Physician Also Serves on Compassion & Choices African American Leadership Council
(Los Angeles, Calif. – Nov. 13, 2018) To commemorate the first day of national hospice month, Compassion & Choices announced today it has appointed a leading expert in hospice and end-of-life care, Dr. Lucille Ridgill, to its board of directors. Dr. Ridgill also serves on Compassion and Choices’ African American Leadership Council and its Strategic Impact Committee.
The African American Leadership Council works to increase awareness of end-of-life care options in the African American community by engaging with diverse organizations and sharing experiences African Americans face at the end of life. Dr. Ridgill is an integral member of the team. She has attended a lobby day, represents Compassion & Choices at medical conferences and works to advance end-of-life care education on the national level. She also served on Compassion and Choices’ Strategic Impact Committee, which helped create an innovative strategic plan that will help guide the organization over the next 5 years.
Dr. Ridgill is a Site Medical Director at AltaMed, the nation’s largest network of community-based primary care clinics and senior care programs, overseeing clinical patient care. AltaMed is headquartered in Commerce, California.
Dr. Ridgill is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and is board certified in hospice and palliative medicine. She is also a visiting physician at VITAS Healthcare in Coastal Cities, California. Dr. Ridgill completed her residency at UCLA-Charles Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles. She received a Bachelor’s Degree from Creighton University and a medical degree from Creighton University Medical School, in Omaha, Nebraska.
“Dr. Ridgill is an amazing asset to Compassion & Choices who has generously given her time and lent her medical expertise to Compassion & Choices’ Strategic Impact Committee and African American Leadership Council,” said Kim Callinan, CEO of Compassion & Choices. “We look forward to Dr. Ridgill’s expanded role as a board member in advancing our mission of improving care and expanding options at the end of life.”
“The California End of Life Option Act has spurred conversations with terminally ill adults about all their end-of-life options, including hospice and palliative care, to minimize suffering and maximize quality of life” said Dr. Ridgill, “Compassion & Choices is instrumental in ensuring that people across the country are aware of their options at the end of life and able to access them.”
Medical aid in dying has been authorized in the District of Columbia and seven states: California, Colorado, Hawai‘i, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. Collectively, these eight jurisdictions represent nearly one out of five Americans (19%) and have 40 years of combined experience safely using this end-of-life care option. Between 80 and 90 percent of terminally ill adults who utilize medical aid in dying are enrolled in hospice, according to annual reports in California, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.
A 2016 Medscape online survey showed 7,500 doctors nationwide from 25 medical specialties support medical aid in dying by nearly a 2–1 margin (57% to 29%).
National and state polls show a majority of Americans across the ethnic, political and religious spectrum support medical aid in dying. This majority includes African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, conservatives, Democrats/Democratic-leaning independents, liberals, moderates, Republicans/Republican-leaning independents, Catholics, Christians, Protestants, people of other faiths, and people living with disabilities.