News - May 20, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 20, 2021
CONTACT: Elizabeth Bement | 703.915.5830 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexandria, Va. – The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO)’s Diversity Advisory Council (DAC) recently released a revised resource, Black and African-American Outreach Guide, which was updated for the first time since 2007. Co-authored by Arion Lillard-Green, Hospice Spiritual Counselor Counselor with Goodwin House Palliative Care and Hospice (GHPCH) and member of NHPCO’s DAC, and Diane Deese, Vice President of Community Affairs at VITAS, the guide highlights disparities in Black communities and the standard practice of outreach, and provides strategies for reaching out to local Black communities. Owned and operated by Goodwin House Incorporated (GHI), GHPCH is a Medicare-certified, CHAP-accredited hospice that provides services to patients in their homes throughout the Northern Virginia area.
“I was honored to collaborate with the NHPCO’s Diversity Advisory Council to update the Black and African-American Outreach Guide to provide healthcare organizations around the country with the tools to become more inclusive,” said Lillard-Green. “The guide will help organizations facilitate conversations and help more minority populations access and benefit from palliative care and hospice services.”
The guide outlines strategies for conducting outreach to Black communities about hospice care. These approaches include listening to local Black communities, fostering meaningful partnerships with local groups, embracing faith organizations and connecting with church leaders, participating in local events organized by the Black community and hosting events that target issues of interest to the Black community. The guide also provides instruction on outreach to Black and African American media outlets.
While the guide focuses on hospice and palliative care, it also serves as a foundation for how organizations in other health care fields can begin conversations surrounding race and equity. NHPCO’s 2018 edition of its facts and figures report found that, of the 1.49 million Medicare beneficiaries that received hospice care, only 8.2% of those beneficiaries were Black. In the 2020 edition, the number of Medicare beneficiaries grew to 1.55 million, yet Black utilization remained the same.
“In the current edition of NHPCO’s facts and figures report, we see that 8.2 percent of Medicare beneficiaries receiving hospice care in 2018 were African American, a statistic that has been constant in recent years. It’s critically important that all of us in the provider community re-commit to doing better to ensure equitable access to all diverse communities in need of the high-quality and compassionate care that hospice provides,” said Edo Banach, NHPCO President and CEO. “The outreach that Goodwin House is undertaking is an excellent example of an organization working to make that commitment a reality.”
“GHI looks forward to incorporating the strategies outlined in the guide to better support the Black community in Northern Virginia with access to palliative care and hospice services,” said Rob Liebreich, President and CEO of GHI. “The understanding and implementation of the NHPCO guide is an important step for our organization and the senior living industry as we continue to support, honor and uplift the lives of more older adults, and especially older adults from diverse populations.”
NHPCO shared the revised guide with over 1,200 hospice programs and organizations in the U.S. This year, the DAC will also create similar outreach guides that will address the needs of Chinese American, Latinx and LGBTQ+ communities.
To learn more about NHPCO’s Black and African-American Outreach Guide, please visit https://www.nhpco.org/wp-content/uploads/African_American_Outreach_Guide.pdf.
About Goodwin House Incorporated: Celebrating 54 years of providing exceptional service to older adults, Goodwin House Incorporated (GHI) is a not-for-profit, Virginia-based corporation affiliated with the Episcopal Church. Through its growing family of senior living and healthcare services owned and operated across Northern Virginia, GHI serves 2,000 older adults with options that include: two Life Plan Communities—Goodwin House Alexandria and Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads; an innovative continuing care at home program—Goodwin House at Home; and a portfolio of healthcare services and partnerships delivering Home Health, Rehabilitation, Primary Care, Palliative Care and Hospice. GHI also is the management agent for The Lewinsville Retirement Residences, Inc. serving low-income older adults in McLean and Great Falls, Virginia.
GHI also advances its mission through the Goodwin House Foundation, a 501(c)(3) supporting foundation that provides financial support to current and future residents in need and to fund programs dedicated to promoting growth and education of staff as well as overall well-being and vibrant living as we age.