2020; Volume 21, No 12, December
The board members of the Panamanian Association of Palliative Care (L-R): Ladys Fergus (nurse), Dr. Nisla Camaño Reyes (president), Dr. Rosibell Escobar (vice-president) Julissa Cuesta (secretary, social worker), Myrna McLaughlin (nurse), and Dr. Yolanda Vargas. Missing in the photo Dra Mirian Gonzales (treasurer). Photo used with permission.

IAHPC Loyalty Award: Panamanian Association of Palliative Care

We are delighted to announce the recipient of the annual IAHPC Loyalty Recognition Award: the Panamanian Association of Palliative Care.

The winner of our 2020 randomized draw of all members with at least three consecutive years of membership, the winner receives a scholarship in the amount of $1,000 USD, plus a one-year extension to their membership.

What can happen when
doctors get chatting

The Panamanian association was founded by good luck and good timing when three doctors fell into conversation in a waiting room on the 6th floor of the National Oncological Institute in 2012.

These three — Drs. Nisla Camaño Reyes, Marie Julio Garibaldo, and Carlos Rodríguez — agreed that the health professionals who practiced palliative care in Panama would benefit from having an association to organize continuing education and exchange knowledge about palliative care practices.

It helped enormously that a few weeks previously, Dr. Camaño had attended the Central American Congress of Pain and Palliative Care, held in Honduras. She and a colleague, Dr. Rosibell Escobar, met key people there from both IAHPC and the Asociación Latinoamericana de Cuidados Paliativos.

Encouraged by this, they were inspired to create their own association, even though there were relatively few palliative care professionals in Panama at the time. A month after meeting in that waiting room, a provisional board of directors was named. As of November 30, 2012, the Asociación Panameña de Cuidados Paliativos had begun.

Group has had a big impact

Among its achievements, the association has participated in:

The association has chosen social worker Ms. Julissa Cuesta as the recipient of the scholarship offered. Ms. Cuesta has been a member of the palliative care team of Hospital de la Caja de Seguro Social since 2008, and is a founding member of the association.

According to IAHPC rules, the organization can give the scholarship to a board member, officer, or staff member to attend an educational event that is consistent with the IAHPC Mission.

To learn more about Panamanian Association of Palliative Care and Asociación Latinoamericana de Cuidados Paliativos visit the IAHPC Global Directory of Palliative Care Institutions and Organizations.

Membership Award Money Will Go To a Future Traveling Scholar

IAHPC Board Member Dr. Steven Radway brought the most new and renewing members to IAHPC this past year. Given his position as a member of the board, Dr. Radwany is unable to receive the award. He has generously requested the $1,000 USD Traveling Scholar prize be used to fund a future Traveling Scholar from a low- or middle-income country.

Thank you, Steven!

A Benefit for Everyone: 20% off membership until Dec. 31

Renew your IAHPC membership this month to take advantage of a 20% reduction in fees across all categories: individual and institutional memberships from countries of all income levels.

You can easily join or renew your IAHPC membership online.

IAHPC Rated a 2020 Great Nonprofit

For the third year in a row, IAHPC has been rated a Great Nonprofit, a seal of approval based on unbiased reviews posted to the Great Nonprofits website. The website lists 1.8 million nonprofits worldwide, and is a repository for reviews of nonprofit organizations.

Geographic Makeup of IAHPC Global Directory of Institutions and Organizations

The IAHPC Global Directory of Institutions and Organizations is an IAHPC resource that has information for patients, families, and providers who are trying to locate hospices, palliative care programs, and palliative care organizations and institutions around the globe. As of September 2020, it has 2,084 listings located in the regions of Africa, Asia, Central America and the Caribbean, Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America. Here is the breakdown:

Great ideas! Sharing Patients’ Favorite Things

Dr. Galina Khemlina — a palliative care physician, partner in Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, and IAHPC member — is working on a book written by patients. The Things I Want You To Know will be a compendium of “patients’ favorite poems, music, photos, or their written submissions addressed to people they care about. It is a part of dignity therapy and the focus is on allowing patients to express themselves, say what is most important to them, and how they would like to be remembered.”

Dr. Khemlina has another idea: “I believe that we should initiate and teach a hospice/palliative care course in one of the United Nations universities. This course should be at no charge, or on a sliding scale, to any health care professional. We could offer additional courses with regional cultural and social modifications. I think there are many enthusiastic palliative care professionals who would be happy to volunteer and just don't have the proper venue.

“This project could help us to unify our message, connect globally, and facilitate international practical collaboration. If any IAHPC members would like to join me in forming a working group to take this initiative forward, contact me at [email protected].

“I am absolutely positive that together, as IAHPC members, we can and will make a significant difference in our world.”

Reminder: COVID-19 Briefing Notes & Webinars A Lasting Resource

Earlier this year, the IAHPC partnered with the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance, the International Children’s Palliative Care Network, and Palliative Care in Humanitarian Aid Situations and Emergencies (PalCHASE) to develop a series of briefing notes and webinars for providers, governments, palliative care associations, and direct stakeholders to address the needs of palliative care patients during this pandemic.

The webinars were recorded and can be accessed on this webpage with links to resources on COVID-19 and Palliative Care. The briefing notes and webinars are consistent with our mission to serve as a platform to disseminate evidence based, useful information to the global palliative care community.

In other news

Apply for a Fellowship to Online Course
Tailored for PC Program Managers

You can apply now for a Fellowship to attend an online palliative care training program for program managers, run by the Institute of Palliative Medicine in Kerala, India. It is one of the very few programs focussing on building organizational skills in palliative care. This online course consists of 60 hours spread over six months; it begins February 21, 2021.

Held in English, the course will cover foundations, concepts, skills in organizing, and managing palliative care services and application of these in local contexts. Clinical staff or program managers/coordinators or community volunteers are eligible to apply.

For more information, write to: [email protected]. Apply here.

Keralty Earns Two Awards for Excellence

IAHPC congratulates Keralty, an international provider of integrated and multidisciplinary care based in Bogotá, Colombia. In early November, Value-Based Health Care (VBHC) awarded Keralty prizes for excellence in two categories: Patient Outcomes and Community.

Keralty is a network of medical centers that provide a range of services, including emergency care, diagnostics, surgery, outpatient care, dentistry, clinical and pathology laboratories, opticians and pharmacies.

“Our service delivery model, with highly qualified personnel, advanced technology and modern facilities, has allowed us to achieve the highest levels of satisfaction among our users and wide international recognition with our primary health care model,” according to Keralty.

According to VBHA, more than 25,000 people voted on the Community award, and prizewinners are chosen by an international expert jury through a jury process. More than 200 organizations applied this year. The annual awards were instituted in 2014.

VBHC “rewards and recognizes inspiring initiatives that have adopted a fundamentally new line of thinking in creating excellent patient value in terms of real outcomes, real connections, and one common language.”

What’s New in the IAHPC Calendar

Costa Rica

Jornada Virtual Latinoamericana de Cuidados Paliativos. "La transformación del arte de cuidar." Virtual conference. March 27, 2021.

Find a workshop, seminar, congress, or conference to interest you in the IAHPC Calendar of Events, updated monthly, that lists activities of special interest to those who work in palliative care. Or submit an event for consideration; it’s free!

Do you have any questions regarding the IAHPC Calendar of Events?

Contact Ms. Julia Libreros

Each month, we publish items that may be of interest to our global readership. Contributions are welcomed.

Please also consider promoting your education and training events in the IAHPC Global Directory of Education in Palliative Care. It’s quick and easy — just submit your content online.

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