Policy and Advocacy

2021; Volume 22, No 9, September

Upcoming Events with a Strong IAHPC Presence,
Plus a New Advocacy Course for Members

By Dr. Katherine I. Pettus, PhD
IAHPC Senior Advocacy Director

I report from Spain, back for the first time since July 2020, when I returned to the US to help care for my sister Ruth. She generously left me her apartment in Chinchón, where I have been staying for the past five or so years when I have meetings in Europe. I look forward to making this my permanent home in 2021.

Oceanic Palliative Care Conference panel

The 2021 Oceanic Palliative Care Conference, one of the largest and most significant palliative care events held in Australia and the surrounding Oceanic region, has invited me to speak about advocacy on a September 9 panel titled “Working Together for Better Palliative Care: What Would True International Collaboration with Impact Look Like?” I will be joined by colleagues from Palliative Care Australia, the African Center for Research on End of Life Care, the University of Otago, and Australasian Palliative Link International. To register, begin by creating an account here.

Palliative Care Australia has generously provided IAHPC with scholarships to this conference for our members, so we hope to see some of you there! [A list of members awarded with these scholarships, and scholarships for other conferences, is in the IAHPC News section.]

EAPC pre-conference events

Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance Executive Director Stephen Connor and I will moderate a panel discussion on the implementation of the World Health Assembly resolution on palliative care, “Strengthening of palliative care as a component of comprehensive care throughout the life course,” at a pre-conference event of the European Association for Palliative Care’s 17th World Congress. [Read more about the pre-conference here.]

Scheduled for October 5 at 3:05 p.m. CET, the panel includes Dr. Ernesto Jaramillo, head of the WHO TB division; Dr. María Adelaida Córdoba, IAHPC Advocacy Focal Point from Colombia, president of Asociación Cuidados Paliativos Colombia, and a palliative care pediatrician; Dr. Lamek Tambo, president of the Palliative Care Association of Malawi; Mr. Gan Kim Yong, Singapore’s Minister of Health from 2011-2021; and Dr. Helena Davies, a WHPCA trustee who will represent persons with palliative care needs such as herself.

Another pre-conference event is a workshop on “Sustaining Palliative Care Services in the Covid-19 Pandemic.” The workshop features eight “leadership stories,” including those of IAHPC Advocacy Focal Points Rumana Dowla (Dhaka, Bangladesh), Zipporah Ali (Nairobi, Kenya), Sofia Bunge (Olavarría, Argentina), and Nicolas Dawidowicz (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

The event, hosted by the European Palliative Care Academy, is on Tuesday, October 5, from 3 to 6 p.m. CET. No pre-registration is required; details on how to participate—or observe—will be posted here.

World Hospice & Palliative Care Day panel

I will outline IAHPC’s advocacy work on a panel at the 2nd annual US World Hospice & Palliative Care Day Celebration, hosted by Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York on Tuesday, October 5, at 10:15 EST. Register for the event here, and please follow us on social media for more details as the day gets closer. IAHPC is particularly active on Twitter @IAHPC and Facebook.

Historic collaboration to advance integration of palliative care

We are embarking on a historic collaboration with the United Nations University Global Health Center in Malaysia, co-convening a moderated discussion between representatives of select member states at different levels of palliative care integration, and representatives of their national palliative care organizations. The event is titled “Palliative Care and Health Systems: A Multistakeholder Dialogue - International Institute for Global Health.” The link to register is here, and the YouTube link for the first part of the session is here.


Palliative Care Advocacy: An 8-module IAHPC course (plus 1!)

My philosophy of education found online, with thanks to Dr. Seuss!

In response to worldwide demand, which has only increased during the pandemic, IAHPC is releasing the first instalment of a long-awaited Palliative Care Advocacy course, comprising eight modules and an introductory overview. The overview, a 45-minute presentation, is open access and currently available here. The eight modules, to be released monthly starting in October, will be available to IAHPC members for audit or certificate.

The modules, which will be accessible in Google Classroom, address the following topics.

  1. Global and regional advocacy framework, institutional landscape.
  2. “Drug Policy”—a cornerstone of advocacy for essential PC medicines.
  3. The evidence base—IAHPC data platform and other indices.
  4. Needs assessments.
  5. Governance frameworks: National/regional PC advocacy and strategic partnerships with other CSOs; relationships with member states.
  6. Case study: Relevant PC advocacy topics in a UN entity conference agenda and development of appropriate advocacy strategy.
  7. Communication and presentation techniques.
  8. Leadership skills.

Modules will comprise short lectures (no more than 40 minutes), reading lists, recordings, related videos, and optional assignments. Although IAHPC members are welcome to audit the course to improve their general knowledge, those who complete the short assignments (one per module) and a final project will be awarded a certificate of completion.


Recent and soon-to-be published articles by Katherine Pettus

Make Supply Chains for Essential Palliative Care Medicines Fit for 21st Century Purpose! Ehospice, August 11, 2021.

Palliative Care as Ma-space Practice. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.

The U.S. Cancer Pain Crisis and the Global Pain Divide: Can two wrongs make it right? Letter to the Editor with lead author William E. Rosa, and co-authors Felicia M. Knaul, Eduardo Bruera, and M.R. Rajagopal. Journal of Clinical Oncology, September 2021.


To learn more about Palliative Care Australia (PCA), Australasian Palliative Link International (APLI), Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA), Asociación Cuidados Paliativos Colombia (ASOCUPAC), and the Palliative Care Association of Malawi (PACAM) visit the IAHPC Global Directory of Palliative Care Institutions and Organizations.



Do you have any comments or questions about this piece or our advocacy program?

Contact Dr. Katherine Pettus



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