For 10 years, estate planning and elder law attorneys have been served the perfect local PR and community service opportunity: National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD).
You’ve missed it until now? No worries. In 2017, you will have more opportunities to participate in this made-to-order event. To honor its 10th anniversary, NHDD is expanding to a full week: April 16 – April 22, 2017.
If news of this grassroots effort hasn’t yet reached you (and it is unevenly observed around the country), NHDD encourages Americans to express their healthcare wishes, including through the completion of advance directives. Pegged for April 16 each year — the day after “Tax Day” — NHDD invokes Ben Franklin’s adage: “Nothing in life is certain but death and taxes.”
How can your firm participate in this opportunity to provide community service and reap PR benefits?
- See my previous post here on this topic for many ideas.
- Email me for the names of the NHDD liaisons in your area
- Use the NHDD-created Resources so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
- Also, here are some of my top ideas — entailing different kinds and levels of effort and outreach — that you may want to consider:
Team up with a hospital — many hospitals have already been hosting community education events for NHDD. Offer your services as a speaker/educator on advance directives, to sit on a panel, to speak to their staff, to guest lecture to medical or nursing students, etc.
Offer an advance directives package in honor of NHDD at a reduced fee (or free) to family and friends of existing clients — and/or to your community at large.
Use Traditional Media: write an article/op-ed for your local paper, or be interviewed on a local radio or TV station in honor of NHDD. Use client stories.
Share NHDD’s PSA Video: link to this 3 ½ minute video on your website, in your community service messages, or in your emails. You can also download it here. (It’s on the McGuire Woods, LLP website. NHDD says: “Please feel free to use it as you see fit, but please do not edit the content unless you contact us first.”)
If you find there’s not yet any NHDD activity in your area, this presents a golden opportunity to network. Contact hospitals, your AARP chapter, chaplains, your estate planning council, the media, etc. to get something going. This is a grassroots effort that is recognized and supported by the ABA, NAELA, American Health Lawyers Assoc., AARP, AHA and over 100 other respected national organizations.
As a champion of NHDD myself in Pennsylvania (a/k/a a State Liaison), I am happy to answer any additional questions you may have about what can be a fulfilling and beneficial undertaking for your firm. Happy planning!
Randi J. Siegel, MBA, is the President of DocuBank® (docubank.com), which ensures that the emergency information and healthcare directives of its 250,000+ enrollees are available 24/7/365 through the largest advance directives registry in the U.S., as well as access to an online safe for storage of digital assets and other vital documents. Working with estate planning professionals since 1997, Randi frequently speaks at national estate planning conferences and has appeared on radio and television as an authority on registries. A member of the Philadelphia Estate Planning Council, the International Society of Advance Care Planning and the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care, Randi is active in health education and public engagement related to advance care planning/advance directives. She serves as Pennsylvania liaison to the National Healthcare Decisions Day initiative and as a board member of the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly. Randi is an ongoing contributor to the Academy blog.
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