BayCare Observes National Healthcare Decisions Day April 16

April 10, 2018

Events, free Guide to Advance Directives booklet provide assistance.

TAMPA, Fla., (April 10, 2018) – BayCare, along with other national, state and community organizations, is leading a massive effort to highlight the importance of advance health care decision-making – an effort that has culminated in the formal designation of April 16 as National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). 

An advance directive is a legal document that tells health care providers who it is that you wish to make medical decisions for you and what treatments you would or would not want, if you are ever not able to tell them what you want for yourself. 

Studies suggest that between 18 and 36 percent of people have an advance directive.  The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that less than 50 percent of the severely or terminally ill patients studied had an advance directive in their medical record.  Only 12 percent of patients with an advance directive had received input from their physician in its development.  Between 65 and 76 percent of physicians whose patients had an advance directive were not aware that it existed.

“Advance care planning is more than just a document.  It’s a process of planning and conversation,” stressed Margie Atkinson, director, Pastoral Care for BayCare’s Morton Plant Mease hospitals.  “Things can happen at any time, to any of us, and it’s important to be prepared.  It can be a bit scary at first, but it’s a great gift for the people who care about you.  Your loved ones can’t act on your wishes unless they know what they are”

To stress the importance of advance health care decision making, BayCare has created “Your Guide to Advance Directives,” that is available online at  In addition, BayCare Faith Community Nurses and Mission staff will offer print copies of the guide at various events during the week of NHDD.

  • April 16, 11 a.m. – Noon:  Bartow Regional Medical Center Main Lobby, 220 Osprey Blvd., Bartow, FL 33830
  • April 16, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.:  BayCare Health System café, 2985 Drew St., Clearwater FL 33759
  • April 16, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.:  St. Joseph’s Hospital Season’s Café, 3001 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Tampa FL 33607
  • April 16, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.:  St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital Sprouts Café, 3030 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Tampa FL 33607
  • April 16, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.:  St. Joseph’s Hospital North Twigs Café, 4211 Van Dyke Rd., Lutz FL 33558
  • April 16, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.:  St. Joseph’s Hospital-South Waterside Café, 6901 Simmons Loop, Riverview FL 33578
  • April 16, Noon – 2 p.m.:  Winter Haven Hospital Main Lobby, 200 Ave. F NE, Winter Haven FL 33881
  • April 18, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.:  South Florida Baptist Hospital Alexander’s Café, 301 N. Alexander St., Plant City FL 33563
  • April 18, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.:  Mease Countryside Hospital Cafeteria, 3231 N. McMullen Booth Rd., Safety Harbor FL 34695
  • April 18, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.:  Mease Dunedin Hospital Cafeteria, 601 Main St., Dunedin FL 34698
  • April 18, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.:  Morton Plant North Bay Hospital Cafeteria, 6600 Madison St., New Port Richey FL 34652
  • April 18, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.:  Morton Plant Hospital Cafeteria, 300 Pinellas St., Clearwater FL 33756
  • May 2, noon:  St. Anthony’s Hospital Auditorium, 1200 Seventh Ave. N., St. Petersburg FL 33705


About BayCare

BayCare is a leading not-for-profit health care system that connects individuals and families to a wide range of services at 15 hospitals and hundreds of other convenient locations throughout the Tampa Bay and west central Florida regions. Inpatient and outpatient services include acute care, primary care, imaging, laboratory, behavioral health, home care, and wellness. Our mission is to improve the health of all we serve through community-owned health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. For more information, visit