Local medical and legal professionals, social workers and clergy are leading an effort to highlight the importance of advance healthcare decision-making as a part of a larger national effort by the National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) Initiative. The goal: to encourage the public to talk about their wishes with family, friends and healthcare providers, and to execute written advance directives (healthcare power of attorney and living will). National Healthcare Decisions Day, observed every year in April, provides the public with the tools and information necessary to make decisions about their care and to document those decisions in accordance with North Carolina state laws.
A panel discussion centered on the importance of advance directives and what they mean to patients and their families will take place on Friday, April 27th at 10:30 a.m. The session is hosted by Homeplace II at 1325 McCarthy Boulevard in New Bern. The public is encouraged to attend and ask questions of the medical, pastoral, hospice and legal professionals present. Mary Lou Infinito with the Crystal Coast End of Life Awareness Coalition will serve as moderator. The goal of the event is to provide attendees an opportunity to learn about options for advance directives, why they matter and where to turn for guidance in making these important decisions. The event is offered at no cost as a community service of CarolinaEast Health System, National Healthcare Decisions Day Initiative, Homeplace Assisted Living and McCarthy Court Independent Living, multiple hospice agencies and The Crystal Coast End of Life Awareness Coalition.
“The goal of National Healthcare Decisions Day is for many more people in our community to have thoughtful conversations about their healthcare decisions and execute reliable documents to make their wishes known,” said Infinito. “Fewer families and healthcare providers will have to struggle with making difficult healthcare decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient. Healthcare providers and facilities will also be better equipped to address advance healthcare planning issues before a crisis and be better able to honor patient wishes when the time comes to do so.”
For more information about this event, contact Mary Lou Infinito at 252-382-3945 or CarolinaEast at 252-633-8154. More information about National Healthcare Decisions Day can be found at NHDD.org.
Submitted by: Megan McGarvey, CarolinaEast Health System