Use Nat’l Healthcare Decisions Day to Benefit Your Firm and Your Community
Now’s the time to plan in earnest for April 16 – National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD).
Community service can be a great way to offer yourself as a knowledgeable, trusted advisor and expand your presence within your community. In this post, I’m offering specific ideas for how you can do this with NHDD.
A grassroots initiative to encourage Americans to express their healthcare wishes, NHDD began in 2008. April 16th, “the day after Tax Day,” was selected in accordance with Ben Franklin’s famous adage: “Nothing in life is certain but death and taxes.” This year, the ABA, NAELA, and 80+ national organizations, are working with state and community organizations to increase participation in advance care planning. In many states, the most involved organizations are hospitals and hospices, so the expertise of an estate planning attorney should be warmly welcomed.
Here are some ideas for how your firm can participate in NHDD:
(Roughly in order of amount of effort. Events are being held on and around April 16, which is a Saturday.)
Get some traditional press or e-press from NHDD. Submit an article or op-ed piece to your local paper, or include an article in your client newsletter. You can request NHDD materials that have been specifically created for estate planning attorneys, including an article for your firm’s e-newsletter, a letter to the editor, and a press release.
Blog or Tweet about NHDD. You may find useful content on the NHDD blog or its Facts page. You can also sign up to receive updates from the NHDD social media sites: NHDD Twitter, NHDD Facebook, NHDD Facebook Causes, NHDD LinkedIn Group.
Contact your state’s NHDD Liaison. Volunteer to speak at or participate in an event. Learn what events are already being planned in your state. To find your state liaison, email me or click here and then click on the “State Liaisons” tab at the bottom of the spreadsheet.
Speak to a local community group. Take the initiative to contact your local hospital(s), AARP chapter, senior center, library, assisted living facility, church or other religious organizations. Offer your services as a speaker and educator on or around April 16.
You can use NHDD’s PowerPoint template as a starting point.
Host your own educational session for the public on advance directives. You can use this event flyer template to announce the event.
Host an educational session on advance directives for prospective clients or family members of existing clients. This can be a great way to create relationships with your clients’ adult children. A related option is to host an educational session on the role of the Health Care Power of Attorney. Either one also gives you an opportunity to forge relationships with local physicians and hospitals; invite them to attend or speak.
Tie into Upcoming PBS Documentary Film Release. Find out whether your local PBS station will be airing Consider the Conversation, a documentary on healthcare wishes and end of life discussions, scheduled for March release. Offer yourself to the station as a legal resource for radio and TV interviews. You can also link any of the aforementioned speaking options with a showing of the film (DVD is available for purchase.)
Post your Event(s) on the NHDD Webpage. This event calendar enables the public to search for and learn about NHDD events across your state.
Become an NHDD State Liaison and take your involvement to the next level. Volunteer here.
No Need to Recreate the Wheel!
The NHDD website has a wealth of materials, including the PowerPoint presentation, letters for community and religious organizations, and much more. You can also get ideas by following NHDD on many social media outlets: NHDD Twitter, NHDD Facebook, NHDD Facebook Causes, NHDD LinkedIn Group.
I invite you take advantage of at least one of these opportunities to help build awareness about the importance of advance directives and help build your practice in the process. I hope at least one will resonate for you or spark an idea of your own!
Please let me know if you register with NHDD and about anything else you’re considering doing to participate. I’d like to share the ideas in this forum next year! For additional information about NHDD, feel free to contact me at (610) 667-3524 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Randi J. Siegel, MBA, is a Pennsylvania Liaison for the National Healthcare Decisions Day Initiative, a role she has filled since NHDD began in 2008. Randi is also president of DocuBank, the largest advance directive registry in the U.S., which ensures that the healthcare directives of its 185,000 registrants are immediately available 24/7/365. Working with estate planning and elder law professionals since 1997, Randi frequently speaks at national estate planning conferences and has appeared on radio and television as an authority on registries. She is active in health policy pertaining to advance directives and serves as a Senior Fellow at the Jefferson School of Population Health in Philadelphia. Randi is an ongoing contributor to the Academy blog.
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American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
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