IAHPC Membership Matters

2018; Volume 19, No 7, July

IAHPC Membership Matters

Assisi Palliative Care Berhad, Malaysia, has been selected as IAHPC’s 2018 Annual Institutions Award winner. This is the second year of the award, which bestows a $2,000 USD grant to an institution that has joined as a lifetime member. The winner is randomly selected. Join now to be in the pool of potential winners in 2019!

ASPAC Brings High-Quality, Holistic Care into Homes

ASPAC staff pictures at Assisi Palliative Care Berhad. They are, left to right: Roohini, Satwin, Dr. Lalitha Jeyasingam, Boey Tyng Fang, Soong, Patricia, Sister Mary Kristin, Kam Yong, Ong, Dr Teh Ee Von. A volunteer, Mario, is in the front with pet therapy dog Arthur.

Assisi Palliative Care Berhad (ASPAC) is a charitable organization providing free, professional palliative care services to the community. Based in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia, ASPAC’s mission is to provide care in a home setting for those faced with life-limiting illnesses, regardless of race, religion, gender, or socioeconomic status.

‘Our commitment is to deliver skilled, compassionate care to ameliorate symptoms and relieve suffering,’ says Dr. Lalitha Jeyasingam. ‘We focus on meeting the medical and emotional needs of patients and provide support to everyone caring for them. It is our hope that this will allow patients to be with their families for as long as possible, making every moment together special.

‘Most of our referrals come from public hospitals and consist primarily of adult patients with advanced cancer. However, we are increasingly receiving referrals of patients with progressive non-cancer illnesses. A small number of children are also being referred for pediatric palliative care.’

Physical, emotional, spiritual & practical needs addressed
ASPAC volunteers Sivamani and Kamala play Scrabble with patient Chong Siew Peng, who has stage 4 ovarian cancer, in her home.

The team comprises two doctors, five nurses, a counselor, dispenser, and volunteers who strive to meet patients’ physical, emotional, spiritual, and practical needs. Medical equipment — such as hospital beds, oxygen concentrators, wheelchairs, etc. — are loaned to those who need them. Medications are supplied as and when they are available. Syringe pumps with subcutaneous infusions of medicines for patients are set up at their homes, when necessary.

ASPAC offers one-day training programs for volunteers, nurses, and other health care workers, as, ‘We believe that continuous professional development is important for staff to deliver skilled palliative care in a holistic manner,’ says Dr. Jeyasingam. Medical students and other undergraduates are accepted for short attachment postings. Senior palliative medicine consultants from a premier teaching hospital, University Malaya Medical Centre in Kuala Lumpur, act as medical advisors.

Inpatient hospice care is a future goal

ASPAC publishes a newsletter twice a year to inform the public about its activities. A fundraising dinner being held in August will be supplemented with donations sought from the community ASPAC serves.

Raising awareness in the community, staff and volunteers spend time at an ASPAC booth. Left to right are: Maggie, Ng Kok Weng, Krisna, Roohini (front), Dr. Lalitha Jeyasingam, as well as Cyrus, Lucas, and their mother, Erica.

‘Many of the families of the patients we looked after continue to support us,’ says Dr. Jeyasingam. ‘Our vision for 2019 is to be able to have adequate funding to employ a physiotherapist and a Volunteer Coordinator. A long-term goal (which I hold dear to my heart) is to offer in-patient hospice care in the future, in a designated facility for patients who need more skilled care than can be provided at home. It will offer respite care, EOL care and serve as a support system for patients who are facing difficult symptoms or other crises at home.’

Pictures and descriptions of ASPAC training programs and activities can be viewed on the ASPAC-Assisi Palliative Care Facebook page or on its website.

New and Renewing Members' List

Read the list of individuals who joined/renewed their membership with IAHPC during the past month.

Membership renewals
Name Country
John Haberecht Australia
Margaret O'Connor Australia
Cheryl Nekolaichuk Canada
Carolina Palacio Colombia
Thiagarajan Mohanasundaram India
Aaron Hiew Malaysia
Celina Castañeda Mexico
Rosa Maria Benitez Martinez Mexico
Carlos Centeno Atlantes Research Program. Institute for Culture and Society University of Navarra Spain
Maria Nabal Spain
Marcos Lama Spain
Helen Surgeon Butterfly Children's Hospices United Kingdom
Eduardo Garcia Yaneo Uruguay
New members
Name Country
Hummingbird House Australia
Metro South Palliative Care Service, Metro South Health, Queensland Health Australia
Bronwyn Lee Australia
Nusrat Aman Bangladesh
Bruna Moreira de Souza Proenca Brazil
Santo Domingo-SEG Cameroon
Luisa Fernanda Arenas Ochoa Colombia
Ximena Garcia Colombia
Linda Marisol Bustamante Tuchez Guatemala
Nadia Maria Indonesia
I Made Pramana Dharmatika Indonesia
Fondazione Maruzza Lefebvre D'Ovidio Onlus Italy
Eugenia Lopez Romboli New Zealand
Abiola Ogundele Nigeria
Karen Jane Wenceslao Philippines
Clarisse Musanabaganwaisse Rwanda
Knysna Sedgefield Hospice South Africa
Magdalena Van Jaarsveld South Africa
Mitchell Robert Scott South Africa
Luther Kaigarula Tanzania

See the full list of IAHPC members

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