By Alison Ramsey
IAHPC Newsletter Editor
The annual International Association of Hospice and Palliative Care fundraiser follows on the heels of a 20% off membership drive. Why do we do both? Why does the IAHPC need donations? Where, exactly, does the money go?
We do both because members alone, while crucially important to us, do not fund everything we do, such as full-time advocacy by indefatigable IAHPC Senior Advocacy and Partnerships Director Katherine Pettus. This is a key component of our mission. Years of IAHPC advocacy are increasingly paying off in big ways, with palliative care and essential palliative care medicines being added to resolutions and documents that guide health care policies in countries, entire regions, and even globally.
We need donations because an important grant ended in 2022, and grants to support palliative care are increasingly difficult to acquire. The need to ease health-related suffering is more imperative and widespread than ever but, let’s face it, people don’t love thinking about end-of-life issues. Even if palliative care is more broadly defined than simply the end of life. Even if palliative care’s primary function is to “add life to days.” But we don’t need to tell you that!
The IAHPC budget for 2023, which maintains our operation and programs at the current level, is $250,000. Projected memberships alone (assuming 300 new members) account for $64,000. Because the need for donations is great, we are currently brainstorming ways to raise funds in addition to this end-of-year appeal. That being said, your donation now is a heartening confirmation of how important you believe our work to be.
Here's where the money goes:
Double your donation! If you live in the USA, Microsoft will match your donation to the IAHPC.
Here’s how: using Bing (the search engine), search for IAHPC. In the IAHPC description (on the right or, on your phone, scroll down), you’ll see this →
Just click on the “donate” button and follow directions in the pop-up!
By Tania Pastrana
IAHPC Research Advisor
The IAHPC Comprehensive Pain Assessment and Management Course concluded in August with an online survey sent to the 194 participants. IAHPC received 45 responses (23%) that rated the overall course with an average score of 4.7 out of 5. The planning of the course also earned a 4.7 rating, while the contents edged up to 4.8.
The course was created to help meet the global need for pain management training and education, which global experts have consistently identified as a key barrier to pain relief and palliative care. Lukas Radbruch and Ebtesam (Sammi) Ahmed, who taught the course, received high ratings for their expertise, clarity of presentation, and responses to questions.
"I attended all sessions of the IAHPC pain course. As a palliative medicine specialist, I hold classes for medical students and radiotherapy/oncology residents. The course is an updated and very useful source for my teaching in the hospital, and I strongly recommend it to palliative care lecturers." —Mamak Tahmasebi, Cancer Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences
Survey respondents originated from 26 countries, mainly low-income (n=11) and lower-middle-income (n=23) countries, as well as high-income (n=6) and upper-middle-income (n=5) countries.
The majority of respondents were physicians (47%), followed by nurses (24%), then pharmacists (9%). Respondents ranged from 22 to 79 years old, with an average age of 45. Eighty percent of respondents worked in palliative care full-time (58%), or at least 75% of their time (22%) .
On average, respondents viewed seven of the nine modules. The most highly attended modules were the first four sessions (introduction; pathogenesis and assessment of pain; essential analgesics; and multiple facets of opioid therapy, given over two modules).
“[The course] enhanced my understanding of the opioid overdose crisis in the USA and I learned strategies to prevent diversion and misuse.” —Response by a massage therapist in Togo to the question, “What were the most significant things you learned from this course?”
The preferred format was having both live and recorded modules available (71%), while some preferred only the recorded (21%).
The global nature of IAHPC makes it difficult to schedule a time that suits everyone: 38% of respondents found the online schedule very convenient. The time allotted to teach each module was adequate for most respondents (88% either agreed or strongly agreed).
The live version of IAHPC’s Comprehensive Symptom Assessment and Management Course concludes November 8 and 15 with the topics “Insomnia” and “Psychological distress.” Registration is free to members, and all modules can be viewed at the member’s convenience as each one is recorded.
Participants’ comments about this ongoing course, which began September 30, have been very positive. Previous modules address fatigue; delirium; gastrointestinal symptoms; and dyspnea, cough, and secretions (death rattle).
Drs. Aimee J. Christie and Donna Zhukovsky are teaching the module on insomnia; Dr. Chitra Venkateswaran is teaching the one on psychological distress. Live sessions air at 7 a.m. CST (12 noon GMT, 2 p.m. CET). Register for the course here.
