National Healthcare Decisions Week, April 16-22

Tennessee, Let’s Talk About Advance Directives

Coalition Urges Action During National Healthcare Decisions Week

The Tennessee Advance Directive Coalition (TADC), also known as Honoring Choices Tennessee, will launch its advance directives campaign during National Healthcare Decisions Week, which is April 16 through 22.

Members of the coalition will be kicking off the campaign within their respective organizations this week.

According to Craig A. Becker, president and CEO of the Tennessee Hospital Association, the goal of the campaign is two-fold. “The coalition was created about 18 months ago to encourage Tennesseans to start the conversation right now about advance care planning with their healthcare providers, family members and loved ones, and complete an advance directive.”

An advance directive is a written statement of a person’s wishes regarding medical treatment, made to ensure those wishes are carried out should the person be unable to communicate them to a doctor, including whether or not to initiate life-prolonging interventions, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The form only takes a few minutes to complete, but it is important for individuals to talk with their physicians, family and friends about their wishes. A notary also is required to complete the advance directive form.

A standard advance directive form can be found via the coalition’s website at

Typically, copies of an advance directive are provided to the person named as the primary decision maker, physician, and at least one family member or loved one.

Many people think about completing an advance directive only when they are faced with a serious or life-threatening illness. However, the ideal time to complete this form is now. Major life changes, such as turning 18, getting married or having a child, can be perfect drivers to remind people of the need to complete an advance directive.

The TADC is joining national organizations to spread awareness about the importance of advanced care planning. Visit for more information, including steps on how to complete an advance directive.

TADC members include:

  • American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
  • BlueCross and BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBST)
  • Healthy Shelby
  • Hospice of Chattanooga (HOC)
  • Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA)
  • Qsource
  • Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability (TCAD)
  • Tennessee Department of Health (TDH)
  • Tennessee End of Life Partnership (TELP)
  • Tennessee Hospital Association (THA)
  • Tennessee Health Care Association (THCA)
  • Tennessee Hospice Organization (THO)
  • Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (TDIDD)
  • Tennessee Medical Association (TMA)
  • Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS)
  • Tennessee Nurses Association (TNA)