Healthcare Decisions Month

April is Healthcare Decisions Month

Come celebrate the 10th Anniversary of National Health Care Decisions Day. Everyone, 18 and older, can download a free tool kit to start to make your own health care plan. The Honoring Choices Partners will be hosting activities and events all month to help consumers make a plan and get connected to person-centered care in their community.


This year we are so pleased to join forces with The Conversation Project and The Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness Care for one amazing collaborative initiative. You can view and download their wonderful tools here:  Write Your Script,  from the MA Coalition for Serious Illness Care; and The Conversation Project Starter Tool Kits to help adults talk about their wishes for end of life care.



Make A Plan: It's easy with the Getting Started Tool Kit 

As a competent adult you have the right to make your own health care decisions and create a personal health care plan. Your health care plan protects your right to get the care you want, helps your family know how to care for you, and helps your doctors match the best possible care to your values, care goals and choices. The Getting Started Tool Kit provides simple step-by-step instructions and free MA documents to make your own plan.


The Tool Kit includes:

How To Choose a Health Care Agent - a helpful guide about the role of an Agent;

Appoint Your Agent in a Massachusetts Health Care Proxy - a free legal document you can do yourself;

Tell Your Agent & Family About the Care You Want- a free Personal Directive (Living Will) document to write down your instructions for care;

Talk with Your Doctors & Care Providers- a handy discussion guide "5 Things To Talk about With Your Care Providers" helps you start a discussion and place a copy of your Health Care Proxy in your medical record.



Host Your Own Celebration: Download Poster & Tools

Start a discussion where you work, live, or gather!  You can host a "Who's Your Agent?" discussion to help your group get started on their health care plans. It's simple to do. Just download the free flyer or table poster and the Getting Started Tool Kit. You can start a discussion with your community or faith organization, set up an information table & distribute free tool kits, share with staff & colleagues, or gather with family & friends!  Tell us how you are celebrating and we'll post it on our Weekly Calendar of Events below.



Download Free Materials:

• Who's Your Agent? 8.5 x 11 Flyer- Click Here.

• Who's Your Agent? 12 x 18 Table Poster- Click Here.

•  Choose a Health Care Agent: What Does An Agent Do? Click Here.

• The Getting Started Tool Kit. Click Here.

• MA Health Care Proxy, Translated in 8 Languages. Click Here.

• Packet: 8.5 x 11 Flyer and Getting Started Tool Kit. Click on the button below.

How are you Celebrating Health Care Decisions Month?

Weekly Calendar of Events

The Honoring Choices Partners & Friends are hosting activities and events all month long for adults & families, care providers, clergy, and employees & staff. Tell us about your activity or event and post it in the Weekly Calendar of Events below.  Just email Ellen DiPaola, President, with your event information. Check back often! The Honoring Choices Partners are planning events all month long!


Alliance Partners support their member organizations, care providers and employees!

Our Partners are celebrating all month long by providing health care planning tools to their members, care providers, employees and staff to make a personal health care plan. Member groups are celebrating by hosting their own activities!  Here's what's happening:


American Nurses Association: Provides 120,000 nurses with free flyers/posters & tool kits

Atrius Health: The April Newsletter shares flyers/posters & tool kits with all their primary care providers, employees and staff

Cape Cod Hospital and their Quality of Life/ Care Planning Task Force is celebrating all month with activities and events for Cape Cod care providers and residents. More to follow.

Dementia Friendly Massachusetts Initiative: The April Newsletter shares flyers/posters and tool kits with member organizations. See the DFMI  New VIDEO

Hospice & Palliative Care Federation of MA: Hosted a "Who's Your Agent?"Workshop with Community Partner Brookhaven Hospice to provider fellow hospice member organizations with information and tools to host their own activities and events.

MA Conference United Church of Christ: Provides 370 churches with flyers/posters & tool kits

MA Councils on Aging: Provides 350 Councils of Aging with flyers/posters & tool kits. COA Members in the Berkshires are welcome to attend  the April 12 "Who's Your Agent? Workshop for Care Providers". read more under Week Two.

MA Health & Hospital Association's "Healthcare Planning throughout Your Life" is a collaborative initiative to encourage MHA employees and all employees of MHA member hospitals to make a health care plan starting with a Health Care Proxy. They are launching  their initiative with a "TAKE THE FIRST STEP" campaign. Read more under Week One.

New England QIN-QIO: Provides a "Who's Your Agent? slide presentation to their 5 Coalition networks across the Commonwealth, and offering an interactive webcast to their Patient & Family Advisory Council - see Week Two.

