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Local church teams with hospice to reach Black families

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St. Mark United Methodist Church in Lakeland, Florida has teamed with Good Shepherd Hospice for an event in an effort to rid Black families of preconceived ideas about hospice facilities.

Rev. Delano McIntosh, part-time pastor of the small church at 1640 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. says that the event will aid in dealing with the negative stigma about hospice.

"They think if you agree to go to hospice, there is no hope," McIntosh said. "That you're saying there's no way for God to bring you out of this situation."

That isn't true, she said.

"God goes with us into hospice care," she said. "We know from Scripture nothing separates us from the love of God."

St. Mark member, Yvonne McShay is the catalyst behind the event titled "Navigating Life's Final Journey: Improving the Role of Hospice Care in the African-American Community."

According to McShay, the low percentage of Blacks in hospice was the inspiration behind the seminar.

"We need to change some attitudes before we get to that health issue," she said.

"I just want families to move to the point where they can have these discussions and take it from there," she said.

The seminar is being held today from 9 a.m. to noon. Anyone planning on attending the event, please call 863-687-0326 or 863-686-8975 for more information.