Seventy percent of Americans say they would prefer to die at home, but nearly 70 percent die in hospitals and institutions. Ninety percent of Americans know they should have conversations about end-of-life care, yet only 30 percent have done so. “Hopefully, the fact that the two local hospitals and the local home care/hospice agency are working together will demonstrate how important we feel this topic is for our patients, families and our community”, shares Chris Chekouras, CEO, St Mary’s Regional Medical Center.
Central Maine Medical Center, Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice and St Mary’s Regional Medical Center, in partnership with the Hospice Foundation of America (HFA), are leading and coordinating a public awareness campaign on the importance of talking about end-of-life preferences and goals with loved ones and medical professionals. Underwritten by the John and Wauna Harman Foundation (Harman Foundation), the project uses PBS’s FRONTLINE film, “Being Mortal” to educate audiences and encourage people to take concrete steps to identify and communicate their wishes for end-of-life care. Aired on PBS in February 2015, “Being Mortal” follows physician Atul Gawande as he thinks about death and dying in the context of being a healer. The renowned writer and Boston surgeon shares stories about experiences at the end of life from patients and his own family. Dr Gawande published a national bestselling book by the same name. “Having our three agencies come together to share this resource with the community confirms that by working together we can make a bigger impact on the community than we can separately”, shared Julie Shackley, President & CEO, Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice.
Three screenings of the “Being Mortal” film are being held in the Lewiston/Auburn Community on the following days:
1. Bates College, Olin 104 – Thursday, May 19, 2016 from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
2. Gendron Franco Center, Wednesday, May 25, 2016 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
3. Central Maine Community College, Jalbert Hall, Auditorium, Tuesday, May 24, 2016 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
To register for any of these events, please RSVP by calling the St Mary’s Mission Integration Office at 207.777.8805
“We are so fortunate in this community to have 3 healthcare providers collaborating on such an important topic for the L/A area. These screening events will help all of us begin to think about what we want for our own end-of-life care and give us more confidence to start having these conversations with our friends and family,” said Tina Legere, President, Central Maine Medical Center.
The National Healthcare Decisions Day Initiative is a collaborative effort of national, state and community organizations committed to ensuring that all adults with decision-making capacity in the United States have the information and opportunity to communicate and document their healthcare decisions. For more information, visit www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org.