Meet Some of Our Lifetime Members

2021; Volume 22, No 9, September
Dr. Jennifer Ong

A Wide Range of Research Interests

I am a registered pharmacist and early-career academic at the University of Sydney who is committed to advancing the field of palliative care in Australia through the provision of impeccable patient care, educating future health care professionals, and research.

I have led collaborative research projects involving partners from major hospitals (including the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse cancer treatment center, Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre, and Westmead Hospital) to investigate palliative care issues, such as the inappropriateness of antipsychotic use for delirium, opioid hesitancy in pain management, and adoption of biosimilars. I am also interested in exploring how the assessment and support of people’s spiritual needs could be improved by health care professionals.

I joined IAHPC because I admire the great support the association provides its members and broad global reach of the work it supports. I came across the association in a paper that was jointly published by attendees from one of your conferences.

—Dr. Jennifer Ong, Lecturer and Clinical Placement Coordinator
The University of Sydney School of Pharmacy

Editor’s note: Wikipedia defines a biosimilar as an “almost an identical copy of an original product that is manufactured by a different company [...] after a patent expires. [...] Unlike with generic drugs of the more common small-molecule type, biologics generally exhibit high molecular complexity.”

Integrative Medicine: ‘There is always something that can be done’

Dr. Piyush Gupta, above, and the association’s logo, below. Photo used with permission.

The National Association of Palliative Care for AYUSH & Integrative Medicine was incorporated on May 21, 2020. Its aim is to empower AYUSH interventions in palliative care, and promote integrative medicine even in remote corners of the country, improving the quality of life holistically. Integrative medicine can play a major role, not only in the early course of disease progression but even for terminally ill patients.

The timing of NAPCAIM was extremely difficult: Covid-19 had unleashed terror across the globe, taking a heavy toll of lives but also causing mental distress that eroded quality of life; palliative care training sessions had come to standstill due to lockdowns.

And yet, we moved forward, managing to acquire all mandatory accreditations to become a charity, including ISO 9001 certification. Under the aegis of the International Institute of Distance Learning, a Foundation Course in Palliative Care was launched, and 72 students enrolled. They were followed by 121 students taking a six-month Fellowship in Palliative Care, in affiliation with Sri Guru Ram Das University of Health Sciences and endorsed by Fight Cancer Global USA and the IAHPC.

Within a year, 25 chapters of NAPCAIM were formed, consisting of 112 lifetime members and four institutional members. Furthermore, 28 students joined a six-month offline course to become palliative nursing aides. Today, there are 19 state chapters, eight city chapters, and one international chapter.

We chose to support IAHPC by joining as an institutional member in order to strengthen global advocacy, awareness, and education in palliative care.

—Dr. Piyush Gupta, National Secretary
National Association of Palliative Care for AYUSH & Integrative Medicine
Uttar Pradesh, India

Note: AYUSH is an acronym of: Ayurveda (the science of life), Yoga (for physical, mental, and spiritual health), Unani (a Perso-Arabic branch of traditional medicine), Siddha (the Perfect One), and Homeopathy (the body’s ability to heal itself).

To learn more about the National Association of Palliative Care for AYUSH & Integrative Medicine, visit the IAHPC Global Directory of Palliative Care Institutions and Organizations.

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