Fredericksburg, VA Mary Washington Healthcare, along with other community, state, and national organizations, is leading an effort to raise awareness of the importance of advance healthcare decision‐making. National Healthcare Decisions Day encourages all adults in the U.S. to consider their healthcare wishes and to put them in writing in case they ever become unable to communicate.

In observance of National Healthcare Decisions Day, MWHC will host events on April 16, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Mary Washington and Stafford Hospitals. Attendees will receive tools to discuss their wishes with family, friends, and healthcare providers, and instructions on how to complete written advance directives—also known as healthcare powers of attorney and living wills—that are legally valid under Virginia law. Representatives from The Conversation Project will be on hand to explain advance directives, help individuals complete the form, and answer questions. Long and short versions, as well forms in Spanish, will be available. In addition, a presentation by Mike Newby from Hancock, Daniel, Johnson & Nagle, PC will be held at Mary Washington Hospital from noon to 1:00 p.m. Mr. Newby will answer questions, provide free information, and give assistance with advance healthcare planning.

“As a result of National Healthcare Decisions Day, many more people in our community can be expected to have thoughtful conversations about their healthcare decisions and complete reliable advance directives to make their wishes known,” said Dr. Rebecca Bigoney, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at MWHC. “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.”

Visit www.nhdd.org to learn more about advance directives and to find the short version of the form.