In recognition of the 10th anniversary of National Healthcare Decisions Day, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services is proud to support Massachusetts Healthcare Decisions Month (HDM). Led by the Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness Care*, HDM is a month-long public awareness campaign promoting the importance of advance care planning (ACP) throughout the Commonwealth during the month of April.
EOHHS agencies, including the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, Department of Public Health, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, and Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, are participating in “model employer” pilot projects this month. Agencies are promoting staff-based education through disseminating ACP resources, hosting brown bag luncheons, and encouraging staff to complete an ACP survey.
The larger initiative is a storytelling-driven social media campaign, based on the theme: “Write Your Script – and set the stage for health care that honors your wishes”. In addition to the social media campaign, several Boston-area organizations will also be hosting Before I Die, a global public art project that invites people to reflect on what’s most important to them in life, contemplate death, and share their personal aspirations in public.
*The Coalition works to ensure that health care for everyone in the Commonwealth is delivered in accordance with their goals, values and preferences at all stages of life and in all aspects of their care. Established in 2016, the group now has more than seventy members, including its three founding organizations: Ariadne Labs, The Conversation Project, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. The coalition is co-chaired by surgeon and author, Atul Gawande, and by Maureen Bisognano, President Emerita and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). This program is vital, since only a little more than half of Massachusetts residents have had a conversation with loved ones about their wishes for serious illness care.
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