Community Outreach

Empowering Health Care Decision Making through Public Education

According to the Stanford School of Medicine, studies have shown that approximately 80% of Americans would prefer to die at home. Despite this, 60% of Americans die in hospitals, 20% in nursing homes and only 20% at home. In order to achieve your desired health care goals at the end of life it is recommended you discuss what matters most to you with close friends and family members before one experiences a significant health decline. In addition to tough conversations, it is imperative you complete legally binding documents which express your wishes as well as designate a health care proxy in the event you can no longer make these decisions for yourself.

We are here to help you! Barnabas Health Hospice offers free public education workshops for Advanced Care Planning. After providing a brief overview of common documents associated with estate planning such as a power of attorney, a health care proxy and a funeral agent, we provide free resources to help you get started. During these informative workshops, the presenter explores the nationally recognized advanced care planning booklet called 5 Wishes. This user-friendly resource is legally binding in New Jersey as well as 41 other states including the District of Columbia. It walks individuals through the process of identifying what their wishes would be when approaching the end of life. It encourages the designating of a trust-worthy person to act as their health care proxy in the event the person can no longer speak for himself or herself. Lastly, 5 Wishes asks one to detail how he or she would like to be remembered.

Also provided and explained is a blank POLST form (Practitioner Order for Life Sustaining Treatment) which was adopted by the State of New Jersey in 2011. This document is for individuals who have been diagnosed with a serious illness, who are managing multiple chronic conditions and the elderly. There are six sections which explore various life sustaining treatment options, identifies goals of care in collaboration with your health care provider, and designates a health care proxy. A physician or nurse practitioner completes this form with you and after it is completed, becomes a medical order recognized throughout the state and in various health care settings.

Attendees leave the workshop feeling empowered to make health care decisions on their own behalf and encourages family members to do the same.

If you are interested in hosting a one-hour Advance Care Planning workshop in your area, please contact Megan Knight, Director of Development & Community Outreach at Barnabas Health Hospice at (973) 370-8134 or email her at

For more information about the 5 Wishes booklet visit:

For more information about the POLST form visit:

Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center
94 Old Short Hills Road
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-5000
Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 222-5200
Clara Maass Medical Center
1 Clara Maass Drive
Belleville, NJ 07109
(973) 450-2000
Community Medical Center
99 Highway 37 West
Toms River, NJ 08755
(732) 557-8000
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
Jersey City Medical Center
355 Grand Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 915-2000
RWJ University Hospital Rahway
865 Stone Street
Rahway, NJ 07065
(732) 381-4200
RWJ University Hospital Somerset
110 Rehill Avenue
Somerville, NJ 08876
(908) 685-2200
Trinitas Regional Medical Center – Williamson Street Campus
225 Williamson St
Elizabeth, NJ 07202
(908) 994-5000
RWJ University Hospital Hamilton
1 Hamilton Health Place
Hamilton, NJ 08690
(609) 586-7900
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
1 Robert Wood Johnson Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 828-3000
Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus
600 River Avenue
Lakewood, NJ 08701
(732) 363-1900

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