Dear Readers

Volume 24, Number 3: March 2023

Dear Readers,

This month, we are pleased to announce the winners of the IAHPC Recognition Awards. The goal of this program is to increase access to, and optimize the practice of, palliative care in the world.

The program recognizes individuals and institutions dedicated to alleviating serious health-related suffering of patients and their families in order to improve their quality of life, and to bring these individuals and institutions to the attention of policy makers, other institutions, and relevant organizations.

Winners receive a USD $1,000 prize, an award certificate, and a one-year IAHPC membership.

Individual award winners are:
Institutional award winners are:

Congratulations to the individuals and institutions recognized with these awards. We are very grateful to those who participated and submitted nominations, as well as to the selection committee members, who had a hard time choosing the winners from among excellent candidates. The IAHPC News section includes additional information about the Institutional Award winners; learn more about the Individual Award winners in the April issue.

Zooming into 2023! In February, we hosted two virtual meetings with 2023’s IAHPC Board and staff members. It was a nice opportunity for everyone to put a face on a name, discuss our programs and projects, and continue supporting each other. We are honored and proud to have such a fantastic group of palliative care experts, who help us advance our mission to serve as a global platform to inspire, inform, and empower individuals, governments, and organizations to increase access to—and optimize the practice of—palliative care.

Pandemic Preparedness Response. The IAHPC has consistently urged governments to include palliative care language in the World Health Organization’s pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response treaty. Although the words “palliative care” did appear in an early draft, they are no longer included in the Zero Draft that member states began negotiating in February 2023.

The IAHPC and several global, regional, and national palliative care organizations have analyzed the Zero Draft and made suggestions as to where suffering, palliative care, and rehabilitation should be included, following United Nations-agreed language. We feel strongly that this WHO treaty must explicitly include these key words. Failure to include them will result in palliative care services being sidelined and unfunded in policy preparations and implementation of pandemic responses. Visit this page to learn how you can support these efforts to include palliative care (see also Policy & Advocacy for more information).

On a bittersweet note, some of you may know that after 20 years, Dr. Marie-Charlotte Bouësseau, the WHO focal point for palliative care, will be retiring at the end of March. Marie-Charlotte was instrumental in securing internal support at the WHO for many key and critical palliative care policies and tools, including the 2014 World Health Assembly resolution (WHA 67/19) for palliative care integration into health systems. She worked tirelessly to bring to completion several important documents and publications, including Assessing the development of palliative care worldwide: a set of actionable indicators. You can watch the video describing the six components required for assessing the development of palliative care in the WHO section on palliative care.

Other WHO publications for which Marie-Charlotte was instrumental include Integrating palliative care and symptom relief into primary health care, Integrating palliative care and symptom relief into paediatrics, and Integrating palliative care and symptom relief into responses to humanitarian emergencies and crises, available on the WHO Palliative Care page.

Many of us working in the palliative care field wrote farewell messages to Marie-Charlotte on an online card to show her our gratitude and wish her well in her well-deserved retirement. Thank you, Marie-Charlotte!! You will be greatly missed by all of us at the IAHPC and in the global palliative care community.

Finally, please remember to renew your membership—members are vital to our organization and the advancement of palliative care in the world. If you are not a member: whether you work in palliative care or simply support our mission to relieve suffering, particularly in lower-income countries, please consider joining. Visit the IAHPC members’ section to learn how being an IAHPC member can help palliative care workers and providers in their own missions to aid and comfort those suffering at the end of life and those with life-limiting illnesses.

Until next month,

Lukas and Liliana

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