For Immediate Release March 25, 2016

“The Importance of Advance Directives and the MOLST Form” is the topic of a free seminar set for Saturday, April 9, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at the St. Michaels Branch of the Talbot County Library.

Guest presenters Maddie Steffens, coordinator for UM Shore Regional Health’s Palliative Care program, and Elizabeth Todd, nurse navigator for Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services, will explain the importance of making and documenting advance decisions regarding your health care in the event of severe injury or illness. They also will explain the value of the MOLST form (Maryland Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment), who needs to complete the MOLST and why, and how an Advance Directive differs from the MOLST.

A recent study revealed that more than 60% of individuals aged 18 years and older want their end-of life wishes to be respected; however, only about a third of them – 20 percent of the adult population -- had completed advance directives. The majority of the study respondents either did not know that health care decisions could be documented in advance; believed that they were either too young or healthy to need and advance directive; or had concerns about the cost, complexity or time required to complete one.

As Steffens explains, “There is a popular slogan, ‘Nothing is certain but death and taxes,’ so April 16 – the day after the IRS deadline – is National Health Care Decisions Day. It’s a reminder to turn your attention important issue and take steps to ensure that should you become unable to make decisions regarding your care, your wishes are clearly documented. This is a great gift not only to yourself, but to your loved ones, who will take great comfort in knowing no matter what happens, that they won’t have to guess what kind of medical interventions, procedures or care you would choose.”

To attend the seminar, please RSVP to Janet Andrews, 410-822-1000, ext. 5792, janet@umm.edu

UM Shore Regional Health nurses Maddie Steffens and Elizabeth Todd will lead the seminar on Advance Health Care Planning in St. Michaels on April 9.