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More Than 350 Events Today in Recognition of First National Healthcare Decisions Day
Date:4/16/2008

ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A grassroots effort to promote advance care planning and healthcare decision making has exceeded all expectations with more than 450 participating organizations in all 50 states. The first National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), which was conceived less than a year ago and implemented with no budget or full-time staff, has generated tremendous PR and attention.

"I am blown away by the response to our grassroots effort," said Nathan A. Kottkamp, chair of the National Healthcare Decision Day initiative. "National, state and community organizations have embraced this call to action to help Americans understand the importance of making and documenting healthcare decisions."

Joining the 75 national organizations participating in National Healthcare Decisions Day are more than 370 state and community organizations, including healthcare providers, aging service organizations, attorneys, financial planners and other service organizations.

"We are blown away by the number of organizations participating and the amount of attention they have generated leading up to April 16th," remarked Kathy Brandt, vice president of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and a member of the NHDD executive committee. "The response demonstrates that even three years after Terri Schiavo's death, Americans are still struggling with advance care planning."

National Healthcare Decisions Day is an initiative to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding healthcare through conversations and the completion of advance directives. NHDD is also working with providers and facilities to ensure that individual wishes are respected, whatever they may be.

The NHDD coalition includes more than 75 national organizations as well as 375 state and community organizations in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and at international U.S. Military bases. Many of these community organizations are hosting events and outreach activities on April 16.

Organizations and individuals interested in learning more about the first National Healthcare Decisions Day can do so on the Web site, http://www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org, which contains free outreach tools, a listing of national, state and community participants and information about advance care planning. Information is also available via email nhdd@nhpco.org, or by calling 800/658-8898.

Media Contacts: Jon Radulovic or Kathy Brandt, National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, Ph: 703/837-1500 or 800/658-8898, nhdd@nhpco.org

Editor's Note: Nathan A. Kottkamp, project chair is available for interviews at 804/775-1092. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization is providing administrative and communications support for the NHDD initiative.


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SOURCE National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
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