Western MA Transitions in Care Cross Continuum, sponsored by Baystate Health: Provides its 456 members with flyers/posters & tool kits to start health care planning activities with staff and consumers across Western MA.



"Write Your Script" from the MA Coalition for Serious Illness Care

All Month. For everyone.  MA Coalition for Serious Illness Care

To support the April awareness effort, the Coalition has developed a comprehensive social/shareable campaign to engage the public. The campaign focuses on the theme: “Write Your Script, and set the stage for health care that honors your wishes.” The #WriteYourScript social campaign hinges on the notion that we are all stars of our own movie. Through participation in this digital experience, consumers have the opportunity to engage in an interactive journey that serves as an ice-breaker for engaging in more formal advance care planning discussions – all in support of directing care to align with the wishes of patients.. Click Here To Complete WriteYourScript.

Share the results of WriteYourScript via your Facebook and Twitter pages. There will be share buttons at the end of WYS.

Follow the Coalition on Twitter. Click Here for Our Twitter Page.


"Take the First Step" with the MA Health & Hosptial Association

All Month. Statewide. For MA Health & Hospital Association Member Hospital & Employees.


The MA Health & Hospital Association (MHA) is celebrating April with "Healthcare Planning throughout Your Life", a collaborative initiative to encourage MHA employees and all employees of MHA member hospitals to make a health care plan starting with a Health Care Proxy. They are launching their initiative with a "TAKE THE FIRST STEP" campaign, providing the "Getting Started Tool Kit" and comprehensive information on their Patient Care Link


All Month at Rebecca's Cafe, 8 District Ave, Burlington, and Pressed Cafe, 200 District Ave, Burlington. 


MHA is also reaching out to local businesses in their District Office Park to help consumers and fellow employees get involved-

• Rebecca's Cafe has put up a "Healthcare Planning: Take the First Step " poster  and is offering a free Getting Started Tool Kit for any customers who'd like to take one.

•  Pressed Cafe Burlington is including a free Getting Started Tool Kit with every employee's next pay check as a benefit to consider starting their own plan.

If you'd like to know more and participate in "Take the First Step", contact Lorraine Schoen, MHA ,

Week One: April 1-8

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts hosts a "Who's Your Agent?' Workshop for Associates in Boston, Quincy, & Hingham

April 4,5,6. 12Noon-1pm. Honoring Choices will offer the "Who's Your Agent?" Workshop to inform & empower associates/employees to make a personal health care plan.  Attendees will receive a comprehensive tool kit and engage in a lively discussion. Workshops are 4/4 in Boston, 4/5 in Quincy  and 4/6 in Hingham.

Winchester Hospital hosts a "Who's Your Agent?" Lunch & Learn

April 6, 11:30-1pm. Winchester Hospital, Woburn. All Care Providers & Staff.  Karen Keany and Winchester Hospital colleagues are hosting an information table outside the cafeteria to inform and provide tools to all Winchester Hospital care providers and staff.

The Central MA Coalition, NE QIN-QIO, presents "Who's Your Agent?"in Worcester

April 6, 9:30am. For Care Providers. Laurie Herndon, Caregiver Homes, an Honoring Choices Alliance Partner, offers a special "Who's Your Agent?" presentation to the NE QIN-QIO's Central MA Coalition Members in celebration of the week, and to share the "Getting Started Tool Kit" with their individual member organizations.

"Having the Conversation", hosted by Carleton-Willard Village, Burlington

April 7, 11am and 2pm. For Care Providers. Marcia Feldman, Palliative Care Coordinator, Carlton Willard Village will offer two in-service sessions for colleagues and staff with The Conversation Project Tool Kits.

Week Two: April 9-15

Notre Dame Health Care hosts "Who's Your Agent?" at Rutland Community Health Center

April 11, 10am, Rutland Community Health Center, Open to the Public.  Come join us and learn how to make your own health care plan. Presented by Patricia Thibeault, Notre Dame At Home-Hospice.

Harvard-Vanguard Beverly hosts an All-Employee Event

April 11, 11:30-1:30pm. Harvard-Vanguard Beverly. All Care Providers/ Staff Welcome.  Three Community Partners are joining together, Tracy Gamble, Harvard-Vanguard Beverly, Amanda Holland from Senior Care, Inc., and Pat McMahan from North Shore Elders to talk about Health Care Decisions Month and how to make your own health care plan. Raffle Prize!

