Longtime and Lifetime IAHPC members told us why their membership is so important to them. This is the second, and final, sampling of their comments.
During the last 10 years of my journey in palliative care, IAHPC played a major role in all endeavors. As a member, I was privileged to access important documents and journals for the successful completion of my doctoral studies in palliative care. I also participated in IAHPC/WHO Policy Brief Course in Palliative Care under the guidance of Dr. Katherine Pettus. Personally, IAHPC opened the doors wide open to access knowledge in palliative care and to be in touch with the whole world.
The remarkable character of IAHPC is that it is a platform, where all nations, organizations, and communities can come together and discuss various needs and issues related to hospice and palliative care. IAHPC is a wide umbrella that covers all health professionals, students, social workers, chaplains, counsellors, etc. to be part of this holistic care.
A peculiarity I found is that IAHPC values “each member” in the organization, just as we value “each patient” in palliative care.
It is with immense pleasure and joy that I extend you all my sincere gratitude for your excellent service.
— Rev. Varghese K. Abraham, Palliative Care Trainer, The Mar Thoma Church, India
My membership in IAHPC is very important to me because it coincides with my personal mission. I believe effective pain and symptom relief and psychosocial support during serious illness is a basic human right, and this is not consistently occurring, even in developed countries. As a pharmacist, I struggle with the idea that people suffering with pain worldwide often do not have access to effective analgesics. This is just unacceptable. I am also an educator who has devoted her career to providing education on pain management and palliative care to a variety of audiences, across numerous platforms (open access, college level, post-graduate; didactic, experiential). I am strongly supportive of IAHPC’s mission to advance hospice and palliative care practices, education and research around the world, and I’m very appreciative of their efforts. Please continue your excellent work, never tiring, until we meet the ultimate goal of effective and efficient hospice and palliative care worldwide.
— Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD, MA, MDE, BCPS, CPE, Professor and Executive Director, Advanced Post-Graduate Education in Palliative Care, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, USA
Through IAHPC I was able to connect with an early champion of palliative care in Guatemala, Eva Duarte, and help her come to Houston for a conference and to spend time at MD Anderson [Cancer Center]. Later, IAHPC put me in contact with Deiann Sobers, founder of Barbados’ Palliative Care Organization, and I had the privilege of traveling to Barbados twice to participate in educational programs; one of their board members spent a week with me in Florida to learn about our hospice program at Houston Hospice. Through these experiences and interacting with clinicians from around the world — at events such as McGill’s biennial international palliative care conference in Montreal, the AAHPM annual conference and M.D. Anderson’s annual palliative care interdisciplinary conference — I learned more about the challenges and amazing progress clinicians have made in the field of hospice/palliative care around the world and the importance of support from IAHPC, especially in developing countries. As a result, I am proud to be a lifetime member of IAHPC and support the important work of this wonderful organization.
— Sue Krauter, MD, FAAHPM, Houston Hospice, USA
After joining as a member, in 2005 I become part of IAHPC’s expert committee. As part of that committee, Liliana (IAHPC’s executive-director) introduced me to Dr. M.R. Rajagopal, the father of palliative care in India; since then, there has been no looking back — we’ve accomplished many things.
As chair of the Indo-American Cancer Association, in collaboration with Pallium India, I developed a six-week certificate in palliative care course for doctors and nurses in India that has been given to 220 candidates in the past five years. It is a residential course, consisting of classes in the morning and patient care in the afternoon. Resources permitting, we will be able to train up to 70 students a year, including nurses and physicians in primary palliative care. Upon completion, physicians can start primary palliative care and can prescribe medicinal opioids. About 20% of physicians who successfully completed the course have gone on to become staff members at palliative care institutions.
The association has also identified centers of excellence in India, and raised funds to support scholarships for palliative champions. There is a special place in my heart for my home country, India, as I continue to exchange knowledge and other expertise in this field. In future there is also a plan to start similar courses in other countries. I am ever thankful to IAHPC for the initial introduction.
— Dr. Suresh Reddy, Professor, Department of Palliative, Rehabilitation and Integrative Medicine, Division of Cancer Medicine at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, USA; and Chair, Palliative Care Program, Indo-American Cancer Association.
I support IAHPC's mission to increase access and optimize the practice of palliative care.
— Aynharan Sinnarajah, Assistant Professor, Department of Palliative Care, University of Calgary; and Alberta Health Services, Canada