JPM special issue on EOL care and African Americans

Categories: Research.

All those who are interested in learning more about end-of-life care in the African American community are encouraged to review and download the Journal of Palliative Medicine special issue, “Palliative and End-of-Life Care for African Americans.”  The issue is available for free on the website until March 9, 2016. 

The issue commences with an editorial from Ronit Elk, PhD, “The First Step Is Recognizing, Acknowledging, and Respecting the Inequity, Disrespect, and Disregard Our African American Patients Have Experienced.”   One of the key points that Elk emphasizes, is the importance of religion and spirituality in the African American community.  Throughout the issue, additional editorials, articles, brief reports and personal reflections mirror Elk’s emphasis on how faith should be included in advance care planning/end-of-life discussions.

In the article, “What are Hospice Providers in the Carolinas Doing to Reach African Americans in Their Service Area?” Kimberly S. Johnson, Richard Payne, Maragatha N. Kuchibhatla, reviewed the tactics hospices in North and South Carolina use to increase access to hospice care in the African American community. 

Corey L. Kennard, founder and Pastor of KINGDOM equipping ministries, a Christian teaching fellowship, and the Kingdom Equipping Institute of Spiritual Development in Detroit, Michigan, authored the editorial “Undying Hope.”  In the piece he talks about a patient whose faith was the cornerstone of his life and who was very untrusting of physicians.  “George” finally saw a doctor at the age of 73 and it was then he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.  His distrust of physicians continued because his physician did not ask him about his faith or how it would shape his end-of-life journey.  This omission left him very disappointed.   

There are many valuable pieces in the JPM special issue that will offer insight to hospice and palliative care professionals. 

This edition came out during Black History Month in the U.S. and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization continues to share African American outreach resources during this special month of awareness; however, NHPCO is committed to carrying the message that “hospice helps everyone,” beyond the month of February.  Pastor Corey, mentioned above, will teach one of the courses being offered by Morgan State University and NHPCO during a new collaboration between the two organizations.  The partnership aims to educate caregivers and equip them with information to make informed decisions about end-of-life care.  To read more about this partnership, view NHPCO’s press release

The video below, from the Moments of Life: Made Possible by Hospice website share a special moment for Willie and her family.


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