April 5

GOCCNJ, NJAAW, and NJHCQI to Host Free Advance Care Planning Virtual Town Hall in Conjunction with National Healthcare Decisions Day


For Immediate Release

((April 5, 2021))

GOCCNJ, NJAAW, and NJHCQI to Host Free Advance Care Planning Virtual Town Hall in Conjunction with National Healthcare Decisions Day

Princeton, NJ, April 5, 2021. Goals of Care Coalition of New Jersey (GOCCNJ), New Jersey Advocates for Aging Well (NJAAW), and New Jersey Healthcare Quality Institute’s (NJHCQI) Conversation of Your Life (COYL) are hosting a free virtual town hall meeting led by experts in advance care planning. The purpose is to provide information and tools for the public to encourage thoughtful conversations about their wishes with family, friends and healthcare providers, and execute written advance directives (healthcare power of attorney and living will) in accordance with NJ state laws. Individuals living with serious illness, their families, and caregivers, and anyone seeking more information about advance care planning are invited to attend. The virtual program will be held on April 16th from 12 pm to 1:15 pm over ZOOM. To register, please visit: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_EG29iM9_SYCjMTylNGdGRA

Advance Care Planning: How to Ensure Your Wishes Are Known and Honored is being held in conjunction with National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), a 50-state annual initiative that begins on April 16th sponsored by The Conversation Project. More information about NHDD can be found at www.nhdd.org and www.theconversationproject.org.

In New Jersey, people talk about end-of-life care wishes, but there is a real gap in discussing them and writing them down,” says Dapa Wilcox, Community Coordinator for NJHCQI’s Conversation of Your Life (COYL) program. “It is important that we educate the community and provide resources to support these conversations before a medical emergency.” A 2019 poll by the NJHCQI in partnership with the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University-New Brunswick shows that 61% of New Jerseyans have given a great deal or at least some thought to their wishes for medical care towards the end of their life. But only 47% have talked to someone about their wishes, 42% have designated someone to make decisions about their care if they are unable, and just 30% have a written document detailing their wishes.

Carl Archer, Certified Elder Law Attorney and board member for the NJAAW adds, “We know the documents surrounding end-of-life care can be confusing and the process of completing them can be overwhelming for some. Our goals are to encourage planning for future care today and to educate the public about the legal documents used to indicate preferences for medical treatment in order to prevent crises and unintended consequences.”

“Making healthcare decisions is difficult for most families for a variety of reasons including a lack of advance care planning. With the proper documents to instruct care, fewer families and healthcare providers will have to struggle with making these difficult decisions during a medical crisis and we can do a better of job of ensuring that we deliver care that is aligned with the patient’s wishes,” explains David Barile, MD, Founder and Chief Medical Officer of GOCCNJ. “We are pleased to partner with NJAAW and NJHCQI to support people through the advance care planning process.”


GOCCNJ is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the only network of organizations in NJ working together to make certain that patients with serious illness get the care they need and no less, and the care they want and no more. We believe human interests, values, and dignity must be at the core of medical decision-making. As such, we aspire to create a standard of care for NJ where people explore their wishes for care towards the end of life, express those wishes, and have their wishes honored. Through research, education and advocacy, GOCCNJ’s mission is to ensure that policy makers, healthcare providers, patients, and family caregivers have the information, resources, training, and tools they need to promote high-quality, person-centered advance care planning, palliative care, and end-of-life care services. For more information, please contact jbrown@goalsofcare.org


NJ Advocates for Aging Well, formerly NJ Foundation for Aging, has been on the forefront of revolutionizing the aging experience since 1998. It is the only statewide nonprofit focused solely on providing leadership in public policy and education to enable older adults to live with independence and dignity in their communities. NJAAW’s social action issues include senior housing and hunger, elder economic security, older workers and transportation. The award-winning Aging Insights, a monthly topical TV program produced by NJAAW, connects caregivers, seniors and their families to community-based services and resources. The show is available on youtube.com/user/njfoundationforaging/, NJAAW’s website and on more than 70 public-access TV stations. NJAAW also presents educational forums and an Annual Conference (June 3-4, 2021) offering development opportunities and best practices for professionals entrusted with caring for seniors.


About the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute The New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute’s (Quality Institute) mission is to improve the safety, quality, and affordability of health care for everyone. Our membership comes from all stakeholders in health care. Together with our 100 plus members, we are working towards a world where all people receive safe, equitable, and affordable health care and live their healthiest lives.

About COYL

Conversation of Your Life (COYL) is a Mayors Wellness Campaign program that focuses on engaging communities in fruitful dialogue—the Conversation of Your Life—to let individuals’ family, friends and health care providers understand and respect their end-of-life care wishes through advance care planning. COYL is generously supported by The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey.


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