VITAS Healthcare Supports National Black Nurses Associations End of Life Care Resolution


Miami, FL, August 1, 2017— VITAS Healthcare, the nation’s leading provider of end-of-life care, and the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) presented a joint resolution entitled “End-of-Life Care: Transitioning Patients with Dignity and Family Support” on Tuesday, August 1, 2017, during the NBNA’s 45th Annual Institute and Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The resolution specifies the need to provide End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) training, administered by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and City of Hope, for all nurses. It also expresses support for palliative and hospice care funding as part of national and international health care plans for providers and systems, including funding for education and research.

“VITAS is a long-time supporter of the NBNA, working together to promote the importance of end of life care and to bring hospice services to underserved communities,” said Diane Deese, VP of Community Affairs for VITAS Healthcare. “This resolution is a declaration that all patients are entitled to appropriate culturally sensitive end-of-life care options, and nurses have a significant role to play in providing that care.”

Even though minority communities carry an equal or higher incidence of chronic and terminal illnesses that are appropriate for end-of-life care referrals, many patients and caregivers are not receiving the physical, emotional, social and spiritual support available through palliative and hospice care. According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, only 24 percent of the 1.7 million patients who received hospice services in 2014 were patients of color.

“We are proud to have VITAS’ support as a corporate partner for the past 14 years, and agree that providing nurses with end-of-life education will help more patients transition life with dignity, respect and family support,” said Dr. Eric J. Williams, DNP, RN, CNE, President of the NBNA. “Together we’ve provided ELNEC training to more than 1,000 NBNA members across the country, and we look forward to making this educational offering available to thousands more.”

Other collaborations between the two organizations include the establishment of the NBNA’s Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward Chapter (GFLBC), the first chapter in the organization’s history to be chartered exclusively by hospice nurses. Located in one of Florida’s most diverse counties, the chapter represents a workforce of professional nurses who reflect the values and cultures of the communities they serve.

As part of its efforts to support the mentorship and guidance of younger nurses, VITAS is also co-hosting the conference’s 40 and Under Forum scheduled for Wednesday, August 2, 2017, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. For more inform or to register, contact


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