Today, we present to you this short interview with Dr. Kimberly Johnson, a Geriatric Medicine Specialist and professor at Duke University, and guest speaker at the upcoming Clinical Team Conference. Dr. Johnson discusses some of reasons for the low-levels of hospice utilization in the African-American community.
Dr. Johnson points out several reasons for this disparity, and highlights several misconceptions about hospice that were reported in a study on this topic. These issues included forgoing curative treatment, mistrust in the healthcare system as a whole, understanding suffering as a spiritual trial, and fear of the possible expense of hospice care.
At the upcoming Clinical Team Conference, one of the featured pre-conference seminars will touch on these issues:
- 2015 Clinical Team Conference and Pediatric Intensive
Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas
Wednesday, October 14, 2015, 9:00 am – 5:30 pm
PC02 – Best Practices for Improving Access and Outreach to Communities of Color in End of Life Care
Richard Payne, MD, Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC
Kimberly S. Johnson, MD, MHS, Duke University, Durham, NC
Corey Kennard, MS, KINGDOM Equipping Ministries, Detroit, MI
Education is the best way to combat misinformation, and as we highlighted previously, making sure that individuals with personal connections tell their story to their networks is a great way of building trust and breaking down barriers. The Moments of Life campaign is collecting stories from willing patients and families who want to share the positive impact hospice has made in their lives, and how hospice has helped them enjoy more moments of life. They have a beautiful story about Willie Campbell, a 93-year old African-American great-great-great grandmother for whom hospice made a significant contribution to her quality of life.
Additionally, providing incentives for doctors and other medical personnel to have conversations with patients and families about their end-of-life options, and having a multi-disciplinary team that could include a spiritual advisor could help bridge this gap. That is why we continue to support and advocate for the Care Planning Act. What other ways can we ensure that understanding of and access to hospice care is equal for all parts of the community?