By Alison Ramsey, Newsletter Editor
Some know from a young age exactly what their dream job is. Others, like Julia Libreros, live and learn.
IAHPC’s Coordinator of Directory Services has a few degrees; the first, in the field of finance, led to a job managing commercial aspects of a group of banks in her home country, Colombia. The work was interesting, and fulfilled her desire to work with people, but she soon realized that “I wanted something more — something in the medical field.”
So she enrolled in gerontology and, after graduating, joined La Viga, one of Latin America’s first hospices as Coordinator of Hospital Wellbeing. (It’s also where Julia got to know one of La Viga’s founders, IAHPC Executive-Director Liliana De Lima.) When the yearlong position ended, she moved to a large medical clinic.
“I described what I did at La Viga,” she says. The clinic asked her to implement a similar program among kitchen staff, nutritionists, and maintenance and the disinfection/cleaning group in order to maintain quality services for patients. “I call them the backstage staff. I learned a lot!”
After a year at the clinic, in 1996, she moved to Houston to learn English; it was no coincidence that her mentor, Liliana, was also working in the city. An Associate Degree in Physical Therapy followed the English courses, and Julia settled in at a company that provided services for Houston-area orthopedics and sports medicine patients and, increasingly, rehabilitation for those with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
“All this time, palliative care remained right there, in my heart,” Julia says. Unable to ignore its pull, she began volunteering at IAHPC, continuing to develop the organization’s global palliative care services directory even while living for two years in Chile, when her husband was transferred there. By the time they returned to Houston, Julia had a part-time job at IAHPC that soon became full-time.
“In the beginning, I missed dealing directly with patients,” she says. “But now, I understand there are different ways to work. With technology, you can reach the patient, the family, the doctors, and help them all through our resources. The education and institutions/organizations directories, for me, are a chance to communicate with the entire palliative care community, to reach patients and give them comfort through information.
“It’s so beautiful.”
Today, 15 years after first admitting she wanted something more, Julia has her dream job, partly because she adjusted her vision to meet opportunity.
“I now feel content,” she says, “working backstage.”
IAHPC’s Global Directory of Palliative Care Institutions and Organizations details the services that each supplies.
IAHPC’s Global Directory of Educational Programs in Palliative Care describes each program, lists course objectives, provides contact information, and more.
IAHPC appreciates the stability and support offered by those who choose to become Lifetime Members. Over the next few months we will celebrate their important contribution by publishing the entire list of these members; this is the first group — those who signed up as Lifetime Members on or before 2003. In the next issue, we will publish those to signed up between 2004 and 2007, inclusive.
[See Introducing... the Portuguese Association of Palliative Care to find out why it became one of our Lifetime Members.]
F. Michael Gloth III
Janet L. Jones
Doris Man Wah Tse
Raymond G. Oneric
Thomas J. Smith
A list of individuals who joined, or renewed their membership with, IAHPC during the past month.
|Farzana Khan at Fasiuddin Khan Research Foundation||Bangladesh|
|Juliano Ferreira Arcuri||Brazil|
|Pedro Emilio Perez-Cruz||Chile|
|Maria Dionysi at Galilee Palliative Care Unit||Greece|
|Bernadette Pirihi at All Ireland Institute Of Hospice And Palliative Care (AIIHPC)||Ireland|
|Harre Haren Ramasamy||Malaysia|
|Boubacar Poulho Sow||Senegal|
|Brenda Ward||United Kingdom|
|Cindy Stafford||United States|
|Jennifer Ellis||United States|
|Hanan Saca-Hazboun||West Bank and Gaza|
|Mwate Joseph Chaila||Zambia|
|Martyarini Budi Setyawati||Indonesia|