By Kari Degerness, MBA, LHNA, Director of Programs & Community Engagement

Every year on April 16th, organizations across the country participate in National Health Care Decisions Day (NHDD) to empower the public and providers to engage in important conversations around Advance Care Planning (ACP). Leaders across Colorado are hosting events designed to educate, increase awareness, and spur the conversation about ACP within our communities. NHDD is an opportunity for all of us to consider answers to important questions and we hope that you take time to reflect on your wishes, talk with loved ones, and learn about the different options and supports available.

CIVHC's ACP Workgroup is particularly looking forward to the NHDD activities planned for 2024, which we'll be sharing more about via social media. The Workgroup is made up of community organizations, providers, institutions, attorneys, and big others who support ACP in Colorado. We have been busy with two big projects for the last several years and, as the Director of Health Care Programs and Engagement, I'm excited to share updates about our progress.

First Responder Advance Directive Training

During conversations with first responders, we heard a common theme: there is confusion about the different advance directive documents that can be found in Colorado and how to interpret those documents. Through a generous donation from Tomorrow’s Choices and the coordination efforts of Jenn Klus, MPH, RN, CIVHC was able to create a series of recorded training courses to help clear up some of this confusion. We partnered with South Metro Fire and Rescue, Southpark Emergency Medical Services, and Stadium Medical to record videos at the Community College of Aurora Center for Simulation. We will be sharing a few of these videos during the week of NHDD and will be investigating areas the collaborators identified as potential opportunities for additional education.

MOST Program Trainings

Since CIVHC became the home of Colorado’s Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (MOST) program in 2018, we’ve been working to create resources about how to use the tool. The MOST Subgroup led by, Alissa Schramm and Hillary Lum, developed a reference guide, 10 Tips to Help Care Communities Use the MOST Form Correctly, which was supplemented by a short training course, in March 2024. Several of CIVHC’s partners collaborated on the training, including, CHCA, LeadingAge, Alissa Schramm, and Telligen, who generously agreed to host, a post quiz, and field questions.

I couldn’t be more thankful for all our partners or more proud of what the ACP Workgroup has been able to accomplish. This work is only made possible through collaboration.  If you would be interested in learning more or getting involved in our ACP Workgroup, please reach out to me at

You can speak up and have a say in your care. Advance care planning (ACP) puts you in the driver's seat and allows you to decide what treatments make sense to you, should serious illness or incapacitation happen where you can’t voice that directly. To start, talk about your values and wishes with people you trust.  It is important to name someone you trust to be your voice and decision maker when you cannot make those decisions. In Colorado, a Durable Medical Power of Attorney (MDPOA) is valid after you sign it and you do not need an attorney or  notary public. Any documents that you complete should be shared with family and friends, your health care provider(s) as well as keeping a copy easily accessible in your home.