health Network is a free pilot project of the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative Education Fund, Inc. to promote health and healing among member congregants before, during and after hospitalization(s).To learn more, visit

About Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS)

With a 35-year history and a mission to provide access to justice for all, Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS) serves Maryland’s low-income residents by offering counseling and full representation for civil legal cases. MVLS matches clients with volunteer lawyers who represent them in a wide range of consumer and family situations, including foreclosure, bankruptcy, income tax disputes, landlord/tenant disputes, denial of public benefits, divorce/custody, deed changes, and estate planning (wills, advance health care directives and financial power of attorney). For more information about MVLS, please visit

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