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Designating a Patient Advocate

Plan Ahead to Ensure Your Wishes are Known

Advances in medical technology give us more and more options for treating pain and even prolonging lives. Yet these options can make it difficult for patients, their families and their care providers to decide the right course of action. 

People don't like to think about unforeseen illnesses or injuries. They often wait for a medical crisis to make important decisions – but by then it may be too late to make their wishes known.

To avoid this situation, plan ahead and discuss various treatment scenarios with your doctor, your family and other advisors. Since Michigan law does not recognize living wills or advance medical directives, designating a patient advocate is the only way to ensure your wishes are respected, if you are unable to participate in medical decisions yourself. 

The Patient Self-Determination Act puts you in charge of your health care team. It is both a right and a responsibility that you should take seriously.

MidMichigan Medical Center in Midland has medical social workers who can help you:

  • Identify what questions you'll need to consider
  • Get the information and advice you need
  • Obtain the necessary forms to designate a patient advocate and record your medical wishes

Don't wait for a medical crisis. Contact the Social Work and Transition Planning Department to start this important process today.

Important Documents 

For more details about how the legal process works in Michigan, you may want to download these documents:


Where to Store Your Designation of Patient Advocate Form 

Once you have completed a Designation of Patient Advocate Form, your patient advocate(s) should keep a signed original and present it when they need to discuss your care and treatment with your medical providers. You should also mail or bring copies to:

  • Your primary care provider (such as your family doctor or equivalent) 
  • Any family members who may need to know how to contact your advocate in the event of an emergency
  • Your closest hospital (wherever you would go for emergencies)
  • Other medical facilities (such as hospitals or nursing homes) where you frequently receive treatment, or upon being admitted for a major procedure, such as surgery

If you are an existing patient at a MidMichigan Health facility, you may send copies of your signed Designation of Patient Advocate Form to the address below:

Hospitals Nursing Homes

Health Information Services
MidMichigan Medical Center–Midland
4000 Wellness Drive
Midland, Michigan 48670

MidMichigan Gladwin Pines
449 Quarter Street
Gladwin, Michigan 48624

Health Information Services
MidMichigan Medical Center–Clare
703 N. McEwan Street
Clare, Michigan 48617-1409

MidMichigan Stratford Village
2121 Rockwell Drive
Midland, Michigan 48642
Health Information Services
MidMichigan Medical Center–Gladwin
515 Quarter Street
Gladwin, Michigan 48624

Medical Data Services
MidMichigan Medical Center–Gratiot
300 E. Warwick Drive
Alma, Michigan 48801