Meet Gloria Thomas Anderson, PhD, LMSW

Gloria brings a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and experience to the healthcare, education, and faith-centered arenas.  She is a university-level professor, licensed social worker, an author, minister, and advance care planning expert with a passion for life. She holds an Interdisciplinary PhD in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership, Policy, and Foundations. Her research focuses on healthcare equity, spirituality, and culturally-responsive care at end-of-life.

Gloria has written several peer-reviewed chapters on spirituality in two publications: the award-winning book, Womanish Black Girls: Women Resisting the Contradictions of Silence and Voice (2019) and The Palgrave Handbook of Workplace Spirituality (2018). She is the author of The African-American Spiritual and Ethical Guide to End-of-Life Care: What Y’all Gon’ Do with Me?, now in its 9th edition. The Guide provides helpful information for healthcare decision-making on advance care planning and end-of-life care options. Her work was cited in the 2015 Institute of Medicine Dying in America Report. Gloria has also authored a cultural competency training manual for social service professionals as well as several inspirational books.

Gloria’s work is highly respected nationally by healthcare organizations, hospices, churches, and communities. She has provided educational presentations to hundreds of groups throughout the U.S. and Canada. She has presented her research and work internationally and nationally at conferences and other professional events, to include the Research Association Minority Professors (RAMP), International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (ICQI), The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), National Association of Multicultural Education (NAME), and The National Council of Black Studies (NCBS). She has also been prominently featured in several national telecasts and training videos and has also been a guest on various television and radio shows, including NPR affiliate, KCUR, KCPT, and e-Care Diary.

Gloria offers professional and personal development courses on the following topics:

A Community Dialogue: The Impact of COVID-19 on African Americans the Importance of Exploring Goals of Care

Let’s Talk About ACP: Advance Care Planning & Healthcare Decision-making on End-of-Life Care

Grief, Loss, & G.R.A.C.E.: Five (5) Healing Steps for the Grieving Heart

Passion For Your Purpose: Seven (7) Principles to Know to Discover and Uncover Your God-given Purpose

She is a member of the Social Work Hospice and Palliative Care Network and serves on the Interfaith and Diversity Workgroup for the Coalition to Transform Advance Care (C-TAC), a national non-partisan organization that addresses disparities at end-of-life.             

Dr. Gloria Has Been Featured in the Following Media

KCPT - Kansas City Public Television
Black Enterprise logo
Yahoo! Finance Logo
VITAS Healthcare
Capital Caring Health
Children’s Mercy Hospital
HCCI (Home Centered Care Institute)
CTAC - (Coalition to Transform Advanced Care)
Center for Practical Bioethics
Hospice Foundation of America
Capital Caring Health
Montgomery and Prince George's Hospice
National Association of Social Workers
National Council of Black Studies
American Business Women’s Association
Funeral Consumers Alliance - Greater Kansas City
Authority Magazine Logo
Highland Nursing Home and Rehab
Hospice of the Chesapeake
Hospice of the Valley
Mental Health America of the Heartland
Saint Luke’s Home Care Hospice
William Jewell College
University of Kansas School of Medicine
Internation End of Life Doula Association (INELDA)
National Association Multicultural Education

Projects and Initiatives

Heart Tones™

Dr. Gloria is the founder and President of Heart Tones™, a ministry that provides customized, educational workshops and resources related to healthcare decision-making, end-of-life, and cultural competency. Heart Tones™ started in 1986 and over the years has evolved into the source of many other projects and initiatives. Even though the goals of each project may be different, they all share the same mission of providing of hope, peace, and purpose.

Learn more about the Heart Tones™. »

The following are the current Heart Tones™ programs and initiatives:

End-of-Life Care Guide

The African-American Spiritual and Ethical Guide to End-of-Life Care can help families talk about and make a plan in advance so that your doctors and one’s family can know what an aging family member would want in a medical emergency situation. The Guide offers trusted and relevant information, complete with helpful resources and free access links to advance care forms by State. Dr. Gloria wrote the first edition of The African-American Spiritual and Ethical Guide to End-of-Life Care in 2006 after receiving a grant to produce her research findings into a patient education resource to offer relevant information about end of life care specifically for African Americans. The Guide is a CDC-recommended advance care planning resource book. It walks readers through the practical and legal considerations in advance care planning and provides an inviting way to talk about what one’s wishes would be if they were unable to speak for themselves due to a life-threatening accident or illness.

Learn more about the EOL Care Guide. »

Advance Care Planning for African Americans (ACP for AA™)

ACP for AA™ is a nationwide educational outreach initiative partnering with organizations to help bridge the racial disparity gap in healthcare delivery by:
1) providing credible and culturally relevant healthcare-related information and resources,
2) promoting conversational engagement about advance care planning options and preferences, and
3) preparing the necessary steps to complete advance care documents and choose a healthcare advocate, if unable to speak for oneself.

