Foundation for Healthy Communities Observes National Healthcare Decisions Day

Joins National Initiative to Celebrate Advance Directives on April 16, 2020

 

CONCORD – The Foundation for Healthy Communities, along with other national, state and community organizations, is leading a massive effort to highlight the importance of advance healthcare decision-making, an effort that has culminated in the formal designation of April 16 as National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD).

National Healthcare Decisions Day exists as a 50-state annual initiative to provide clear, concise, and consistent information on healthcare decision-making to both the public and providers/facilities through the widespread availability and dissemination of simple, free, and uniform tools to guide the process. 

 “The focus of National Healthcare Decisions Day is on education, for families and for healthcare providers to increase the number of people who understand the importance of advance care directives and planning for serious illness or end-of-life care,” said Brian Kugel, Program Coordinator at the Foundation for Healthy Communities.  “Engaging in the conversation and completing an advance directive allows you to decide who will make your healthcare decisions you ever lack the capacity to do so, and it’s one of the most important conversations that families can have with each other.”

In addition to advance directives, Provider Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) play an integral role in advance care planning.  With the goal of improving the quality of care for patients who are seriously ill, POLST acts as a portable medical order that identifies, documents, communicates and honors patient medical treatment wishes that are honored across all care settings.  It is a voluntary program for patients and providers that is designed to improve the understanding and communication of a patient’s medical care choices when patients move among different care settings.

New Hampshire’s POLST Program was recognized as a nationally endorsed state POLST Program by The National POLST Paradigm Task Force (NPPTF) in 2018.  This national endorsement is given to only one entity per state that has met the requirements, standards and fundamental principles as indicated by the National POLST Paradigm.   

The Foundation for Healthy Communities has served as the leading resource for advance care and end of life care planning, including POLST, for patients and their families, medical providers, hospitals and health systems throughout the state since 1998.  The Foundation provides information to help people address the topic with family, friends and healthcare providers and complete a written advance directive, such as healthcare power of attorney and a living will, in accordance with New Hampshire law.

More information and resources, including the Advance Care Planning Guide, are available free of charge online at www.healthynh.org.  For more information about National Healthcare Decision Day, please visit http://nhdd.org.

The Foundation for Healthy Communities (FHC) is a non-profit organization that works statewide to improve health and healthcare through innovative partnerships with both individuals and organizations.