End-of-Life Care Advocacy Group Announces 1st Annual Dolores Huerta Mission and Vision Award
October 15, 2021 Dolores Huerta
(Portland, OR – Oct. 15, 2021) Compassion & Choices today announced its inaugural Dolores Huerta Mission and Vision Award in honor of the legendary civil rights activist for her dedication to improving care, expanding options at the end of life and commitment to terminally-ill Latinos in the United States.
This year’s award will be given to Dolores Huerta for her commitment to expand and protect options at the end of life. The award will be given each year to a leader who has dedicated their efforts to Compassion & Choices’ mission of improving care, expanding options, and ensuring that everyone can chart their own end-of-life journey according to their values and priorities. Each recipient will also be committed to a vision of a diverse, equitable and inclusive movement and recognizes that everyone should have access to a patient-directed end-of-life experience regardless of their ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity or age. Future recipients will be chosen by the Compassion & Choices leadership team.
“For the last six years, Dolores has used her uniquely powerful voice to advance our mission of improving and expanding healthcare options at life’s end, making a profound difference for millions of people throughout the United States, including Latinos,” said Kim Callinan, president/CEO of Compassion & Choices Action Network. “It is a true honor to work with a legendary civil rights icon like Dolores.”
Dolores’ support was critical in the passage of the End of Life Option Act in California, the Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act in her native state of New Mexico in 2021. These laws give mentally capable, terminally ill adults with six months or less to live the option to request prescription medication they can decide to take to peacefully end unbearable suffering. She was also instrumental in the success of SB 380, a bill that would improve access to its five-year-old law by reducing the mandatory 15-day waiting period between the two requests for aid-in-dying medication to 48 hours. The bill is awaiting the signature of California Governor Bill Newsom.
For the last six years, Dolores not only endorsed the compassionate bills with editorials and videos in English and Spanish about her mother’s painful death from cancer. She joined Compassion & Choices in news conferences, multi-state campaigns, rallies and meetings with reluctant legislators, particularly Catholic and Latino ones, who opposed medical aid in dying bills.
“Dolores is still a force at 91 years-old,” said Brandi Alexander, National Director, Community Engagement at Compassion & Choices. “Not even a global pandemic can stop our champion from being a powerful voice for end-of-life education, empowerment and more options for terminally ill adults.”
About the Dolores Huerta Mission and Vision Award
The award is named after civil rights and labor icon Dolores Huerta, president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation. She has earned numerous national awards for her community service and advocacy for workers’ rights, including the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1993 she became the first Latina inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and in 2020, she was named one of USA Today’s ‘Women of the Century.”
About Compassion & Choices and Compassion & Choices Network
Compassion & Choices is comprised of two organizations that improve care and expand options at life’s end: Compassion & Choices (501(c)(3)) educates, empowers, defends, and advocates; the Compassion & Choices Action Network (501(c)(4)) focuses exclusively on legislation, ballot campaigns, and limited electoral work.