Published on April 15, 2019

National Healthcare Decisions Day

National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) exists to inspire, educate, and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. This initiative encourages patients to express their wishes regarding healthcare and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be.

"Time and time again, families, providers, and hospital administrators struggle to interpret the wishes of patients who never made their healthcare wishes known (or failed to complete an advance directive to record their stated wishes). These families and professionals do their best to advocate for what they believe their loved ones or the patient would want or is in their best interests, but they are inherently doing so without any guidance, and it is agonizing," says NHDD Founder and Chair Nathan Kottkamp. "I founded National Healthcare Decisions Day (April 16) because I know that we—both potential patients and healthcare providers—can do a much better job of making our wishes known and then honoring those wishes to avoid these very sad situations."

Reading Hospital can help. Call 484-628-HELP (4357) to get a FREE copy of Five Wishes®, a simple legal document that lets you plan how you want to be cared for if you become seriously ill. Learn more about the important of advance care planning at