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LewisGale Hospital Alleghany to Participate in National Healthcare Decision Day

April 15, 2013

Low Moor, VA, April 2013 – LewisGale Hospital Alleghany will participate in National Healthcare Decision Day on April 16 to help individuals make sure their healthcare wishes are known in the event they are unable to speak for themselves.

The hospital, in collaboration with Alleghany Highlands CSB, will be offering free advance directives forms, guidance on establishing a living will and information for naming an agent for healthcare decisions. Hospital representatives will be available in the main lobby of the hospital on Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. to answer questions and to provide assistance with filling out the forms. Refreshments will also be provided as well as door prizes.

Advance directives will be available for both Virginia and West Virginia residents. As an added service, any completed Advance Directive will be put into the hospital’s electronic medical record system.

All adults can benefit from thinking about what their healthcare choices would be in the event of a medical emergency or if they were to become seriously ill and their family needed to make end-of-life decisions for them. An Advance Directive ensures these decisions are written down in advance so that the patient’s wishes are carried out.

Advance directives come in two main forms:  A "healthcare power of attorney" (or "proxy" or "agent" or "surrogate") which documents the person you select to be your voice for your healthcare decisions if you cannot speak for yourself.  While a "living will" documents what kind of medical treatments you would or would not want at the end of life.

National Healthcare Decisions Day is an initiative to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding healthcare and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be.