2014; Volume 15, No 7, July


Palliative Care Network Conference 2013

Winners of the Best poster awards series

IAHPC is honored to be a longtime supporter of the Palliative Care Network (PCN) Conference and its efforts to increase access to new information and dissemination for palliative care workers around the world.

This section includes the biographies of the winners of the Best Posters Awards series in the PCN 2013 Conference. More information about PCN and the current call for abstracts for the 2014 Conference can be found in

1st Prize was awarded to Dr. Mary O’Brien, for her poster Six steps to success: improving end-of-life care in care homes.

The prize wasUS $300 and one year membership to IAHPC.

Dr Mary O’Brien, RGN, BSc, MA, PGCHETLS, FHEA, PhD
Reader in Health Research
Evidence-based Practice Research Centre (EPRC)
Faculty of Health and Social Care
Edge Hill University

St Helens Rd, Ormskirk L39 4QP, UK

Dr Mary O’Brien is a Reader in Health Research in the Evidence-based Practice Research Centre, Faculty of Health & Social Care at Edge Hill University in Northwest England. Her role encompasses being an active researcher combined with teaching research methods at undergraduate level as well as supervision of Masters’ level research dissertations and Post Graduate Research (PGR) students undertaking Mphil/PhD.

An experienced health researcher, Mary’s particular interests are end-of-life and palliative care research focusing on non-malignant illness, particularly neurological conditions with a specific interest in motor neuron disease (MND). This interest stems from having spent over nine years as a nurse specialist for MND and was influential in the choice of subject matter for her doctoral studies. She was awarded her PhD from Lancaster University in 2009 with a thesis entitled ‘Hopes, transitions and letting go: living with ALS/MND as documented in published and unpublished first-person illness narratives’.

She has published over 25 peer-reviewed papers, is a member of the Editorial board of the British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing and is a peer-reviewer for journals including Journal of Advanced Nursing, Qualitative Health Research and the International Journal of Palliative Nursing. Mary has presented her work worldwide, including the USA, Japan and Australia as well as within the UK and Europe.

Second Prize was awarded to Dr. Arunangshu Ghoshal from India for his poster Relevance of Canadian Health Care Evaluation Project (CANHELP) questionnaire for patients on homecare in Mumbai.

The prize wasUS $200 and one year membership to IAHPC.

Arunangshu Ghoshal, MD
Junior Resident in Palliative Medicine
Dept of Palliative Medicine

Tata Memorial Centre,
Parel, Mumbai-400012, India

Dr. Arunanghsucompleted compulsory rotatory internship in government medical college in all major & minor wards and worked as Resident Medical Officer at local corporate hospitals in Kolkata.

He holds an M.B.B.S. graduate from North Bengal Medical College and Hospital.

Has completed the IAPC Certificate course in palliative care, GCP training, Research methodology in palliative care and attended several conferences.

As a trainer he is supervising the pilot palliative care project in Jawhar and the training of doctors and nurses in Maharashtra under NCD program – He lectures on Neurology in palliative care.


Relevance of Canadian health care evaluation project (CANHELP) questionnaire in Assessment of Satisfaction of End of Life Care provided in patients and families receiving Home Based Palliative Care


General Physicians’ perspective about palliative care in Mumbai- A qualitative study

Working on

Determining the correlates of fatigue and its impact on the quality of life in palliative care patients - dissertation topic.

Third prize was awarded to Dr. Karen S. Fernandez, for her poster Use of Intraperitoneal Bleomycin to Relieve Distressing Symptoms in Sarcmastosis-related Malignant Ascites in a Child.

The prize was $100 and one year membership to IAHPC.

Karen S. Fernandez, MD
Jim & Katie Owens Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Division of Hematology/Oncology
University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria
Children's Hospital of Illinois

530 NE Glen Oak Ave.
Peoria, IL 61637, USA

Karen Fernandez, M.D. is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine at Peoria. She is currently working at the Children’s Hospital of Illinois, the largest pediatric hospital in Illinois outside of Chicago.

Dr. Fernandez received her BS and MD from Universidad Francisco Marroquin, Medical School in Guatemala, Central America. She completed residency in Pediatrics at the University of Illinois in Chicago and a fellowship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH. She is board-certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Hematology Oncology. She is also working towards obtaining certification in Pediatric Hospice & Palliative Medicine.

Dr. Fernandez has an interest in pediatric patients affected with solid tumor malignancies, the population with the highest mortality among pediatric cancers. Through her career she has developed an interest in improving the quality of life of children suffering from life-limiting illness, and has become very active in providing medical care for patients with recurrent and progressive cancer. Her work in pediatric oncology lead her to develop an interest in improving distressing symptoms including pain at the end of life and for patients with chronic illnesses. She is one of the team members currently working towards developing a formal pediatric palliative care team at the Children’s Hospital of Illinois dedicated to improve the pain management within the hospital.

Dr. Fernandez enjoys spending time with fellows, residents and students. She also has an interests in medical education in developing countries and has served several teaching assignments in Guatemala, Vietnam and Uganda. She is currently an active teacher in the Department of Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Illinois and a visiting Professor of the Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala where she lectures for the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program.

IAHPC Traveling Scholar's Report

VII Congress of the Latin American Association for Palliative Care

Medellin, Colombia
A report by Dr. Mercedes Bernada (Uruguay)

In Uruguay, Pediatric Palliative Care was recently started. Even though there is a national law that establishes the right for receiving PC for every citizen in the country, official data from the Public Health Minister says that only 3% of children receive PC.

Currently, during the past 5 years, there are PC pediatric services in 2 of 19 departments in the country, but few professionals have the basic knowledge and skills to support children with life threatening conditions and their families during the illness.

This lack of trained professionals to deliver PC is the most important barrier to the development of this field in Uruguay. To address this situation in 2011 we implemented a mandatory Pediatric Palliative Care Introductory course for all the pediatric residents. It is a 2-month course followed by a 3-week rotation in the Pediatric PC Unit of the Pereira Rossell Hospital Center. This has been an important achievement. We are involved in other educational challenges such as the systematic introduction of PC in the curriculum in the school of medicine and the diffusion of the PC strategies to professionals already involved in the care of children in different parts of the country, outside the capital city of Montevideo. Being responsible for these clinical and educational projects is a challenge.

The IAHPC scholarship to attend the ALCP Conference made it possible for me to meet and share experiences, challenges and clinical and educational “know how” with some in the Latin American Pediatric Palliative Care community. It also provided me an opportunity to come in contact PC leaders in Latin America and the world; to learn and be inspired by their experiences and teachings and to learn how others include PC education in their schools of medicine and beyond. This will help us to develop a strategy in Uruguay.

More information on Pediatric Palliative Care development in Uruguay.

Dr. Mercedes Bernadá


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