National Healthcare Decisions Day Set for April 16

April 15, 2015 (GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA)– Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro (HPCG), along with other national, state and community organizations, are leading a massive effort to highlight the importance of advance health care decision making – an effort that has culminated in the formal designation of April 16 as National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD).

As a participating organization, HPCG is providing information and tools for employees to talk about their wishes with family, friends and health care providers, as well as executing written advance directives in accordance with North Carolina state laws. These resources are available at www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org.

As a result of National Healthcare Decisions Day, many more people in our community can be expected to have thoughtful conversations about their health care decisions and complete reliable advance directives to make their wishes known. Fewer families and health care providers will have to struggle with making difficult health care decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient.

“Health care providers will 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,” said Paul J. Russ, vice president of marketing and development.

Advance care planning allows consumers to make medical care decisions by considering those decisions ahead of time and letting others know about their end-of-life care decisions.

“Advance directives give your family members the gift of peace of mind,” said Marcia Vanard, director of the Counseling and Education Center at HPCG. “There comes a point during the natural course of an illness where life-extending measures just do not make sense anymore. An advance directive is a way to say ‘if I cannot breathe, walk or eat on my own, if I cannot be conscious, please let me die naturally and peacefully.’”

For more information about National Healthcare Decisions Day, please visit www.nhdd.org. For more information about advance directives, contact the Counseling and Education Center at 336.621.5565. Counselors can offer assistance via a scheduled consultation or telephone call.

HPCG, a nonprofit organization serving Guilford County and surrounding areas since 1980, is situated on a 14.75 acre campus at 2500 Summit Avenue. HPCG provides physical, emotional and spiritual support for children and adults faced with a life-limiting illness, as well as their caregivers and families. For more information, contact HPCG at 336.621.2500 or www.hospicegso.org.

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