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Fort HealthCare encourages advanced directives

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fort HealthCare, along with other national, state and community organizations, are 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). As a participating organization, Fort HealthCare is providing information and tools for the public to talk about their wishes with family, friends and healthcare providers, and execute written advance directives (healthcare power of attorney) in accordance with Wisconsin state laws.

Specifically, on Monday, April 16, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. the Fort HealthCare Quality and Integrated Care department is welcoming the public in the mezzanine level at Fort Memorial Hospital, with free information about advance care planning and advance directive forms. Medical social worker Lori Partoll will be present to assist persons interested in completing advance directive forms. The mezzanine is located above the hospital’s main lobby on Armenia Street.

National Healthcare Decisions Day provides an excellent opportunity for everyone to decide what care they would or would not want in their final days. It starts with expressing preferences, clarifying values, identifying care preferences, and selecting an agent to express healthcare decisions if patients are unable to speak for themselves.

“As a result of National Healthcare Decisions Day, many more people in our community can be expected to have thoughtful conversations about their healthcare decisions and complete reliable advance directives to make their wishes known,” said Marie Wiesmann, manager of the Quality and Integrated Care department. “Fewer families and healthcare providers will have to struggle with making difficult healthcare decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient, and healthcare providers and facilities 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.”