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Bend doctor helps create ‘Be Prepared: Take Control’ initiative

The goal is to help patients in hospitals that are unable to speak for themself

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Two Oregon doctors, one from Bend, have created a new public awareness program to urge and help people designate a medical decision-maker.

Both Dr. Jenni Neahring of Bend and Dr. Erika Maria Moseson of Portland have had trouble locating a family member or close friend to be one of their patient's decision- maker. Neahring, who works at St. Charles Bend as a nephrologist and palliative care doctor, said Tuesday she's gone as far as contacting sheriff's to track down someone's family member.

About a week and a half ago, the two doctors created the 'Be Prepared: Take Control Initiative' to help their patients. It's designed to help avoid situations where patients in hospitals may not be able to speak for themselves.

The effort encourages everyone to have a hospital "go bag," choose a medical decision-maker and to encourage loved ones to be prepared.

“Choosing a decision-maker is someone you are comfortable having a conversation with, who knows you and your values and knows what really matters to you,” Neahring said.

Moseson, a pulmonary critical care physician in Portland, is the president of the Oregon Thoracic Society. She said she’s struggled finding a health care proxy for about one in every 12 patients of hers.

“I really think that these are easy, concrete steps that let people have a lot more control and say in what their medical team can do for them,” Moseson said.

Both doctors say during a pandemic like the coronavirus, there is no better time to have a conversation with a friend or family member and designate a medical decision-maker.

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Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.


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