April 16, 2019
THEDACARE ENCOURAGES PARTICIPATION IN NATIONAL HEALTHCARE DECISIONS DAY
It Starts With a Conversation
APPLETON, Wis. – ThedaCare, along with other national, state and community organizations, is taking part in an effort to highlight the importance of advance healthcare decision-making. April 16 is recognized as National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). The day stems from Benjamin Franklin’s quip that “nothing in life is certain but death and taxes”, which is why NHDD is recognized the day after Tax Day.
Various studies suggest that only about a quarter of all adults have engaged in advance care planning. As a participating organization, ThedaCare is providing information and tools for the public to talk about their wishes with family, friends and healthcare providers and execute written advance directives (healthcare power of attorney and living will) in accordance with Wisconsin laws.
“It starts with a conversation,” said Dr. Scott Betzelos, Chief Clinical Officer and President of ThedaCare’s Clinically Integrated Network. “Talk about your values and experiences, what’s important to you and from there, families can have thoughtful conversations about healthcare decisions and complete advance directives to make their wishes known.”
Additionally, ThedaCare is a member of The Fox Valley Advance Care Planning Partnership, which is a collaboration of ThedaCare, Ascension, Mosaic Family Health and the greater Fox Valley community. The partners work together to make advance care conversations and planning an integral part of living. The Partnership, formed in 2016 from a community health conversation hosted by ThedaCare on end of life, ensures collaborative, community-focused work that benefits all. ThedaCare, Ascension and Mosaic also created a “common document” for the Power of Attorney for Health Care document.
“Your loved ones can’t act on your wishes unless they know what they are,” said Dr. Betzelos. “By completing advanced directives, fewer families and healthcare providers will have to struggle with making healthcare decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient. Healthcare providers and facilities will also be better equipped to honor patient wishes when the time comes to do so.”
ThedaCare offers monthly classes for the public to learn about Advance Care Planning and complete documents. This service is free of charge and open members of the public over the age of 18. The classes take place on the third Thursday of every month from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. at Encircle Health, in the first floor conference room. Participants are asked to register at https://www.thedacare.org/Getting-Involved/Classes-and-Events.aspx or call 800.236.2236. Individual appointments are also offered at various times on Wednesday mornings. If you would like more information about an individual session, please call 920.358.1219.
Additional resources are available at https://www.thedacare.org/Policies-and-Legal-Forms.aspx and www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org.
For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization serves a community of more than 600,000 residents and employs more than 6,700 healthcare professionals throughout the regions. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 31 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service.
Media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public Relations Specialist at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.