Dingle Spence is a Jamaican physician with training in both Clinical Oncology and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Spence is the Senior Medical Officer of the Hope Institute Hospital, Jamaica's only dedicated oncology and palliative care unit. She is also an Associate Lecturer in the Department of Medicine at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, and is currently the Acting Head of the Department of Radiotherapy at the Kingston Public Hospital. In 2005 she instigated and continues to teach an introductory course in palliative medicine for medical students at the University. The Hope Institute Hospital also serves as an educational resource for all persons interested in education in palliative medicine and collaborates with University in providing a site for the gynecology oncology fellowship rotation and elective rotations in palliative care for internal medicine and anesthesiology physicians.
Dr. Spence has an interest in improving opioid availability and accessibility in Jamaica and undertook an International Pain Policy Fellowship (2008-2012) at the University of Wisconsin, USA, with this as a focus. By the end of the Fellowship period, immediate release morphine tablets, not previously available in Jamaica, had been made both available and accessible in public hospitals and private pharmacies island wide.
Dr. Spence is committed to palliative care education, service development, and research and advocacy, both nationally and across the Caribbean region. She is a founding member of the Jamaica Pain Collaborative, the Palliative Care Association of Jamaica, the Caribbean Palliative Care Association and the Jamaica Cancer Care and Research Institute (JACCRI) (https://cgvh.harvard.edu/JACCRI-Mission). In collaboration with the JACCRI team, Dr. Spence has developed and delivered two training modules in palliative care, hosted in Jamaica (Oct 2017 and Nov 2018) with attendees from across the Caribbean. Dr. Spence is currently working with the Medical School at the University of the West Indies to develop a Diploma in Palliative Medicine and to have palliative care medicine recognized as a medical specialty in Jamaica.
Dr. Spence was a Scientific Advisor to the Lancet Commission on Global Access to Palliative Care and Pain Relief and is a member of the Lancet Commission Implementation Group.
Dr. Spence joined the IAHPC Board of Directors in 2019, and is interested in working on policy development, particularly in community based palliative care, and on palliative care education at all levels.
When not working in oncology and palliative care, Dr. Spence enjoys spending time with her daughter, international travel, and walking her seven dogs in the Jamaican mountains.