Welcome to the end-of-year issue of the IAHPC Newsletter.
This year, like 2020, has been a challenging year for all involved in health care, both those working at the bedside and administrators working behind the scenes. Despite the challenges, we are extremely proud of what IAHPC accomplishes through our programs and projects, and of the support provided to practitioners, patients and families, and policy makers during these past 12 months. The activities, initiatives, statements, and resources we produced throughout the year advance our mission of relieving serious health-related suffering and improving the quality of life of patients and families around the world.
We continue to adapt to the ongoing reality of COVID-19 by effectively changing how we operate. Instead of participating live, we participated virtually in the World Health Assembly, the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs—as well as other meetings of UN agencies—and regional and national palliative care organizations. A special mention goes to the IAHPC’s amazingly active group of Advocacy Focal Points, who represent 14 countries under the leadership of Katherine Pettus.
A key adaptation was announced in August regarding changes to the IAHPC leadership and back-office team. Liliana has served for 21 years as the “public face” of the organization, participating in public events, conferences, interviews, and other public fora. At the end of December, Liliana will step back from this public role, while continuing as Executive Director to guide the organization, and support the staff, board, and membership. This will allow her to focus on personal projects and dedicate more time to her growing family.
As part of this change, Dr. Katherine Pettus was promoted to Senior Advocacy Director and Ms. Genevieve Napier to Senior Operations Officer. Both Dr. Pettus and Ms. Napier, hired in 2014 and 2015 respectively, are committed to the IAHPC vision and mission, and are well recognized by the global palliative care community. Together, they will act as the public face of the organization, along with the directors, advisers, and other IAHPC officers, as appropriate. Professor Lukas Radbruch will continue to chair the board of directors.
The IAHPC’s mission continues unchanged: to serve as a global platform that inspires, informs, and empowers individuals, governments, and organizations to increase access and optimize the practice of palliative care.
We could not have achieved all the above and much more without the generous support of our board of directors, members, donors, and the foundations and other organizations that contribute in so many ways. All our donors and supporters believe in IAHPC’s mission and share our vision of a world free of health-related suffering. Since our ability to actualize this vision without incurring conflicts of interest depends heavily on the support we receive from our members and readers, please consider making an end-of-year gift to IAHPC through our website.
One of the many challenges, which we are preparing to meet, is the long-term sustainability of the IAHPC. Our strong commitment to support the development of palliative care around the world—particularly in the neediest countries—continues to be our driving force. We thank all those who make our work possible and inspire us daily to do more: the patients and their families that you serve, all health care workers, and the volunteers who give so much of themselves to palliative care.
We are also extremely grateful to our small staff, who work tirelessly to ensure that IAHPC achieves its mission and delivers on its promises. And we greatly appreciate our board of directors for their guidance and wisdom, and for helping us to do our jobs better.
Best wishes to all of you, your friends, and family members for the coming holidays. We hope that next year will bring health, happiness, and success to all.
Lukas Radbruch, MD
Chair Board of Directors
Liliana De Lima, MHA