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Do you Have an Advanced Directive? Why Not? 


(MADISON, Wis.) – If you were suddenly in a position unable to speak for yourself, would your family or loved ones know your healthcare wishes? Would they be comfortable making decisions about your healthcare on your behalf? National Healthcare Decisions Day is a reminder that all adults, regardless of age and current health, should take time to communicate their healthcare decisions.

In conjunction with National Healthcare Decisions Day (April 16), Dane County healthcare providers are joining forces to help residents understand the importance of advance directives and provide tools to complete these forms. Studies have shown that having an advance directive that specified the patient's treatment preferences significantly reduced family stress.

DaneDecisionDay.org is a local resource for information about advance directives and links to downloadable Wisconsin advance directive forms. The site also provides a listing of free, upcoming community events related to advanced care planning that will help walk people through the process of filling out advance directives.

Have you been interested in filling out an advance directive but don’t know where to start?  St. Mary’s Hospital will be hosting a free event on Monday, April 18th at 12:30pm in Bay 6 to talk about the importance of an advance directive, to hand out the form and then have staff available to help you fill it out. It’s a one-stop shop to ensure that your healthcare wishes will be carried out.

Look for signs and greeters to help guide your way to the room where this is taking place.  If you’re unable to attend this event, please note that St. Mary’s offers this free session every Monday at 12:30pm in the bistro. No appointment is necessary.

DaneDecisionDay.org is brought to you by HospiceCare Inc., Meriter, St. Mary’s Hospital, Stoughton Hospital, UW Hospital and Clinics and the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital.

SSM Health Care of Wisconsin (SSMHC/WI) owns and operates two hospitals and two nursing homes in Wisconsin along with St. Mary’s Janesville Hospital currently under construction.  In addition to St. Mary’s Hospital (Madison) and St. Clare Hospital (Baraboo) and their nursing homes, SSMHC/WI affiliated hospitals include Stoughton Hospital, Columbus Community Hospital, Edgerton Hospital & Health Services, Upland Hills Health (Dodgeville), and Boscobel Area Health Care. SSMHC/WI is part of St. Louis-based SSM Health Care, the nation’s first health care organization awarded the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.


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