Contact: Debra Thompson
Director, RMH Corporate Communications
During National Advanced Care Planning Week, April 16-20, RMH encourages all adults to create an advanced care plan.
An advanced care plan, also known as an advanced directive, is a statement expressing a person’s health care choices if he or she is unable to state his or her own treatment wishes.
RMH representatives will be available from 11 a.m. until 2p.m. on Monday, April 16, in the hospital’s main concourse to provide forms and answer questions about how to create an advance care plan. These resources can be used to talk with family, close friends and health care providers and to create written advance care plans.
“Making health care decisions for ourselves is difficult even in the best circumstances,” said Natalie Rinaca, patient relations coordinator, Compliance and Risk. “Making another person’s decision is even more complicated. We can provide a guide for our loved ones and health care providers to follow. Advance care plans give you the power to document what you do and do not want, and to name someone to speak for you if you are unable.”
With the Patient Self-Determination Act of 1990, Congress affirmed the right of every citizen to decide his or her future health care wishes in writing. Estimates suggest just a quarter of Americans have done so, Rinaca said.
“Advance care plans are easy to create, no lawyer is needed and it’s free,” she said. “We want to provide much-needed information to the public, reduce the number of tragedies occurring when a person’s wishes are unknown, and improve the ability of health care facilities and providers to offer informed and thoughtful guidance about advance health care planning to their patients.”
For a free booklet, and the state-approved advance directives form, call RMH Healthsource at 540-564-7200.