A Progressive Palliative Care Educational Curriculum for the Care of

African Americans at Life’s End

ICEOL offers APPEAL training to improve care for African American patients and families at the end of life. APPEAL was developed by African American experts in palliative care, Richard Payne, M.D., ICEOL director, the late Marian Secundy, Ph.D., and a team of interdisciplinary faculty.

Its focus on the principles of culturally sensitive end-of-life care for African Americans makes it the only palliative care curriculum of its kind. Participants will leave this training with increased palliative care knowledge and skills as well as greater confidence and ability to communicate more effectively with African American patients and families.

Palliative and end-of-life care are essential parts of quality health care. Training to provide this care is critical for all who work with patients and families with serious illnesses. APPEAL stands apart from other nationally recognized palliative care curricula by offering technical expertise hand-in-hand with insights into caring for African American patients and families at the end of life.

APPEAL Training

Training Details

Training Modules

  • Overview and Social Determinants of Health: African American Perspectives on Health, Living and Dying
  • Comprehensive Patient Evaluation
  • Grief & Bereavement
  • Hospice Care: Contemporary Challenges and Best Practices
  • Culturally Appropriate Communication
  • Pain Assessment and Treatment in a Complex Subjective World 
  • Spirituality in End-of-Life Care
  • Patient-Centered Decision Making

Who Should Attend

Health care professionals and other caregivers working with African American patients and families facing serious and life-limiting illnesses in hospitals, hospices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes, and office-based settings:

  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Social workers
  • Pharmacists
  • Chaplains & other clergy
  • Psychologists
  • Counselors
  • Hospital & hospice administrators
  • Family caregivers

Learning Objectives

At the end of the APPEAL training, participants should be able to:

  1. Discuss the cultural beliefs, values and traditions of African Americans which may impact end-of-life care.
  2. Describe the impact of racial disparities throughout the health care continuum (diagnosis to death) and their relevance to the experience of African Americans at life's end.
  3. Discuss barriers to quality care for African Americans with advanced serious illness and develop strategies to improve the care of American Americans at life's end.
  4. Demonstrate basic competencies in the comprehensive evaluation of African Americans facing life-limiting illness, including assessment and management of physical, social, emotional, and spiritual suffering across health care settings-ambulatory care, acute hospital care, and community-based hospice care.
  5. Demonstrate strategies for effective communication with patients and families at the end of life which respect individual and cultural beliefs, values and preferences.
  6. Demonstrate strategies for working effectively with an interdisciplinary team and describe the unique and complementary role of each team member in the care of African Americans with life-limiting illness across health care settings.

Training Methods

APPEAL makes use of a wide spectrum of teaching modalities, including text, PowerPoint slides, interactive activities and a DVD of first-hand accounts from African American patients and care providers describing their experiences in multiple health care settings.

Participation Requirements

Participation Requirements

There are two ways to participate in this training event:

  1. As an individual participant OR
  2. As a group of three, e.g., physician, nurse practitioner, nurse, social worker, chaplain, etc.

How to register as a group

When registering as a group, a group leader must be chosen and the entire group must be registered at the same time. This means that the group leader must provide the required information for all of the group members at the time of registration. This can be done online or via mail-in registration. Please submit only one payment method per group. Partial or otherwise incomplete group registrations will not be accepted.

Continuing Education

Faculty Disclosure

The Duke University School of Medicine adheres to ACCME Essential Areas, Standards, and Policies regarding industry support of continuing medical education. Disclosure of the planning committee and faculty’s commercial relationships will be made known at the activity. Speakers are required to openly disclose any limitations of data and/or any discussion of any off-label, experimental, or investigational uses of drugs or devices in their presentations.

Resolution of Conflicts of Interest

In accordance with the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support of CME, the Duke University School of Medicine will implement mechanisms, prior to the planning and implementation of this CME activity, to identify and resolve conflicts of interest for all individuals in a position to control content of this CME activity.


The information provided at this CME activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition.

Accreditation Statements

The Duke University School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation

The Duke University School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 12.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.  Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Social Workers

This program is approved by the National Association of Social Workers (886492617) for 13 continuing education contact hours.

Continuing Education Credits for Nursing

Duke University Health System Education Services Department is authorized by IACET to offer 1.13 CEU* to participants who meet all criteria for successful completion of this conference.

*Note: One IACET CEU is awarded for each ten clock hours  of instruction hours involved in the program. Criteria for Successful Completion include, but may not be limited to, the following: 100% attendance in all sessions, full participation in and satisfactory completion of all related activities and assignments, and completion of an end-of-event evaluation. Partial credit is not awarded. Participants are not required to bring or provide any special materials or technological devices for participation in or completion of this workshop.

Duke University Health System Education Services Department of has been approved as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), 8405 Greensboro Drive, Suite 800, McLean, VA 22102. In obtaining this approval, Duke University Health System Education Services Department has demonstrated that it complies with the ANSI/IACET Standards which are widely recognized as standards of good practice internationally. As a result of their Authorized Provider membership status, Duke University Health System Education Services Department is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standards