In the Berkshires: "Who's Your Agent?" Workshop for Care Providers

April 12, 9:30-Noon. Berkshire Country Club, All Care Providers Welcome. 80 plus care providers are registered for our first Berkshire area Workshop. Berkshire AHEC is hosting the "Who's Your Agent?" Workshop  for all community professionals & health care providers in Pittsfield and surrounding areas.  Register Here.

"Decisions of Hope: A Patient & Caregivers Guide to Making Every Moment Count" hosted by Good Shepherd Community Care in Newton

April 13, 6-7:30pm, Newton Free Library, Newton MA. Open to the Public. Decisions of Hope will ignite a meaningful dialogue between patients and caregivers about quality of life decision-making and celebrate the importance of advocacy, preparation and hope. 1.5 Continuing Education Credits available for nurses and social workers. Register Here.

“Who’s Your Person, What’s Your Plan”, hosted by New England QIN-QIO

April 13, 2017 12:00 -1:00pm. Webcast for PFAC Members. Honoring Choices is presenting  a ‘Who’s Your Agent” Workshop to the New England QIN-QIO Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) who work together to help improve quality and safety for patients in New England.  Read More Here.

Minuteman Senior Services Welcomes Health Care Planning Conversations in Belmont

April Newsletter. For Consumers. Minuteman Senior Services and their Health Care Planning Facilitators are celebrating all month long by providing easy access to tools kits in their newsletter. The staff and Facilitators welcome having planning discussions with adults & families throughout their numerous programs.

Make a Plan: On the Radio! North Shore

April 15. 8am. For Consumers. 106.1 FM The Legends and 1450 AM. Celeste Ricci-Trahan, MSW, LICSW, ACHP-SW, Seacoast Senior Resources, a Community Partner, and Katy Tavares from Avita of Newburyport, are speaking about Honoring Choices and the importance of advance care planning. The radio program can be live streamed on the internet.

Week Three: April 16-22

Baystate Health Celebrates All-Week in Springfield & Western MA

April 16-22. Baystate Health, Westerm MA

Come Join Baystate Health Staff Attorney Barbara Stoll offering  five dynamic 20 minute advance care planning presentations at the following locations:

• Baystate Wing Hospital, Tuesday, 4/18 @ 9:30 a.m. in the Snow Conference Room A & B

• Baystate Mary Lane Hospital, Tuesday, 4/18 @ 3:00 p.m. in the Main Conference Room

• Baystate Medical Center, Wednesday, 4/19 @ 9:00 a.m.,Chestnut 1A/B Conference Room        

• Baystate Noble Hospital, Wednesday, 4/19 @ 1:00 p.m,  3rd Floor Admin Conference Room

• Baystate Franklin Medical Center,Thursday, 4/20 @ 12 p.m. in Conference Room C


Rebecca Starr is having a talk titled “Who Will Speak for You?” in the community on Thursday, April 20th from 1-3:30 p.m. at 361 Whitney Avenue in Holyoke, MA.


All-Week Baystate Medical Center Information Table and volunteers to answer questions in the cafeteria  (4/17-4/21 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.) with forms and resources. Come Get a Sticker! “ Ask me about advance directives!” and “I have a Health Care Proxy” stickers for anyone who has a proxy and would like one.

LifeCare Advocates Celebrates in Newton

April 16-22. For Consumers. LifeCare Advocates is celebrating the week by posting links to health care planning information on their home page, and welcoming discussions to help adults & families make a health care plan and get connected to care that honors their choices.

Harvard-Vanguard Beverly hosts an All Patient & Family Event

April 18, 9am-11am, Harvard-Vanguard Beverly. All Patients & Families Welcome.  Harvard-Vanguard Beverly will host an information table, joined by Amanda Holland from Senior Care, Inc, and Pat McMahan from North Shore Elders, to talk with patients about choosing a Health Care Agent in a Health Care Proxy. Free tool kits and Raffle Prize!

SeniorCare Inc. hosts A Community Event in Beverly


April 18th, 1-3 pm. All are welcome.  SeniorCare hosts an information table, Kaye Hapshe and Stacy Reilly talk with about Health Care Decisions Month and how to go make your own health care plan. Free tool kits and a Raffle Prize

"Improving Serious Illness Care: More, Earlier, and Better Conversations about Patient Values and Goals" a National Webcast

April 19. 1pm-2pm Webcast for Care Providers. Joanna Paladino, MD, Assistant Director of Implementation, Serious Illness Care Program, Ariadne Labs, and Ellen DiPaola, Esq., President & CEO, Honoring Choices Massachusetts are teaming up for an informational webcast sponsored by National Patient Safety Foundation.  For more information and to register, click here.

