Message from the Chair and Executive Director

2021; Volume 22, No 6, June

Dear readers,

We hope that everyone is well and keeping safe and healthy. We have many things to report.

We recently announced publication of the third edition of Getting Started: Guidelines and Suggestions for those Starting a Hospice/Palliative Care Service by Dr. Derek Doyle.

Since publication of the first edition in 2005, Getting Started has been the most frequently downloaded document on the IAHPC website and the online version is our most visited section.

Thousands of people, many of whom have told us how helpful it was, have downloaded the second edition, published in 2009. The third edition is available on our website at no charge as a service to the global palliative care community.

We are incredibly grateful to Dr. Doyle for his dedication and ongoing development of this resource, which is shared with people around the world.

May is always the month when the World Health Assembly (WHA)—the governing body of the World Health Organization (WHO)—convenes in Geneva; for the second time in its history, the WHA was held virtually. For this WHA we had a group of dedicated members who volunteered as IAHPC delegates to the Assembly. They spent time and effort to prepare for interventions, and we are very grateful for their commitment.

Only a few weeks ago, we felt supported and motivated after participating in the second roundtable with the WHO Director General, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, and representatives of NGOs working in palliative care. Unfortunately, we recently received new guidance from the WHO Secretariat regarding how NGOs in official relations should interact with member state delegations at the WHA. The new guidance limits NGO participation quite significantly, and thus impacts organizations such as ours that are trying to raise awareness about palliative care. We are committed to continue working in collaboration with the WHO as an NGO in official relations, and to serving as a global platform for palliative care by implementing innovative ideas and strategies to amplify the voices of service users, workers, caregivers, and advocates.

Finally, you may have seen that we are offering a 20% discount in our membership rates until July 31. We decided to offer this discount in recognition that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the income of many workers, who may now have fewer discretionary funds. We hope that you will take this opportunity to join, renew your membership, or refer a colleague. Active members who renew before July 31 will have their membership extended for one year after their regular renewal date. There are prizes for members who make the most referrals! See the News section for details.

Until next month,

Lukas Radbruch, MD

Liliana De Lima, MHA
Executive Director

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