As reported in NHPCO’s Facts and Figures: Hospice Care in America, African Americans accounted for approximately 8.4 percent of patients served in 2013, and 6.8 percent of patients were identified as being of Hispanic or Latino origin. Asians and Pacific Islanders accounted for 2.9 percent of patients.
Studies have concluded that many African Americans, for example, are distrustful of the government and the healthcare system, a distrust that is rooted in both historical and present day experiences, and may play a role in the decisions families make when facing the challenges of a life-limiting illness.
To help address this disparity in end-of-life care, NHPCO has brought back its Diversity Advisory Council, made up of hospice and healthcare professionals and experts who are working to increase access to hospice and palliative care services to communities that are under-served or may not be taking advantage of the many benefits of hospice and palliative care.
To support the work of hospice providers, newly-revised versions of two of NHPCO’s Outreach Guides to help providers engage with diverse populations are available free of charge from NHPCO. Previously published Faith Community Guide and Chinese-American Outreach Guide are also available.
• African American Outreach Guide (PDF) – the revised version was released during Black History Month.
• Latino Outreach Guide (PDF) – the revised version was released during National Minority Health Month.
• Faith Community Outreach Guide (PDF) – is available as originally published by NHPCO’s Caring Connections.
• Chinese-American Outreach Guide (PDF) – also is available in the original format.
These guides and other materials to help improve access to hospice and palliative care are available in the Access section of NHPCO’s website at www.nhpco.org/access.
A wealth of additional information about hospice and palliative care, dealing with serious illness, living with pain, understanding grief, and advance care planning – all geared for education communities and individuals – is available free-of-charge from NHPCO’s Caring Connections website at www.CaringInfo.org.