Black Americans suffer disproportionately in the face of serious illness. Evidence points to significantly worse pain management, ineffective communication from providers, and an outsized burden on family caregivers. While palliative care teams directly address these sources of suffering for the patients and families they serve, Black patients are less likely to receive palliative care.

CAPC is conducting a comprehensive environmental scan to identify opportunities to reduce these inequities. The scan includes a literature review to establish what is known about disparities, barriers, and successful interventions; interviews with community advocates and experts to explore effective strategies and policy recommendations; and outreach to palliative care teams to identify replicable interventions that improve access to and/or the quality of palliative care for Black people.

The findings will be disseminated as a national call to action. They will also serve as the foundation for the development and dissemination of practical technical assistance that can drive meaningful change in the care of Black patients with serious illness.

CAPC Steering Committee Co-Chairs

Brynn Bowman, MPA
Chief Executive Officer, Center to Advance Palliative Care

Kimberly Johnson, MD
Professor of Medicine; Director, Duke Center for Research to Advance Healthcare Equity

Diane E. Meier, MD, FACP, FAAHPM
Director Emerita and Strategic Medical Advisor, Center to Advance Palliative Care

CAPC Project Team

Brittany Chambers, MPH, MCHES
Director of Health Equity and Special Initiatives

Andrew Esch, MD, MBA
Senior Education Advisor

Rachael Heitner, MPH, MA, CHPCA
Senior Research and Analytics Manager

Lisa Morgan
Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

Chelsea Perez
Education Associate

Maggie Rogers, MPH
Director of Research and Analytics

Melissa Scholl
Associate Director of Marketing and Communications

Stacie Sinclair, MPP
Associate Director for Policy

Allison Silvers, MBA
Vice President, Payment and Policy

Steering Committee Members

Angie Boddie, MPS
Director of Health Programs, National Caucus and Center on Black Aging, Inc.

Karen Bullock, PhD, LCSW
Professor and Head of the School of Social Work, North Carolina State University

Rev. Cynthia Carter-Perrilliat, MPA
Co-founder, Executive Director, Alameda County Collaborative Care Alliance

Sandy Cayo, DNP, FNP-BC
Vice President of Clinical Performance and Transformation, New Jersey Hospital Association

Zara Cooper, MD, MSc, FACS
Kessler Director, Center for Surgery and Public Health, Associate Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Kimberly Angelia Curseen, MD, FAAHPM
Director of Outpatient Supportive Care, Emory Palliative Care Center; Associate Professor, Division of Palliative Medicine, Department of Family and Preventative Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine

Marisette Hasan, RN, BSN
President and CEO, The Carolinas Center for Hospice and End of Life Care

Connie Hwang, MD, MPH
Chief Medical Officer and Director, Clinical Innovation, Alliance of Community Health Plans

Rev. Dr. Tyrone S. Pitts
General Secretary Emeritus, Progressive National Baptist Convention Inc.; Co-Chair, Equity Task Force, Coalition to Transform Advanced Care

Shirley Roberson
Patient Advocate, Founder, The Blue Chair Movement

Gloria Thomas Anderson, PhD, LMSW
Founder and CEO, Heart Tones™

Mekdes Tsega, MPH
Program Manager, Equitable Health System Integration, American Medical Association Center for Health Equity


This health equity initiative was made possible thanks to the generous support of funders, The Commonwealth Fund and The John A. Hartford Foundation.