NHPCO Utilizing Unique Ways to Spread Hospice Awareness to Underserved Populations

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New partnership to provide enhanced education about end-of-life care in African American communities.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and hospice community acknowledge that hospice utilization within African American communities continues to be disproportionately low. Of all patients utilizing hospice care in 2014, an estimated 7.6 percent were identified as black or African American, which reflects a slight drop from the previous year. To support the work of hospice providers, NHPCO’s African American Outreach Guide is available online, free of charge. The guide outlines key principles and insights to help hospices better serve this diverse community.

NHPCO will partner with Morgan State University this year to provide education to caregivers so they can make informed decisions about end-of-life care. The courses will be offered in March and will be facilitated discussions led by hospice and palliative care experts. Though no credit will be given for these courses, they have compelling titles and interesting topics that will be covered. NHPCO announced the course titles today and they are as follows:

  • Spirituality and Hope at the End of Life
  • What is Hospice and Palliative Care?
  • How to Plan and Communicate Your Future Healthcare Wishes
  • Loss, Grief and Bereavement

“We will start this important work with Morgan State University, but the overall plan is to equip local hospices around the country with a model for working with HBCUs in their areas to address this disparity of care,” says President and CEO J. Donald Schumacher. “The new partnership with Morgan State University will allow us to reach African American families in new and different ways.”

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“NHPCO’s strategic plan includes expanding hospice and palliative care access to underserved populations including African American, Latino, and other diverse communities,” says NHPCO Senior Vice President of Education, Access, and Philanthropy, Diane Hill Taylor.  “In addition to the Morgan State University partnership, NHPCO is working closely with AARP and Hispanic organizations to move this initiative forward.”

During Black History Month, celebrated in the U.S. in February, NHPCO is will be working to raise awareness by sharing helpful resources.  NHPCO’s public awareness campaign Moments of Life: Made Possible by Hospice, which features the real stories of patients and families as they experience the benefits of hospice.  The recent additions of campaign videos “Willie’s Family Picnic”, “Hannabelle’s Wonderful Life” and “Deadra’s Story” showcase hospice and palliative care at its best serving diverse populations.

Additionally in 2015, NHPCO created a Diversity Advisory Council – a group of hospice and healthcare professionals and experts who offer guidance and expertise to address the disparity of care in diverse communities.

About National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

NHPCO is the oldest and largest nonprofit membership organization representing hospice and palliative care programs and professionals in the United States. The organization is committed to improving endof-life care and expanding access to hospice care with the goal of profoundly enhancing quality of life for people dying in America and their loved ones.

NHPCO has additional information available on their website and outreach guides available on www.nhpco.org/access.

About the Author

Autumn Spence, Editor in Chief
Autumn Spence is Founder and Editor in Chief of The Hospice Insider. As a Business Development Professional and Entrepreneur, she has over 20 years experience in healthcare and hospice. Autumn is also a current member of the National Hospice Foundation Signature Events Council and CareFlash's Advisory Board.