Advance Care Planning NHDDA recent Kaiser Family Foundation report showed that 98 percent of Americans believe it’s important to have their wishes for medical care in writing, but only 34 percent have any such document.

In observance of National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) on April 16, Hosparus Health is partnering with six other local organizations to raise awareness about the importance of medical directives, living wills and healthcare powers of attorney through “Take the Pledge,” a community campaign and series of educational events in April.

The partners are: Baptist Health, Jewish Hospital|KentuckyOne Health, the University of Louisville Trager Institute, the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Polur Elder Law.

“Take the Pledge” is an initiative designed to encourage everyone in the community to make their health care wishes known. By completing the pledge form at HosparusHealth.org/AdvanceCarePlanning, individuals are committing to start their advance care planning, and talk to their families and doctors about their wishes. This initiative will be actively promoted to the constituents of all the participating partners throughout the year.

In April, the partners are hosting an interactive, continuing education workshop for physicians, nurses, social workers and chaplains that is invitation-only. Public events include community discussions and storytelling:

No Regrets – Stories about the End
WHEN: Thursday, April 18, 7-8 p.m.
WHERE: The Bard’s Town, 1801 Bardstown Road
MORE: Local storytellers will share inspiring, personal stories on the impact of health care decisions and advance directives. They will talk about discovering what’s important, living life to the fullest (or failing to do so), and standing up for someone or something at the end-of-life. Storytellers include Susan Berla, Dina Carroll, Andrew Gerber, Justin Magnuson, Mandee McKelvie, Denise Taylor and Vanessa K. Williams-Harvey, author of “I REMEMBER,” the story of her family’s journey as their mother struggled through the effects Alzheimer’s disease.
COST: Free.

Grace and Glorie (a play by Tom Ziegler) and Community Discussion
WHEN: Sunday, April 14, 2 p.m. and Saturday, April 27, 7:30 p.m. Show is followed by a community discussion featuring a panel of experts on advance care planning.
WHERE: Bunbury Theatre Company at The Henry Clay, 604 S. 3rd St.
COST: $10-$22
ABOUT THE PLAY: Grace, a feisty 90-year-old cancer patient, has checked herself out of the hospital and returned to her beloved homestead cottage to die alone. Her volunteer hospice worker, Glorie, is tense, unhappy and guilt-ridden. As she attempts to care for and comfort the cantankerous Grace, the sophisticated Glorie gains new perspectives on values and life’s highs and lows.
DISCUSSION: The panel will discuss the play’s themes of life, death and relationships, as well as difficult conversations surrounding advance care planning. The audience is invited to ask questions.
NOTE: The play runs April 12-28. Visit BunburyTheatre.org for other show dates and times.

For more about NHDD and advance care planning, visit HosparusHealth.org/AdvanceCarePlanningNHDD.org or TheConversationProject.org.

ABOUT NATIONAL HEALTHCARE DECISIONS DAY
National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. NHDD is an initiative to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding healthcare and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be.” The website NHDD.org provides clear, concise and consistent information on healthcare decision-making. It provides simple, free and uniform tools to guide the process for advance care planning.