National Healthcare Decisions Day represents a day designed to highlight the importance of advance planning and to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding healthcare and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be. According to a 2017 study in Health Affairs, only 36.7 percent of Americans have an advance directive.

Advance care planning is a core component of health maintenance and primary care throughout our lives. Although often thought of in terms of the elderly and end-of-life care, the possibility of needing others to make decisions on our behalf in case of illness or accident is a real one for people of all ages. Designating a health proxy, and having a discussion with your family and loved ones about your wishes and goals around medical care should take place before there is a need for acute care services.

As part of Community Medical Center’s efforts to encourage conversation about end of life issues we ask that you help increase the awareness of advance care planning so that you can make sure your wishes are expressed and respected.

In honor of National Healthcare Decisions Day:

Have a conversation – Talk with your loved ones, your healthcare providers and your friends.
Complete your Advanced Directive – Legal document obtained through your primary care provider that allows you to plan and make your own end of life wishes known.
Engage others in Advance Care Planning – Please encourage others to complete their Advance Directive and start the conversation.

If you have any questions regarding advance care planning or would like assistance with filling out your Advanced Directive please contact your primary care office or Dawn Porte, FNP with Community Physician Group Palliative Care at (406) 327-3909.

Dawn Porte, FNP
Community Physician Group
Palliative Care