Learn more about ACP for AA™. »

Dr. Gloria's Professional Presentations, Webinars, and Invited Lectures

2019

UNCP Library Poster Presentation on Cultural Sensitivity in Grief and Loss

2019

C-TAC National Summit on Advanced Illness Care, Minneapolis, MN

Expert ACP Panelist, Interfaith and Diversity Workgroup Conference Session

2018

Coalition to Transform Advance Care (C-TAC) Conference, Denver, CO

Discussant, Interfaith and Diversity Workgroup (Disparities and Equitable Care for the Seriously Ill)

2018

Research Association Minority Professors (RAMP Conference): Presenter

(Feb 2) Topic: Social Workers’ Use of Self for Culturally Responsive Client Engagement and Change Agency in Urban-Based Communities

2017

Montgomery Hospice Center for Learning: Keynote Speaker (Oct 21)

Topic: Grief, Loss, Grace & Nurturing: An African-American Perspective

2017

Annual International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (May 17-20)

Presentation Title: Use of Self as a Tool for Culturally Responsive Social Work: A Qualitative, Phenomenological Case Study

2016

Paper Presentation: Poos, B., Caruthers, L., Friend, J., & Anderson G. (2016, March).

Voices of early college academy students in a mid-western urban school setting: An innovative school program. Critical Questions in Education, San Antonio, TX.

2016

Center for Practical Bioethics/VITAS Healthcare: The National African-American Advance Care Planning Initiative (curriculum development and facilitator)

2016

Coalition to Transform Advance Care (C-TAC), Washington, DC

Discussant, Interfaith and Diversity Workgroup (Disparities and Equitable Care for the Seriously Ill)

2015

VITAS Healthcare- Keynote Speaker: National Missing Our Mothers Event, Kansas City, MO.

2015

Expert Panelist and Presenter: Funeral Consumers Alliance-GKC, Kauffman Foundation.

2014

Expert Panelist- Public Television KCPT, Live Broadcast “Consider the Conversation” program documentary on death and dying.

2013

Invited Presenter: Montgomery Hospice, Silver Springs, MD; African Americans & End-of-Life Care CEU Training for 150+ healthcare professionals (community-wide event).

2013

National Council Black Studies, Indianapolis, IN; Presenter Topic: Healthcare, Spirituality and Decision-Making.

2013

National Association Multicultural Education: Poster Presentation: Cultural Responsiveness to Urban Children and Youth Affected by Loss.

2012

Saint Luke’s Home Care & Hospice, 8th Annual Spirit-Filled Care of the Dying Conference: Panelist-Cultural End-of-Life Care.

2012

Race Relations Panel Speaker—William Jewell College, Liberty, MO.

2012

Community Presenter: Grief and Loss—Mental Health America of the Heartland, Kansas City, KS.

2011

Original Monologue Reading—National Library African-American History Event, Kansas City, MO.

2011

Guest Speaker—American Business Women’s Association, KCMO Chapter Awards Event.

2011

Invited Presenter: Center for Family Strengths: National Title IV-E Roundtable Child Welfare Conference-University of Houston Downtown.

2010

Invited Keynote Speaker: Hospice of the Valley; Youngstown, Ohio.

2010

Guest Speaker: Highland Nursing Home and Rehab; Kansas City, MO.

2009

Invited Presenter: Missouri Institute on Minority Aging, Lincoln University; Jefferson City, MO.

2009

Invited Presenter: Social Work Empowering People Investing in the Profession, National Association of Social Workers (NASW)-Missouri

2009

Hospice Foundation of America, National Teleconference; Kansas City, MO.

2009

Duke Institute on End-of-Life Care, APPEAL Conference faculty training, Duke University, Durham, NC. (Curriculum development and facilitator)

2008

Invited Presenter: National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Osage Beach, MO; Cultural Awareness in End-of-Life Care.

2008

Invited Presenter: Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, MO; Cultural Awareness in End-of-Life.

2006

Invited Presenter: North American International Conference of Spirituality & Social Work, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; Cultural End-of-Life Care.

2006

Guest Speaker: UMKC Women’s Council Board of Directors; Cultural End-of-Life Care.

2006

Invited Speaker: University of Kansas School of Medicine, Student National Medical Association; Cultural End-of-Life Care.

2006

Guest Lecturer: Park University Bachelors Social Work Program, Parkville, MO; Cultural End-of-Life Care.

Educate, inspire, and encourage your audience.

Book Dr. Gloria today to speak at your event.