Whidbey Wire: Health Care Decisions Day is April 16


“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” When this phrase was first conceived, it was not intended to motivate people into making future decisions about their health care, but it aligns quite appropriately, nonetheless. JFK spoke these words during his State of the Union Address in 1962, referring to his plans around economic policy.

These sentiments resonate throughout our personal health journeys too. As pleasant as it may be to bask in the warmth, what better time to take meaningful steps to ensure our health care wishes are planned and understood.

We can’t always plan for everything, but we can talk about what is most important – in our lives and in our health care – with those who matter most. While the benefits may not feel evident now, Advance Care Planning is an important step that will ensure your health care decisions align with your values, beliefs and goals. Prepare for the challenging times before they arrive and discover the benefits that foresight affords.

Advance Care Planning (ACP) is not just for people facing serious illness; it is just as relevant for people of all ages and health statuses. ACP provides an opportunity to express your personal values, discuss potential care scenarios, and make informed decisions about your healthcare preferences. Putting a plan in place now will ensure you are in control over your decisions and can provide those you care about with peace of mind.

National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is April 16. NHDD exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of Advance Care Planning. On April 16, a multidisciplinary team (including a provider, registered nurse and medical social worker) from WhidbeyHealth Hospice and Palliative Care will be available at locations across the island to talk about Advance Care Planning, provide resources and assist with the completion of a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare (DPOA-HC).

What: National Healthcare Decisions Day

When: April 16, 2024

Where: WhidbeyHealth Medical Center, HEC Rooms A&B @ 12:00pm with Carla Jolley, ARNP, Palliative Care; Claire, RN; Nathalie, MSW

Freeland Library @ 3:30pm with Carla Jolley, ARNP, Palliative Care; Claire, RN; Nathalie, MSW

WhidbeyHealth Primary Care Oak Harbor @ 5:30pm with Jerald Sanders, MD, Hospice; Luka, RN; Nathalie, MSW

Conor O’Brien is the marketing manager and public records officer for WhidbeyHealth, the public hospital district. WhidbeyHealth Wire is an occasional column from the hospital.