York County Medicine Spring 2021 - 10

YO R K C O M E D S O C . O R G

FEATURE:

Horizon Planning
WellSpan's initiative for
Advance Care Planning
By: Roberta Geidner
Manager of Horizon Planning at WellSpan

C

OVID-19 has now caused the loss
of over 500,000 of our loved ones,
colleagues, friends and community
members. One of the tragedies is the
devastation for family members who have had
to make difficult decisions about life-saving
treatments when their loved one couldn't
speak for themselves.

Sharing your wishes for end-of-life care
with your trusted loved ones is the best
gift you can give them during this difficult
pandemic, and really at any time. It is an
enduring conversation that is never forgotten.
It comforts and reassures our family members
that they are doing the right thing, at the right time during a difficult
period. Families are so grateful for the peace of mind when they know
and can carry out their loved one's wishes about their care. Families
realize the true value of this gift of conversation long after their loved
one has gone.

Horizon Planning is WellSpan's initiative for Advance Care Planning. The
free, self-directed program educates people about how to have end-of-life care
conversations with loved ones and the types of decisions that need to be made. The
free packet of materials is available to anyone from any health system.
For physicians, advance care planning conversations can deepen
relationships with patients and their families. Dr. Keith Wright, a
physician at WellSpan Family Health - Georgetown, in Lancaster
County, shared with me that having these conversations brings relief
to patients. It demonstrates concern and respect for the patient, which
is at the forefront of a physician's relationship with patients. These
discussions also have the potential to greatly reduce stress on families
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York County Medicine Spring 2021

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