Message from the Chair and Executive Director

2020; Volume 21, No 2, February

Message from the Chair and Executive Director

Dear Readers:

We wish to extend a message of solidarity to our colleagues and friends in China as they face the challenges of the coronavirus. We hope that you, your family, friends, and loved ones are well and that the situation will soon be solved.

By the time this issue of the newsletter is published, the 146th Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) will have met in Geneva. Though our Advocacy Officer, Dr. Katherine Pettus, was unable to travel due to recent surgery, our organization was well represented by Dr. Natalia Arias (Spain) and Dr. Rumana Dowla (Bangladesh), both longtime members of the IAHPC and strong advocates for palliative care. Katherine worked hard to prepare them for this important meeting and we are very grateful for their commitment and interest in representing the IAHPC. Our relentless advocacy to advance palliative care has had tangible results, such as the inclusion of palliative care language in WHO documents. There is still much work to do; although we make progress in some areas, others are lacking.

Traveling Scholarships
awarded for ALCP

In January, the IAHPC working group reviewed applications for Traveling Scholarships to attend the Latin American Congress of Palliative Care (ALCP), taking place in San José, Costa Rica, in March. So many qualified members applied that selecting winners from among the applicants was a difficult task; many thanks to all those who participated for their enthusiasm.

We are happy to announce that the following 15 individuals — including students, palliative care administrators, nurses, psychologists, and physicians — were selected to receive Traveling Scholarships:

Congratulations to all of you! We look forward to reading your reports after the congress.

We will continue to work to secure funding for the Traveling Scholarship program for future events and congresses.

Our Strategic Plan
now being enacted

This year also marks the implementation of the IAHPC’s 2020-2024 Strategic Plan. In developing this five-year plan, we re-examined our strategic priorities against the current global health policy landscape, considering where the organization could have the most meaningful role.

IAHPC is focusing on four thematic areas and outcomes.

  1. Advocacy, to promote the integration of palliative care into primary health care, within the spectrum of universal coverage, and improved access to essential palliative care medications.
  2. Education, to increase the workforce skilled in primary health palliative care.
  3. Research, to gather data and evidence to inform palliative care development globally.
  4. Information dissemination, to educate stakeholders and amplify the impact where change is happening, to increase demand for palliative care, and to inspire additional changes.

Liliana and the entire IAHPC staff are working hard to reframe all our projects and programs to align with this plan. The actions we take aim to achieve changes and specific outcomes that accelerate access to palliative care for those in need globally, as well as to increase the knowledge and an evidence base for palliative care development. We will soon announce additional measures and projects that we hope will foster these outcomes.

Until next month,

Lukas Radbruch, MD
Chair, Board of Directors

Liliana De Lima, MHA
Executive Director

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