Message from the Chair and Executive Director

2017; Volume 18, No 5, May

Message from the Chair and Executive Director

Dear readers,

We have been very busy!

Advocacy Workshop

Last month IAHPC organized the first IAHPC Advocacy Workshop for Palliative Care in Uruguay with participants from Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay. Liliana and Dr. Katherine Pettus, IAHPC Advocacy Officer facilitated along with Ms. Isabel Pereira from De Justicia (non-governmental organization) and Dr. Tania Pastrana, President of the Latin American Association for Palliative Care (ALCP). The workshop was facilitated in collaboration with the Uruguayan Society of Palliative Care (Sociedad Uruguaya de Cuidados Paliativos) and the ALCP, and endorsed by the Ministry of Health of Uruguay. Participants included presidents of their national palliative care associations and a representative from their ministries of health.

The purpose of the workshop was to collaborate with governments and representatives of civil society in the implementation of four international policy documents:

  1. The implementation of the recommendations of the World Health Assembly Palliative Care Resolution from 2014: “Strengthening of palliative care as a component of comprehensive care throughout the life course”.
  2. The implementation of the operational recommendations in the Outcome document of the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS): Our joint commitment to effectively addressing and countering the world drug problem.
  3. The agenda 2030 to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, especially on how to integrate palliative care in universal health care; and
  4. The ratification of the Inter-American Convention on Protecting the Human Rights of Older Persons.

During the workshop participants were asked to identity three to five priority issues in their corresponding countries that needed to be addressed. They were asked to use the WHO framework for palliative care on policy, education, access to medicines (particularly opioids) and/or service provision. Participants were then asked to complete an action plan that they could implement through their national palliative care associations in collaboration with their governments. The resulting action plans were extraordinary and we were very happy with the results of our first advocacy workshop. We will continue to provide guidance and expert support to the participants in the implementation of their plans.

It was a great experience to be there and we are looking forward to the next workshop in the countries in Central America in a few months.

ITES – Workshop on Education for undergraduate medical students

After Montevideo, we crossed the River La Plata to Buenos Aires (Argentina) to help implement a workshop on palliative care education for undergraduate medical schools in Argentina. The workshop was hosted by the National Cancer Institute of Argentina and Fundacion FEMEBA in Bueno Aires and co-sponsored by IAHPC and the University of Aachen in Germany. This workshop falls under the Initiative Transforming the System (ITES), which we implemented a few years ago in Colombia. Dr. Roberto Wenk, past Chair of IAHPC, and Dr. Tania Pastrana, along with Liliana, facilitated this workshop. Participants represented several universities throughout Argentina. During the workshop we discussed competencies, curriculum, and methodology.

Ana Maria Restrepo

After 17 years of service, Ms. Ana M. Restrepo will be retiring from her role as the IAHPC Membership Officer at the end of May. Ana has been working with IAHPC almost since we started the current office in Texas (remember that IAHPC was initially incorporated in New Jersey by Dr. Josephine Magno – more about IAHPC history is available on our website). We will forever remain grateful for her work, dedication and loyalty to the organization. She has seen IAHPC grow, change and evolve during all these years. Many thanks Ana!

Ms. Genieve Napier, Manager of Programs and Projects will assume the responsibilities of the membership program. Many thanks Gena for taking this on.

Ana is now living in Boca Raton, Florida with her husband and close to her daughter, Catalina, who is attending law school. Ana will continue helping as a volunteer and collaborating with IAHPC with different tasks.

Ana will be at the EAPC Congress in Madrid looking after the IAHPC booth, together with the rest of the IAHPC team. For those who will be attending, I hope you will have time to thank her personally for her contribution and service to the organization.

Arthur Lipman, PharmD

We were very sad to learn that a friend and colleague, Doctor Arthur G. Lipman died on April 23, 2017 in Salt Lake City, USA, due to complications of myelofibrosis. Dr. Lipman served on the IAHPC Board of Directors during 2012-2014. During these years, he participated in the working committees that led to the IAHPC List of Essential Medicines in Palliative Care and in the List of Essential Practices in Palliative Care.

Dr. Lipman graduated from the University of Rhode Island with an undergraduate degree in pharmacy and went on to receive his PharmD from the University of Michigan. He served in the United States Public Health Service as a Director of Pharmacy on the Navajo Reservation from 1968-1971, ultimately attaining the rank of Captain after several promotions.

After serving on the faculty of Yale University, he went to Salt Lake City to found the Department of Pharmacotherapy at the University of Utah, where he worked tirelessly for the remainder of his career in palliative care and chronic pain treatment. He was Professor Emeritus of Pharmacotherapy and Adjunct Professor of Anesthesiology at the University of Utah, and held the position of Director of Clinical Pharmacology at the University’s Pain Management Center for 29 years. In addition, he was the founding editor of the Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy. Dr. Lipman published extensively. He served on the federal Acute and Cancer Pain Management Guidelines Panels, was President of Cancer Pain Relief-Utah, served on the Board of Directors of the American Alliance of Cancer Pain Initiatives, and was a consultant to the Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health as well as many other federal agencies.

We extend our deepest sympathies to his friends, colleagues and family. Dr. Lipman will be missed.

IAHPC booth at the EAPC World Congress

Later this month, Lukas and Liliana, as well as several board members and all the staff members, will be participating in the 15th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care in Madrid. IAHPC will have a stand in the exhibit area where we hope to see many of you. Come by and say hello and meet our board members. We will be offering a discount to those who join or renew their membership during the Congress – plus we’ll be organizing a raffle for those who join or renew. We look forward to seeing you there!

Until next month,

Lukas Radbruch, MD

Liliana De Lima, MHA
Executive Director

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