In what’s been referred to as “groundbreaking” work, GW Nursing’s Dr. Kimberly Acquaviva published a handbook for hospice and palliative care professionals who want to enhance the inclusiveness of their care.
Her book, “LGBTQ-inclusive Hospice and Palliative Care” provides strategies for physicians, nurses, social workers, counselors and chaplains who want to better serve their LGBTQ patients.
Dr. Acquaviva is nationally known as an authority on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning (LGBTQ) aging and end-of-life issues, having won the Health Professional Leadership Award in April at the 5th Annual LGBT Health Workforce Conference. Earlier this year, she also launched the em dash podcsast, which explores people's different experiences and the diversity in the healthcare arena.
"If I wanted to transform hospice and palliative care for LGBTQ people and their families, I would need to write an accessible book that would give physicians, advanced practice registered nurses, registered nurses, social workers, counselors, and chaplains a common framework for providing inclusive care to all patients and families, not just those who are LGBTQ. So that’s the book I wrote," Dr. Acquaviva said.
Harrington Park Press approached Dr. Acquaviva in 2015 about the possibility of writing a book on the topic.
Dr. Acquaviva’s handbook is “a groundbreaking roadmap to inclusive care delivery,” said Dr. Diane Meier, Director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care.
Dr. Acquaviva also created an assessment tool that hospice and palliative care programs can use to audit their current policies and practices. “The Assessment Tool for LGBTQ-Inclusive Hospice and Palliative Care,” is available free for download.
"The biggest surprise for me wasn’t about the topic but rather the writing process. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to write using plain language. Writing clearly and concisely was much more difficult than I had anticipated. Now that I’ve written a book using plain language, though, I can’t imagine writing any other way," she said.
A May 1 book party in Washington, D.C., marked the official publishing and release of Dr. Acquaviva's first published book.
To work on the book, Dr. Acquaviva took a six-month sabbatical from GW Nursing, where she serves as the school’s first non-nurse tenured faculty member. A social worker by training, she conducts interdisciplinary, collaborative research and scholarship within the school.