Dear Readers

Volume 23, Number 12: December 2022

IAHPC Scholars attending the ALCP congress (L-R): El Salvador psychologist Marco Antonio Rodriguez, Nicaragua physician Nineth Carolina Baltodano, El Salvador nurse Cecilia Elizabeth Menjivar, El Salvador physicians Ancu Tatiana Feng and Rafael Ernesto Cerna, and Ecuador physician Tatiana Fernández, with IAHPC finance officer Lina Rozo and Liliana. Other Scholars not pictured: Colombia physician Alicia Krikorian Daveloza, Argentina psychologist Lorena Patricia Etcheverry, Guatemala physician Víctor Rolando Samayoa, El Salvador physician Lucía Guadalupe Martínez, Honduras psychologist Dany Alexander Coca, and Uruguay physician Mercedes Bernada. Photo used with permission.

Dear Readers:

By the end of this year, seven board members will have completed their terms: Chitra Venkateswaran (India), Claudia Burlá (Brazil), Dingle Spence (Jamaica), Eve Namisango (Uganda), Harmala Gupta (India), Nahla Gafer (Sudan), and Steven (Skip) Radwany (USA). Please join us in thanking each of them for their contributions to IAHPC and their efforts in helping the organization achieve its mission. It has been an honor for us to work with these board members. We are excited about the new nominees and will announce the new board in January. 

We are proud of what we achieved through our programs and projects in 2022, and of the support we both received and provided to further our mission through advocacy, education, research, and communication. Examples include:

This year, we were able to implement many projects and programs that the pandemic had put on hold. We initiated a call for applications for our APAD Program, which has been renamed the Leadership Development Program, or LEAD. The amazing response is an indication of how much palliative care is progressing around the globe. Applicants’ proposals—those that were successful as well as those we had to deny, given our limited funds—are also a credit to the extraordinary effort that our members are making to improve the lives of patients with serious health-related suffering. The committee members had a difficult time selecting the winners, which are: 

Congratulations to these grantees for their excellent applications and project proposals, which will be implemented over two years. Senior Advocacy and Partnerships Director Katherine Pettus will be working closely with each project leader to help guide, and mentor them to achieve the goals described in their applications. Read more about the projects in the News section.  

Liliana, Lina Rozo (IAHPC’s finance officer) and Ana Restrepo (a longtime IAHPC volunteer) attended the 10th Latin American Congress on Palliative Care in San José, Costa Rica, November 18-20. It was a great opportunity—and a wonderful feeling— to see colleagues and give real hugs in person. Many people stopped by our booth and took advantage of the 20% membership discount we offered during the congress. 

At the IAHPC booth during the ALCP congress: (L-R) Dr. Eduardo Bruera, IAHPC finance officer Lina Rozo, longtime supporter and volunteer Ana Restrepo, and Dr. Alvaro Diaz, an internist with palliative care specialization working in Colombia. Photo used with permission.

The IAHPC was well represented at the ALCP Congress: Board Member Felicia Knaul gave the opening ceremony’s plenary address on palliative care and health systems in Latin America; on the second day, Katherine Pettus gave a plenary address on international advocacy and the role of the IAHPC; and IAHPC Research Officer Tania Pastrana gave a plenary address on where people die in Latin America. In a surprise special session on the last day, Liliana’s support to the ALCP (she is one of the founders) was celebrated.

The IAHPC provided cash prizes for the best three posters selected by a committee of reviewers. The winners were: first prize, Marian Cardillo from Chile; second prize, Martin Notejane from Uruguay; and third prize, Rut Kiman from Argentina.

We could not have achieved all the above and much more without the generous support from our board of directors, members, donors, and foundations and other organizations that contribute in so many ways. All our donors and supporters believe in IAHPC’s mission and in our vision of a world free of health-related suffering. Our ability to continue to help others depends heavily on the support we receive from all, so please consider donating to IAHPC. Our end-of-year fundraising campaign offers many options to contributors.

The long-term sustainability of the IAHPC is one of the many challenges we face at the moment. We are aware that there are financial constraints, and have prepared ourselves to meet these challenges. Our strong commitment to supporting the development of palliative care around the world will continue to be our driving force. We wish to thank all those who make our work worthwhile: patients and their families, and the dedicated health care workers and volunteers who give so much to palliative care.

We are also extremely grateful to our small staff, who continue to work tirelessly to ensure that IAHPC achieves its mission and delivers its promises. And to our board of directors for their guidance and wisdom in helping us do our jobs better.

Best wishes to all of you, your friends, and family members for the coming holidays. We hope that next year is brightened by personal contentment and the gratifying feeling of having made a difference in your world.

Until next month,

Lukas Radbruch, MD

Liliana De Lima, MHA
Executive Director

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