Summit Celebrates National Healthcare Decisions Day; Encourages Patients, Employees to Complete Advance Directive

April 16 is officially designated as National Healthcare Decisions Day. Summit’s more than 200 physicians support the effort to educate and encourage patients to complete an advance directive. All physicians work to ensure the document is on file with the patient’s provider.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control, 70 percent of Americans say they would prefer to die at home, yet only 25 percent actually do,” Suzanne Kieltyka, RD, CDE, Summit Health Education Manager, said. “An advance directive is a way to make your wishes known.”

Summit not only encourages patients to make sure an advance directive is on file with the physician’s office, but they also educate patients on why it’s important to also have the document filed with the hospital of choice and an appointed healthcare agent. “Healthcare agents should be someone over the age of 18, who knows you well, who can remain calm in a crisis,” Kieltyka said. “Also, the agent should be someone who is not afraid to ask questions and who can communicate with family.”

Healthcare agents can make healthcare decisions on the patients’ behalf, when the patient is no longer able to make decisions. “Our expectation is to live long, healthy lives but the reality is that a health crisis can strike unexpectedly, leaving you incapacitated and unable to make critical end of life decisions,” Kieltyka said. “An advance directive gives you peace of mind by assuring those final wishes are met.” In addition to educating patients, Summit is also informing employees of the importance of advance directives through an internal educational campaign. Summit has also teamed with Tennova to offer free workshops on advance directives. Titled, “Advance Directives, Putting Your House in Order” the classes are offered in Knox and Greene Counties.

The workshop schedule is below.

Advance Directives: Getting Your House in Order Advance directives are written, legal instructions regarding your preferences for medical care if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. Advance directives aren't just for older adults. Unexpected, end-of-life situations can happen at any age, so it's important for all adults to be prepared with proper documents. Workshop participants will receive a complimentary “House in Order” book (providing one location for medical history, estate and financial information, funeral plans and advance directives). Workshops are offered through a partnership between Summit Medical Group and Tennova Healthcare.

To register, call 1-855-TENNOVA.

Thursday April 23, 2015; 2:00 - 3:00 pm; Physicians Regional Medical Center; Shamrock Room Thursday May 21, 2015; 2:00 - 3:00 pm; Turkey Creek Medical Center; Classroom #1 Thursday, June 11, 2015; 2:00 - 3:00 pm; North Knoxville Medical Center; Fitness Center Classroom

Workshops are offered at Laughlin Hospital in Greenville (1420 Tusculum Boulevard) in the Private Dining Room. For more information, call 423-787-5019. Tuesday, April 28, 2015; 10:00 - 11:00 am Tuesday, May 26, 2015; 3:00 - 4:00 pm Tuesday, June 23, 2015; 10:00 - 11:00 am Tuesday, July 28, 2015; 3:00 - 4:00 pm Tuesday, August 25, 2015; 10:00 - 11:00 am Tuesday, September 29, 2015; 3:00 - 4:00 pm Tuesday, October 27, 2015; 10:00 - 11:00 am Tuesday, November 24, 2015; 3:00 - 4:00 pm Tuesday, December 22, 2015; 10:00 - 11:00 am