Katherine Pettus is the Advocacy Officer for Palliative Care at IAHPC. 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.
Her PhD dissertation appeared as a book, ‘Felony Disenfranchisement in America’, now in 2nd edition with SUNY Press, and her Master’s 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. These are collected in her forthcoming book Global Palliative Care: Reports from the Peripheries.
As IAHPC Advocacy Officer, Katherine attends UN organization meetings 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 universal health coverage throughout the life course.
Dr. Pettus grounds her global advocacy work 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 to deliver palliative care to patients in need. She identifies her original role models/mentors as palliative care pioneers Dr. Anne Merriman, founder of Hospice Africa Uganda, and Dr. M.R. Rajagopal, founder of Pallium India.
Katherine lives in Spain, and in her ‘down time’ enjoys reading, meditation, and walking. She particularly loves visiting her sons and young grandchildren in Taos, New Mexico and California.