University–Community–Hospice Partnership to Address Organizational Barriers to Cultural Competence

Research documents a lack of access to, utilization of, and satisfaction with hospice care for African Americans. Models for culturally competent hospice services have been developed but are not in general use. Major organizational barriers include (1) lack of funding/budgeting for additional staff for community outreach, (2) lack of applications from culturally diverse professionals, (3) lack of funding/budgeting for additional staff for development of culturally competent services, (4) lack of knowledge about diverse cultures, and (5) lack of awareness of which cultural groups are not being served. A participatory action research project addressed these organizational barriers through a multicultural social work student field placement in 1 rural hospice. The effectiveness of the student interventions was evaluated, including addressing organizational barriers, cultural competence training of staff, and community outreach. Results indicated that students can provide a valuable service in addressing organizational barriers through a hospice field placement.