It’s time to celebrate and recognize the extraordinary contribution of palliative care institutions and individuals who have contributed to the advancement and provision of palliative care—and bring them to the attention of policy makers and other supporters.
The IAHPC Recognition Awards aim to promote global palliative care development by recognizing the accomplishments of those who alleviate serious health-related suffering.
Nominations must come from IAHPC members, but nominees do not have to be members; self-nominations are not accepted.
Each award consists of a US $1,000 cash prize, a certificate, and a one-year IAHPC membership. There are six prizes: one person and one institution will be named in each of three categories: low-income, middle-income, and high-income countries. The deadline for nominations is December 31, 2022. Read the full criteria.
Breast Cancer: Closing the Divide Between Survivorship and Palliative Care is a free webinar series that brings together patients, civil society, and leading multidisciplinary voices in breast cancer and palliative care from across resource settings. The series comprises four modules, one each for:
IAHPC Senior Advocacy and Partnerships Director Katherine Pettus is part of the organizing team and several IAHPC board members participated in the webinars, including Drs. Felicia Knaul (who is also an organizer), Lukas Radbruch, Eve Namisango, Dingle Spence, Nahla Gafer, and Sammi Ahmed. The series is presented by the American Society of Clinical Oncology in partnership with the IAHPC, Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance, Tómatelo a Pecho, A.C., University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas, Caribbean Palliative Care Association, and Jamaica Cancer Care & Research Institute.
The deadline is December 15, 2023 to apply for a place in a heavily subsidized, six-month advanced International Fellowship in Palliative Care, an online fellowship run by the Institute of Palliative Medicine, India, in partnership with Sanjeevan Palliative Care Project, Pondicherry, India, St. Christopher’s Hospice, London, United Kingdom and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Bangladesh.
Aside from didactic sessions, the fellowship includes group discussions and presentations by candidates; interactive sessions; and written assignments. Each participant is linked with mentors throughout the course. The program also offers participants optional workshops by international experts. The fellowship start date is January 30, 2023.
Centre to Advance Palliative Care has launched an Innovation Hub, drawing together free access topics and innovations intended to nurture new ideas of care for serious illness on behalf of clinicians, researchers, and others.
Veteran US journalist, anchorman, and news commentator Anderson Cooper has a podcast, All There Is, where he speaks compellingly about his own grief and talks with others about their grief experiences. In one episode he spoke with Stephen Colbert, whose childhood loss of a father and brothers mirrors Cooper’s own.
“Sharing your grief, telling that story…opens up our feelings and other possibilities,” says Colbert. “Grief, the thing we most don’t want to experience—we often shut that door with anger, [which is] armor against how we actually feel—but if you can share your stories and address your grief, it turns the cave into a tunnel” giving you somewhere to go, opening you up. “People are afraid to talk about grief, as they think it’s a trap of depression. But grief is a doorway to a new you, because you’ll be someone else on the other side of it.”
An upcoming pediatric symposium has been announced by co-organizers Education in Palliative and End-of-Life Care (EPEC) and the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network.
Scheduled for March 23-25, 2023, the symposium has a double purpose: an End-User Conference to teach principles of pediatric palliative care to a multidisciplinary audience, with the goal of improving direct clinical care; and a Train-the-Trainer Conference aimed at experienced professionals who wish to teach pediatric palliative care in their region or country.
Scholarships are available. Once the event website is live, it will be added to the IAHPC Calendar.
Caring for the Dying – A Guide for Health Professionals. Online course. November 22, 2022.
International Advanced European Bioethics Course: “Suffering, Death and Palliative Care.” In person. March 21-24, 2023, Nijmegen.
Singapore Palliative Care Conference 2023. In person. July 1-2, 2023, Singapore.
Cicely Saunders Society Webinar. November 15, 2022.
Rehabilitative Palliative Care: Webinar 2. November 16, 2022.
ICPCN Webinar series. Empowering the Team through Education, and Integrating Research into Care. November 17, 2022.
End-of-Life Care for People Living with Advanced Dementia. Online course. November 23, 2022.
The Shared Crossing Pathway Seminar: Accompanying Loved Ones through a Beautiful End of Life. Online seminar. November 11-13, 2022.
International Neuropalliative Care Society: 2nd Annual Meeting, "Building Community and Breaking Barriers." Webinar. November 10-12, 2022.
Access all items in the IAHPC Calendar of Events.