National Healthcare Decisions Day

Every day we make decisions about our health. But some decisions are best made in advance, especially those that involve a medical emergency or serious illness. While we have the right to make our own medical decisions, a crisis may render us unable to do so. Who would make those decisions if we cannot? Would they know our values and preferences?

National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) occurs annually on April 16 and was created “to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning,” according to the Conversation Project. A spotlight is shown on the need for appointing a healthcare representative and documenting our medical choices for use in a crisis.

This year HCI-NC launched four community initiatives the week of NHDD. We started by hosting walk-up tables at three locations of the Saint Joe County Library. Several NCI-NC board members joined us to engage patrons in ACP conversations and offer literature and planning appointments.

Next, we moved to short presentations and walk-up tables at several area manufacturing plants as we worked in conjunction with Center for Hospice Care. Several workers signed up for appointments, including Spanish-only speakers, which proved to be a great way to connect with this underserved population.

For our third initiative we coordinated with the Center for Education and Advance Care Planning (CEACP) to announce a new training opportunity for our ACP facilitators. Participants will learn to present ACP educational information within their organizations. The pandemic has shifted the ability to easily come and go within facilities such as hospitals. HCI-NC along with CEACP aim to transform how organizations receive information regarding end-of-life planning by providing educational material to facilitators within those organizations.

Finally, as a subsidiary of Center for Hospice Care, HCI-NC along with CEACP will offer Hospice colleagues advance care planning through facilitated conversations as part of their annual open enrollment for insurance and benefits at the end of the year. Open enrollment is an ideal time to include advance care planning as employees review their medical insurance plans.

If you have not completed your advance care planning, allow NHDD to inspire you to give your family the gift of knowing your values and wishes. Contact us at for more information and to schedule your own conversation. Experience the peace of mind that comes from choosing your medical care in advance.

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