Three of south-central Wisconsin’s leading local healthcare providers, Fort HealthCare, Rainbow Hospice Care, and Watertown Regional Medical Center, along with other national, state, and regional organizations are working in a mass effort to highlight the importance of advance healthcare decision making—a project that has culminated in the formal designation of April 16, as National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). Together, they are providing helpful information and tools for people to use when talking about their personal healthcare wishes with family, friends and healthcare providers, and to execute written advance directives (healthcare power of attorney and living will) in accordance with Wisconsin state laws.

“As a result of National Healthcare Decisions Day, many more people can be expected to have thoughtful conversations about their healthcare decisions and complete reliable advance directives to make their wishes known,” said Karen Lacke Carrig, president and CEO of Rainbow Hospice Care. “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 be much better equipped to address advance healthcare planning issues before a crisis and to honor patient wishes when the time comes to do so.

“To help people in our community learn more and to actually take steps to move ahead with the planning process, we’re inviting the public to join us for a free local screening of the acclaimed documentary “Consider the Conversation 2: Stories about Cure, Relief, and Comfort, adds Carrig. This award-winning film is the second chapter in a series of documentaries about how we want to live at life’s end. It sheds light on the importance of the patient/doctor relationship and communication when living with severe chronic disease, and explores some of the unintended consequences of American’s medicine’s success.

The free event, scheduled for Thursday, April 23, will be held at the AMC Star Cinema in Johnson Creek, starting at 5:30 p.m. Appetizers and an opportunity to talk with representatives from local healthcare organizations will precede the screening at 6:15 p.m. The 1-1/2 hour long film will be introduced by co-producers, Terry Kaldhusdal and Mike Bernhagen. A panel discussion featuring local healthcare experts will follow at 7:45 p.m., allowing for more in-depth questions from the audience. Attendees will also have the opportunity to arrange a later meeting with trained advance-care planning facilitators should they wish to have a more in-depth conversations and complete an advance-care plan.

To register for the free event please visit www.considertheconversation2.eventbrite.com, or call Rainbow Hospice Care at (920) 674-6255. For more information about advance-care planning and National Healthcare Decision Day, please visit www.rainbowhospicecare and/or www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org.