Katherine Pettus is IAHPC’s Senior Advocacy Director. She holds a PhD in Political Theory from Columbia University, and a Master’s degree in Health Law and Policy from the University of California San Diego. She trained in California as a hospice volunteer in 2010, joining the Leadership Development Initiative at the Institute for Palliative Medicine in 2011, and the IAHPC in 2014.
As Senior Advocacy Director, Katherine leads IAHPC delegations at meetings of UN entities to advocate for improved availability, and rational use of opioids for palliative care as a component of the right to health. She addresses issues of global palliative care development and policy as an essential element of primary health care and universal health coverage throughout the life course.
Dr. Pettus grounds her global advocacy work in her position as a volunteer in inter-disciplinary hospice teams, as well as in site visits to IAHPC members and partners in Low- and Middle-Income countries, where she participates as often as possible in home-care visits with colleagues who work in extremely challenging circumstances. She identifies Dr. Anne Merriman, founder of Hospice Africa Uganda, and Dr. M.R. Rajagopal, founder of Pallium India as her original role models/mentors.
Katherine’s PhD dissertation appeared as a book, ‘Felony Disenfranchisement in America’ (SUNY Press) and her Masters Thesis studied the interface between international law and access to internationally controlled essential controlled medicines for palliative care. Katherine has an extensive list of publications in edited volumes, journals, and a blog. Some of her writing is collected in her self-published book Global Palliative Care: Reports from the Peripheries.