Staff at the not-for-profit Hospice By The Sea in Boca Raton, Fla., undertook an initiative in early 2002 to increase the number of Hispanic families they serve.
The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Local Funding Partnerships national program. It provides matching grants to support innovative community-based projects aimed at improving the health and health care of underserved and vulnerable populations.
Hospice By The Sea received an additional $674,500 in matching grants from local funders.
Project staff increased the average number of Hispanic patients cared for daily at the hospice from 7.6 to 22.1 and increased the percentage of Hispanic patients from 1.5 percent to 5.78 percent.
Hispanics who came to talks by project outreach coordinators showed a significant improvement in their knowledge and understanding of hospice, according to pre- and post-test results of 2,796 Hispanics who completed a questionnaire.
In focus groups both non-Hispanics and Hispanics appeared to perceive hospice care as associated with imminent death but reacted differently to the idea of accepting this care for a family member. For more on this study of attitudes toward hospice by Hispanics and non-Hispanics, see Assessment.