To improve end-of-life care in the United States, especially among minorities, much work will need to be done to build trusting relationships, ones in which patients feel comfortable in engaging in end-of-life conversations. Based on recommendations from multi-ethnic patients and families, Stanford launched the Letter Project, a grass-roots campaign to empower multi-ethnic patients to initiate end-of-life conversations with their doctors.
We’re working with 13 different ethnic groups and training students and community leaders in end-of-life care in order for them to serve as cultural ambassadors and facilitate good care for the groups they represent. We recently trained a group of underserved Hispanic high school students from the Leadership Public School San Jose to bring important messages about end-of-life care to their families and communities. Students came to Stanford for boot camp on aging and end-of-life issues and learned to help seniors in their communities document their end-of-life wishes.
To read more please check out recent article posted by the Washington Post on our Letter Project: The silver tsunami is actually silver-brown. How does end-of-life care differ for minorities?