Governor Matt Blunt issued a proclamation declaring today as Health Care Decisions Day to raise public awareness of the need to plan ahead for future and unexpected health care decisions, and to utilize health care planning to communicate such decisions to loved ones.

"Making good health decisions can lead to wellness and an improved quality of life," Governor Blunt said. "Missourians should consider advanced health care planning to ensure a smooth transition for themselves and their loved ones if a medical issue should arise."

The lack of awareness about advance directives and advance health care planning is apparent with less than twenty percent of Missourians who have finalized an advance health care directive. Health Care Decisions Day is aimed at involving all citizens, especially community leaders, to participate in a statewide effort to provide the public with the necessary information to make appropriate decisions concerning advanced health care planning and to illustrate the importance of health preparedness.

Through the Healthcare Information Technology Task Force and other supporting groups, the governor has worked to ensure that the most up to date health care information is available to providers and the public to aid them in making the best decisions possible.

This day is intended to encourage more citizens to discuss possibilities for future health care decisions and to take the necessary steps in creating a health care plan. This effort will help the public share with their families the health care decisions they wish to be made in the absence of guidance and will further decrease the burden for families to make decisions during a difficult event in their lives.