Posted on September 5, 2019 at 9:10 AM
The African American Advance Care Planning Palliative Care Network is the brainchild of the late Dr. Richard Payne, a man of great honor and distinguished character. I’ll always remember being introduced to him, initially by phone in 2006, when I was working on my Master’s in Social Work. My thesis was on African Americans at the end of life and I wanted to ask Dr. Payne if I could reference his work. He not only said yes but also became a mentor to me. I had the opportunity to work with him on multiple projects.
Dr. Payne’s exemplary leadership was always balanced with his love for his family and his fellow man. I believe that God graced my life for 12 precious years to work with Dr. Payne and to become friends with him and his devoted wife, Terrie—the love of his life.
Our first Network meeting in Durham was indeed sacred. I learned that the meeting room where we gathered at Duke University’s Divinity School was the same place where Dr. Payne had first spoken on the topic of AA-ACP. We felt an air of peace and solidarity of mind for the work at hand—the right place, the right time, and for the right reason. Sacred indeed.
I believe I speak for us all in the Network when I say that we are committed to advancing equitable healthcare and service delivery to the most vulnerable persons in our society. I am honored to be a part of that mission. As we move forward in furthering the work of the AA-ACPN, we also continue the monumental legacy of Dr. Payne’s incredible lifework and vision.
GLORIA THOMAS ANDERSON, PhD, LMSW
Advance Care Planning & Health Living Through Faith
African American Advance Care Planning Palliative Care Network member