National Healthcare Decisions Day – Have you made yours yet?

The topic of healthcare decisions and writing a will is oftentimes an avoided topic as many are intimidated by the thought of potential future health declines.  However, National Healthcare Decisions Day aims to change the public’s perspective on this conversation, encouraging people to have an action plan and prepare providers to honor these plans. 

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, facilities and families to respect those wishes, whatever they may be. 

NHDD was founded by Virginia-based healthcare lawyer, Nathan Kottkamp in 2008 with the intention of providing clear, concise, and consistent information on healthcare decision-making to the public and healthcare providers/facilities.  Kottkamp achieved this by making simple, free, and uniform tools, rather than just forms, available to aid in the process.  

Today, NHDD stands as a series of independent events held across the U.S. as well as a national media and public education campaign.  NHDD gathers a variety of organizations together including healthcare, legal, and religious to work towards the common goal of benefiting patients, their families, and providers.  The key goal of NHDD is to bring the conversation of healthcare decision making to the table for every family and make the topic of advance care planning inescapable.  Among other things, NHDD helps people understand that advance healthcare decision-making includes much more than living wills; it is a process that should focus first on conversation and choosing an agent.  

NHDD’s vision is that every healthcare facility will participate in venues for public engagement as will non-healthcare facilities/businesses such as libraries, grocery stores, and drugstores.  NHDD also hopes for religious and community groups to highlight the importance of advance care planning within their congregations.   

To learn more about National Healthcare Decisions Day, visit: