National Healthcare Decisions Day in All 50 States, DC, Puerto Rico, and Internationally

U.S. Senate, Several Governors and Mayors Support Event

ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- April 16, 2008, the inaugural National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), will be the largest effort ever undertaken to educate the public and professionals about advance healthcare planning.

"With healthcare, 'your decisions matter;' however, others need to know your wishes to honor them," said Nathan A. Kottkamp, Chair, National Healthcare Decisions Day. "All Americans should use April 16, 2008, to decide, discuss, and document their wishes, whatever they may be. Indeed, the primary goal of NHDD is to have more Americans execute advance directives, so that fewer families and health care providers will have to struggle with making difficult health care decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient."

NHDD events are taking place in all 50 states, DC, Puerto Rico, and internationally at U.S. Army and Navy bases. Furthermore, over 70 of the nation's most prominent healthcare, legal, legal, consumer, and other organizations are participating. A complete list of participants, including hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, physicians, nurses, chaplains, social workers, attorneys, financial planners, organ donation organizations, universities, minority professional organizations, and others, may be found at: www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org/participants

At the community level, over 350 organizations are known to be hosting events and providing free information to the public and their own professional staffs about advance care planning, particularly advance directives, which involve appointing a healthcare agent and/or completing a living will.

On April 3, the United States Senate passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 73 in support of National Healthcare Decisions Day. A similar resolution, House Concurrent Resolution 323, is pending in the United States House of Representatives. Additionally, at least six states (Connecticut, Mississippi, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin) have Governor's resolutions and several cities and towns have Mayoral resolutions in support of NHDD.

The website for this event, www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org, contains free resources on advance directives for the public and providers, outreach tools, a listing of national, state and community participants, and other information about advance care planning. Information is also available via email [email protected], or by calling 800/658-8898.

Editor's Note: The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization is providing administrative and communications support for the NHDD initiative.

SOURCE National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

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