Monday, June 27, 2005

Interesting newspaper article about hospice services to Hispanic patients

Sunday's Palm Beach Post has an (unfortunately) short article about providing services to Hispanic patients.

Abriendo Puertas was created in 2002 with a $494,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The money was used to create a model program designed to reach out to the growing Hispanic community in Palm Beach and Broward counties. The program required local matching funds. The Quantum Foundation pledged $300,000 and the Allegany Franciscan Foundation of Palm Beach County provided $100,000.
The program provides not only care but bereavement counseling and other services a family might need, such as helping with long-distance communication or sending remains back to a home country.
"Hospices are starting to recognize it isn't enough to say we want to serve these people," said Jon Radulovic, a spokesman for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. "They are recognizing that care providers need to reflect the faces of the communities they want to serve."
As the three-year grant comes to an end next month, Hospice by the Sea has seen its Hispanic patient population grow from 1.5 percent to 8 percent and has become a model for the rest of the country.
Nationwide, about 4 percent of the hospice population is Hispanic, according to the national organization. In 2003, an estimated 950,000 terminally ill patients used hospice services in the United States.

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