Message from the Chair and Executive Director

2012; Volume 13, No 10, October

Message from the Chair and Executive Director

Dear readers:

This month we have several important announcements to make:

1. Chair – elect: We are proud to announce that Dr. Lukas Radbruch was recently elected by the IAHPC Board of Directors as the Chair – elect of IAHPC for the term 2012-2013 and then as Chair for the term 2014-2016 to succeed Dr. Roberto Wenk after 2013. Dr. Radbruch has been a member of the IAHPC board since 2011 and in this role he has served the organization with commitment and dedication. Dr. Radbruch is Chair of Palliative Medicine, University of Bonn, Director of Department of Palliative Medicine, University Hospital Bonn and Director of Palliative Care Centre, Malteser Hospital Bonn/Rhein-Sieg. He is an outstanding academic palliative medicine specialist who brings strong experience in international issues, especially in his role as president of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) until 2011. His biography lists his accomplishments and successes as a leader in palliative care. To read his bio, click here.

After a long list of IAHPC Chairs in the Americas (Eduardo Bruera, Kathy Foley, and Roberto Wenk), it is a great opportunity to move the highest position of IAHPC to a different continent. We are very excited about having Lukas as our next Chair and look forward to working with him as Chair elect during this upcoming year.

2. Members' Month: October is Members' month and we are celebrating the support we receive from individuals and institutions around the world by giving prizes in two categories: One to recognize loyalty among those current members who have kept their membership active for at least two consecutive years and the other to those who bring and invite new people to join. As we announced in our previous edition and through our list of subscribers, this month we will be giving an iPad in each category. To read more about how the prizes will be decided and awarded, click here.

We hope that you will take advantage of this opportunity and keep supporting IAHPC and our mission to promote and advance palliative care globally.

2. World Hospice Palliative Care Day: Saturday, October 13th is the World Hospice Palliative Care Day, a great initiative campaign coordinated by the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance (WPCA). The focus of this year's World Day is: “Living to the end – palliative care for an ageing population”. As we write this newsletter, many organizations throughout the world are planning celebrations to increase awareness among lay people, governments and patients that palliative care improves the quality of life of patients and families and that appropriate policies and funding mechanisms need to be in place to ensure access to palliative care to those in need. More about the WHPCD, the initiatives taking place around the world, photos and resources are available in the world day website at http://www.worldday.org/

3. Opioid Availability in the world: The European School of Medical Oncology (ESMO) in collaboration with the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) joined together in an International Collaborative Project to evaluate the availability and accessibility of opioids for cancer pain. This project was under the leadership of Dr. Nathan Cherny from Israel and the results were presented last week in Vienna during the ESMO Congress. The data presented were consistent with past surveys from other sources, such as WHO and INCB. The vast majority of the world does not have access to opioids for medical use, and although this survey focused on cancer pain, this lack of access is the same for other medical needs. This edition of the newsletter has a brief announcement from the press release prepared by the UICC to announce the results of the survey.

4. Traveling Scholarship awards: We are happy to announce that this past month we gave several grants under the Traveling Scholarship program to the following individuals:

Twenty grants were awarded to the following individuals as part of the Diana, Princess of Wales  Memorial Fund – IAHPC Traveling Scholarship program to support their participation in the palliative care research course “Advancing Palliative Care” in Kampala, Uganda. The course is organized by Palliative Care Uganda and Hospice Africa Uganda in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh under the leadership and coordination of Dr Mhoira Leng and Dr. Scott Murray. The grantees to the course are:

In addition to the grantees above from the DPWMF-IAHPC bursaries, a grant through our Traveling Scholarship program was also given to Dr. Nahla Gafer, head of the palliative care Unit at the Institute of Radiation and Isotope Center in Khartoum, Sudan to attend this research course.

Eight grants were also awarded to the following individuals to support their travel to the VI Pain and Palliative Care Congress of the Central American and Caribbean:

Congratulations to the grantees for their selection – we hope that their trips will help advance palliative care and have the impact they aim for. We look forward to their reports after they return.

Many thanks to our generous donors who make these programs happen and enable us to continue helping the development of palliative care. Donations enable us to continue to support extraordinary efforts by individuals in developing countries who are working very hard to promote and develop hospice and palliative care around the globe. A large proportion of our support comes from public donations. We have started our annual fundraising campaign and several of you will receive a letter in your e-mail – please consider donating and supporting the work we do.  For additional information on how to help us, please go to https://www.hospicecare.com/give/donate.html

5. Board elections: Later this month we will be sending the announcement for those who wish to nominate candidates to our board. We hope that many of you will respond to our invitation and be part of this great organization.

Until next month,

Roberto Wenk, MD
Chair Board of Directors

Liliana De Lima, MHA
Executive Director

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