October 18, 2007 12:56 ET

National Healthcare Decisions Day Set for April 16, 2008

Numerous National Organizations Already Committed to Participate

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - October 18, 2007) - April 16, 2008 will be the inaugural National Healthcare Decisions Day. On this day, throughout the country, healthcare providers, professionals, chaplains, attorneys, and others will participate in a massive effort to highlight the importance of advance healthcare decision-making. To facilitate this process, initiative organizers will provide clear, concise, and consistent information and tools for the public to execute written advance directives (healthcare power of attorney and/or living will) in accordance with their applicable state laws. These resources will be available at:

Although several states have engaged in advance directives awareness events and numerous organizations have devoted substantial time and money to improving education about advance healthcare planning, only a small minority of Americans have executed an advance directive. National Healthcare Decisions Day seeks to address this issue by focusing attention on advance healthcare planning from a variety of directions simultaneously.

"As a result of National Healthcare Decisions Day, many more Americans can be expected to have thoughtful conversations about their healthcare decisions and complete reliable advance directives to make their wishes known," said Nathan A. Kottkamp, chair of the National Healthcare Decision Day initiative. "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."

The following national organizations have already committed to participating in this event by encouraging their members and chapters to engage in various education initiatives on National Healthcare Decisions Day:

     Administration on Aging
     Aging with Dignity
     American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
     American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging
     American Health Care Association
     American Health Decisions
     American Health Lawyers Association
     American Hospital Association
     American Medical Directors Association
     American Nurses Association
     Association of Professional Chaplains
     American Society of Directors of Volunteer Services
     Catholic Health Association of the United States
     Center for Medicare Advocacy
     Center for Practical Bioethics
     Center for Social Gerontology
     Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life
     Federation of American Hospitals
     Financial Planning Association
     McGuireWoods, LLP
     National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
     National Association of Catholic Chaplains
     National Association of Social Workers
     National Association on Directors of Nursing Administration
      in Long Term Care
     National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
     National POLST Paradigm Initiative Task Force
     The Hastings Center

Coordinators are being recruited to develop networks in each state to encourage and support local activities and outreach. Organizations and coalitions interesting in participating are encouraged to register at the NHDD Web site.

For more information on this initiative, please visit, email, or call 800/658-8898.

Editor's Note: Nathan A. Kottkamp, project chair is available for interviews. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization is providing administrative and communications support for the NHDD initiative.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Jon Radulovic
    National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
    Ph: 703-837-3139
    Email Contact