Beverly Hospital hosts "Who's Your Agent? Lunch & Learn

April 19 11:30-1pm. Beverly Hospital, Beverly. All Care Providers and Staff.  Shirley Conway and Beverly Hospital colleagues are hosting an information table outside the cafeteria to inform and provide tools to all Beverly Hospital care providers and staff.

"Sacred Conversations with the Seriously Ill: From Diagnosis to Death" in Boston

April 19,  8:30 am to 3:00 pm, The Harvard Business School. For multi-faith community based clergy persons. Navigating the choppy waters from diagnosis of a potentially terminal illness through dying to death can be difficult and lonely. Patients often turn to their trusted spiritual leaders for support and guidance. This colloquium will begin to equip multi-faith community clergy persons to engage more competently in these challenging, but rewarding conversations. Free of Charge. For more information click here.

Lahey Health & Medical Center All Patient & Care Providers Event in Burlington

April 20, 11am-1pm, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, Burlington. Open to all Patients and Families, Care Providers and Staff. Elizabeth J. Collins, MD and Lahey Hospital & Medical Center colleagues will host an information table outside Alumni Auditorium to talk about choosing a Health Care Agent in a Health Care Proxy and making a health care plan. Free tool kits.

"Decisions Matter": 3 Events hosted by Cirlce Home in Lowell

Circle Home celebrates the week with “Decisions Matter" an educational initiative that offers up-to-date information and tools to join the conversation regarding care planning. They are hosting three events:

April 18 Circle Home Offices, to inform and empower employees to make a health care plan;

April 20th, 11:30-1:30, Lowell General Hospital Main Campus Cafeteria Informational Table for Consumers & Care Providers;

April 21st from 11:30 -1:30, Lowell General Hospital Saints Campus Cafeteria Informational Table for Consumers & Care Providers.


Week Four: April 23-29

"MOLST: Meeting the Challenge Workshop" in Waltham

April 24, 9:30- Noon. The Conference Center at Waltham Woods, Waltham. All  Care Providers & Professionals Welcome.  Honoring Choices and The Massachusetts Medical Society  are co-hosting a first-of-its-kind workshop for care providers. Come join a dynamic panel of state leaders and care professionals to discuss the best practices and implementation challenges of MOLST, Medical Orders for Life- Sustaining Treatment. Together we'll start to craft a collaborative MOLST process that is responsive to an adult's changing health needs and choices all throughout their health care journey and at the end of life.  Seating is limited. Register Today.

Notre Dame Health Center at the Spring Senior Fair, Worcester

April 26, 8:00am 12:00, Spring Senior Fair, Worcester YMCA. Open to the Public. Notre Dame Health Care brings the "Getting Started Tool Kit"  to the well-attended senior fair to talk with consumers about making a health care plan.

"Caregivers: Knowing & Honoring Your Health Care Choices", Alzheimer's Partnership Conference in Middleboro

April 26, 8:30am-3pm, 12th Annual Educational Conference and Caregiver Day, Oaks Point, Middleboro. All Caregivers Welcome. Ellen DiPaola, President & CEO, Honoring Choices is the  featured speaker for the afternoon workshop to explore a dynamic discussion with caregivers and offer tool and strategies to ensure their health care choices are honored all through their lives. For more information, contact Mary Worthington at 781.924.5694 or

SeniorCare Inc. hosts an All-Employee Event in Gloucester

April 27th, 11:30-1:30pm. All Care Providers/ Staff & Volunteers are Welcome. Senior Care's Kaye Hapshe and Stacy Reilly talk about Health Care Decisions Month and how to make your own health care plan. Raffle Prize!

May:The Celebration Continues!

Emerson Hospital hosts All Patient, Family & Care Provider Event in Concord

Saturday , May 6, Emerson Hospital, Concord.  Save the Date. More information to follow shortly.

Lahey Health hosts All Patient, Family & Care Provider Eventin Burlington

Saturday Morning, May 6, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center (LHMC) For Patients, Families and Care Providers. Come hear a dynamic panel discussion with colleagues from Beverly Hospital, Winchester Hospital and LHMC on the importance of health care planning to receive the best possible person-centered care that honors your choices at every phase of health. See a presentation on how to make your own health care plan and receive a free "Getting Started Tool Kit". More information to follow shortly.

"Who's Your Agent?" hosted by MA Commission for the Blind in Boston

May 10. 1:30-3pm. For Employees. Ellen DiPaola, President, Honoring Choices will offer a Who's Your Agent? interactive workshop for staff & care professionals. The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind provides "the highest quality rehabilitation and social services to blind individuals, leading to independence and full community participation". Read more here.