Diversity Equity and Inclusion

African American, Latino, Asian, LGBTQ, and other minority groups with chronic illnesses have historically been underserved when facing the end of life, and, oftentimes, have not received proper healthcare.

Too many of our fellow Arkansans with life-limiting illnesses are at risk of not living or dying well. We can change this.

Arkansas Hospice is committed to increasing access to all who live in our service area, especially the underserved, and to providing them with the highest quality comfort care and symptom management available. From clinical care to family support from chaplains and social workers, our care teams and volunteers are committed to meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of our patients and to managing their healthcare wishes through advance directives.

Disparity in care

African american woman discussing hospice with physician

In America, we are only three generations removed from slavery. Recent history includes segregation and Jim Crow laws, and current events include incidents of police brutality toward minorities. The cumulative effect of these events has created an environment of institutional distrust of government and healthcare.

A specific example is the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, conducted by the United States Public Health Service and the Centers for Disease Control from 1932 to 1972. In this study, researchers conducted experiments on black syphilis patients. African American men who had the disease were knowingly left untreated as a means to observe the natural history of the disease. Actions such as these have rendered distrust to the point that as many as 50% of African Americans believe that AIDS was a plot to eliminate their race.

Today, blacks and other minorities experience higher rates of disease, have poorer health insurance coverage, lower life expectancy, and a higher infant mortality rate. These and other incidents of unequal treatment in healthcare have led to systemic distrust of our healthcare system among minorities.

CLICK HERE for additional content specific to African Americans.

Facts you need to know

Nationally and in Arkansas, minorities underutilize hospice services. In 2018, 60% of the U.S. population were white or caucasian, yet they represented 82% of hospice care utilization.

Hospice utilization by race in 2018

2018 U.S. Population and Hospice Utilization by Race

SOURCES: William H. Frey analysis of U.S. Census as published by the Metropolitan Policy Program Brookings Institute and NHPCO Facts and Figures 2020 edition, based on Medicare utilization reports.

asian man

Also troubling is the fact that hospice patients from minority communities are more likely to leave hospice care, experience more visits to the emergency room, and be admitted to the hospital. This is according to an article published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Data is limited regarding LBGTQ utilization of hospice care, nevertheless, further research shows that these groups are also underserved. According to AARP, 60% of the LGBTQ community voiced concerns about a lack of sensitivity regarding their needs among healthcare providers.

At Arkansas Hospice, we are taking action to correct the course of sub-par care for minority communities. But there is still much work to be done.

Arkansas Hospice services are covered by Medicare or Medicaid, private insurance, private pay or through charitable care. This care is provided to all in need of our services regardless of age, sex, race, creed, marital status, sexual orientation, color, national origin, religion, citizenship status, veteran status, illness, handicap, disability or ability to pay.

Arkansas Hospice is committed to inclusion and diversity. Media campaigns on TV, radio, print and digital platforms are used to inform minority communities about the benefits and availability of care available to them.

Working to bring about change

Arkansas Hospice is committed to increasing access for all who are underserved in our service area, and to provide them with the highest quality comfort care and symptom management available. From family support, chaplains, social workers, to managing a patient’s healthcare wishes through advanced directives, our clinical teams and volunteers are committed to serve.

Outreach and Education

Recent events include:

  • Focus groups. Engaging with predominantly black churches in Clark County, Arkansas Hospice has equipped pastors and other church leaders with brochures, posters, and other materials to dispel misinformation and educate their congregations about the benefits of hospice care.
  • Research. Change can be more effectively enacted with data. Arkansas Hospice has compiled an extensive research survey of the African American community of Jefferson and Grant counties of Arkansas.

Ongoing opportunities

Webinars. Utilizing local area influencers, “Black, Brown and the Challenge of Dying Well” was presented in a series of four online interactive events. These events, made possible by a grant from the Rebsamen Fund are available through our Livestream page.

Black, Brown and the Challenge of Dying Well webinar graphic
A series of webinars featuring local area panelists influential with minority communities are available to view on our website.

Online Content. Nurses, Social Workers and Nursing Home Administrators can learn more by viewing one of our online webinars, and utilize this experience to enhance their minority outreach efforts. Updates and Outreach. Arkansas Hospice continually reaches out to forge partnerships within the leadership of minority communities.  Examples of this work include educational opportunities with custom presentations, extensive networking with minority service institutions, churches, serving as a panelist with the UAMS Faith-Academic Initiatives for Transforming Health (FAITH), African-American fraternities and sororities, professional organizations, funeral homes, and more.

Include us!

We’re available for presentations on Diversity Equity and Inclusion, as well as Minority Outreach. CLICK HERE to schedule an event with our speaker’s bureau.

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14 Parkstone Circle | North Little Rock, AR 72116
(501) 748-3333 or Toll Free (877) 713-2348
Arkanas Hospice Arkanas Hospice Registered 501(c)(3). EIN: 71-0846826