2019 nhdd

C-TAC is proud to celebrate National Healthcare Decisions Day!

Join us and learn how advance care planning empowers everyone involved in the care delivery process.

National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is a 50-state annual initiative to provide clear, concise, and consistent information on healthcare decision-making to both public and providers through widespread availability and dissemination of simple, free, and uniform tools to guide the process. NHDD involves 50 independent -- but coordinated -- state and local events (every state is different) supported by a national media and public education campaign. Throughout our history, C-TAC has emphasized that advanced care planning is a critical component of high-quality, person-centered care at every step of the care process.

A key goal of NHDD is to demystify healthcare decision-making and make the topic of advance care planning inescapable. On NHDD, no one in the U.S. should be able to open a paper, watch TV, view the internet, see a physician or lawyer, or go to a healthcare facility without being confronted with the topic of advance care planning. Among other things, NHDD helps people understand that advance healthcare decision-making includes much more than living wills; it is a process that should focus first on conversation and choosing an agent.

With the full power of The Conversation Project and its partners behind it, NHDD aims to expand its reach and boost the number of providers, hospitals, organizations, communities, and institutions that are currently involved, thereby empowering everyone involved in the care delivery process to pursue healthcare in line with individual goals and values.

Here's what leaders in the field are saying...


“To close the gap between how our loved ones tell us they want to die and what ultimately happens, we need to have the conversation to help them think about what they want at the end of their life well before it is upon them. We will start to narrow that gap by pivoting the conversation away from 'What’s the matter with dad?' to ask instead, 'What matters to dad?' National Healthcare Decision Day is a good reminder to make time to have this difficult, but extremely important conversation.”

Dr. Babineau, President & CEO, Lifespan

Nancy Brown, CEO, American Heart 



"When you love someone, it’s hard to imagine life without them – let alone plan a life without them. Yet one of the most loving things you can do now is know their wishes about end of life treatment.  In honor of National Healthcare Decisions Day, start the conversation now about advance care planning."



"America’s hospitals and health systems have long been strong supporters of advance care planning. National Healthcare Decisions Day is the perfect opportunity to highlight the importance of advance care planning and to encourage more families to have a care plan in place that best meets their values."

Rick Pollack, President & CEO, American Hospital Association

Lucy Kalanithi, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Stanford School of Medicine



"When my husband Paul was sick, I realized that completing an advance directive is an act of love, like a wedding vow. A pact to take care of someone, codifying the promise that 'til death do us part, I will be there. If needed, I will speak for you. I will honor your wishes. That paperwork became a tangible part of our love story. Make NHDD part of your love story, too."



"National Healthcare Decisions Day helps remind us all of the importance of thinking through our wishes for the inevitable. It also heralds a new way forward for our healthcare system, where patients dare to lead and the system learns to listen."

BJ Miller, Palliative Care Physician, UCSF

Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO, AARP



“Caregivers face unprecedented demands. They often don’t know what to do, or where to turn for help. That’s why AARP has made supporting family caregivers a top priority.  It’s also important for those needing care to express what kind of care they want. This can give caregivers peace of mind, so they can support their loved ones in living according to their own values.”



"I treated hundreds of patients within months of death as a heart and lung transplant surgeon, and when they came into my care many still had not discussed the elephant in the room.  National Healthcare Decisions Day is an opportunity to begin the discussion so that your loved ones and care team can execute your wishes rather than make impossible choices in a crisis."

Bill Frist, Former Senate Majority Leader

Mark Ganz, President & CEO, Cambia Health Solutions

"I have come to think of advance care planning as a gift that family members can give each other.  As a son, I learned it’s easier to care for those you love when you know what matters to them. During the course of an advanced illness and at the end of life, an individual and family’s focus needs to be on the quality of LIFE itself, not just medical intervention—and health care institutions and professionals need to recognize and prioritize that. National Healthcare Decisions Day gives us an opportunity to share what’s important – our values, wishes and desires for care."



"I have dealt with end-of-life and serious illness decisions as a practicing physician, policymaker, and son.  Advanced care planning is important before illness starts.  For my own father and for many of my patients, advanced care planning was essential to patient and family-centered care. It allowed providers to meet the wishes and goals of patients and their families.  I try to support advanced care and serious illness planning, hospice, and palliative care however possible, at CMS and now at Blue Cross NC."

Patrick Conway, CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield NC

Tim Bauerschmidt, Author, Driving Miss Norma


"We were the family that ‘chickened out’ every time we had a chance to have a conversation with my parents about their end-of-life wishes. My dad's death forced us to finally have one with Mom. National Healthcare Decisions Day gives families an opportunity to have these talks before there is a crisis. Once the decisions were made, a blanket of relief draped over us. There would be no more agonizing over what my mom really wanted."



"Life is so precious and it is a privilege to walk with those God grants us the honor to encounter, even when our bodies transition to eternal rest. Take concern for your welfare at the end of life, because we are not mortal. All of us will cross this river and what a way to live when in dying, we can ease the burden of end of life decisions that will be made by the ones closest to us. Celebrate National Health Care Decisions Day by having conversations with the ones you hold dear TODAY!"

Angela Overton, Associate Minister, Green Castle Baptist Church

Richard Address, Host, Jewish Sacred Aging



"Jewish Sacred Aging celebrates NHDD in our community by partnering with our local Jewish hospice program to host a seminar on advanced care and caregiving. We encourage people and their families to use our advanced care planning guide to have these conversation available at www.jewishsacredaging.com"