Make your wishes known: National Healthcare Decisions Day is April 16

Members of the Chautauqua Cares Coalition (CCC) are leading the way locally to highlight the importance of advance healthcare decision-making for National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) on April 16. CCC is facilitated by the Chautauqua County Health Network. Other participating organizations include Brooks Memorial Hospital, Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services, Chautauqua County Office for the Aging, Heritage Ministries, Hospice Chautauqua County, Lutheran, and WCA Hospital. Members hope to provide information and tools to help the public better understand Advanced Care Planning and increase awareness of how people can talk about their wishes with family, friends, and healthcare providers.

To observe National Healthcare Decision Day on April 16, members of CCC will be working at two locations in the county to provide information to the public. Representatives will be available at the Heritage Ministries location at the Chautauqua Mall from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and at the Fredonia Wal-Mart on Bennett Rd. from 8 a.m. to noon. Brooks Memorial Hospital will also have information and healthcare proxies available for the public to complete and turn in onsite.

“As a result of National Healthcare Decisions Day, we hope people in our community are encouraged to have thoughtful conversations about their healthcare decisions and complete reliable advance directives to make their wishes known,” said Ann Morse Abdella, Executive Director of Chautauqua County Health Network. “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 more prepared to address advance healthcare planning issues before a crisis and better able to honor patient wishes when the time comes to do so.”

For questions regarding National Healthcare Decision Day or Advanced Care Planning, contact the Chautauqua County Health Network at 338-0010 or visit the website at www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org.