Friday, November 30, 2007

From NASW National

November 27, 2007

Dear NASW State Chapters,

The NASW National Office is joining other national organizations in promoting the first National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) on April 16, 2008. The NHDD Initiative is a collaboration of national, state and community organizations to encourage advance care planning for all adults with decision making capacity.

The objectives of National Healthcare Decisions Day are the following:

• To raise awareness through state and community coalitions about the importance of advance healthcare decision making;

• To have adults with decision making capacity to communicate and document their healthcare decisions, and identify a health care agent or proxy to make decisions for them if they cannot make decisions for themselves; and

• To educate related organizations and individuals about access to each state's advance directive documents available for free from Caring Connections at

As a result of NHDD, many more Americans can be expected to have thoughtful conversations about their healthcare decisions and complete advance directives to make their wishes known. NHDD focuses on this issue by drawing attention to advance healthcare planning from a variety of directions simultaneously.

NASW is asking chapters to consider:

1- Reviewing the information on the NHDD website at and to promote the initiative with members and related end-of-life or advance care planning groups that may want to sign on to the state and community campaigns that NHDD is trying to build.

2- Using different events and activities to promote the day, either in accordance with existing education efforts, or with collaborative efforts. The NHDD website provides ideas and outreach materials to organize your community or state efforts at .

3- Signing up at www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.orq/maintopics/sign up if your chapter or community group decides to get involved.

4- Using the NHDD email template to educate interested individuals and groups about advance care planning and the NHDD Initiative which can be viewed at: http://www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.orq/UserFiles/File/NHDD/Template email for affiliates(1).doc

For additional information or questions about this initiative, please contact: or Karyn Walsh, NASW Senior Policy Associate, at or by phone at 202-408-8600, ext. 448. Thank you for trying to make this an important day and initiative.

Best wishes,

Karyn Walsh, ACSW, LCSW
Senior Policy Associate

National Association of Social Workers
750 First Street NE, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20002-4241
Phone: 202-408-8600 x. 448
Fax: 202-336-8337

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