I worked with IAHPC now for five years and it is a very synergistic experience. IAHPC is very helpful for my work in the World Health Organization.
I have supported IAHPC & its principles all my professional life when involved directly and indirectly in palliative care work. Their genuine care and concern for countries still developing palliative care programs and services is unheralded. Dr Roger Woodruff, an Australian oncologist & IAHPC Board member, was the medical practitioner who helped found MEPCA and with whom I worked as part of a close-knit team with founding members(e.g. Margaret O'Connor),and other disciplines. The palliative care community worked with local businesses, volunteers (Board members & organisational members), and palliative care staff to bring a community-led palliative care program for dying people & their loved ones in the local MEPCA area. It was a fantastic model with the Latrobe University Public Health Palliative Care Unit still today capturing MEPCA's broader community framework in its Health Promoting Palliative Care understanding and framework - and being rolled out in different palliative are services across Australia. IAHPC has kept many such organisations connected and has strengthened friendships & alliances with a commitment to the ethos of hospice & palliative care around the world. Well done IAHPC!
In 2005 IAHPC came to Cyprus to support Middle Eastern Cancer Consortium (MECC) To offer their knowledge and skills in palliative care in developing countries such as in the Middle East. We have since continued to receive input from MECC trying to develop services and improve care. IAHPC has also donated easy to use manuals for doctors and nurses to keep with them at all times as a reference. One of the few books that also include paediatric doses in the manual.
I am a UK trained palliative care physician. I decided to spend 9 months working in Kerala, India as a volunteer for a fledgling palliative care NGO. My role was to help training of staff from Kerala and other parts of Asia as well as take part in general care of patients. This was an unpaid trip. IAPHC was very generous towards the funding of my living expenses for the period of time that I was there. India is not an expensive country to live in by Western standards but 9 months is also a long time. Without their help the trip would have been a lot harder for me. I found the whole experience absolutely fascinating. The approach to health, sickness, death and dying was very different to what I had experienced in the past. The options and opportunities available to patients varied widely. The time I spent in Kerala was an invaluable learning experience. While I was in Kerala, one of the senior members of the IAHPC visited the organisation. I was very nice to see a member of the organisation in the place where I was working. The website is a continually useful in interesting resource. There are reports from persons similar to myself who have visited other parts of the world and from health care practitioners from developing countries who have received funding to attend international conferences. There are reviews of books of specific interest and journal articles of interest. The organisation are strongly committed to improving palliative care around the world and spreading the message to palliative care providers in resource rich countries. I feel they do a very import job and strongly support them.
Back in 2005 I contacted IAHPC for the first time asking for help to start palliative care attention at Instituto de CancerologÃa in Guatemala, the national center for Cancer reference. The IAHPC response was immediate and of great help! I was introduced to other physicians around the world and was able to establish a personal net for inter-consultation in Palliative Care that has lasted to the present date. A month later I received a donation from the IAHPC of about 12 books related with the discipline, including the Oxford textbook of Palliative Medicine, all of them were absolutely useful since there were not educational resources for palliative care in my country and I couldn`t have had access to any printed material in Guatemala. I kept constant contact with the IAHPC from the first time, during this time I let them know about the situation of palliative care in Guatemala, I was being a pioneer in this field. There were not palliative care services or phycisians. Being a pioneer was very exiting for me, it was challenging but also was a big responsibility I was learning the principles while I was helping a lot of Guatemalans to die with dignity and without pain... but I was alone there, I needed to learn and observe good palliative care practices since it was not a familiar concept in my country, where there are considerable stigmas about end of life care and pain relief. By Octoher 2005, I sent an application and received a grant from the IAHPC to assist as a Foreign Fellow to the Palliative Care Unit at the MD Anderson which was an experience that marked a point of departure for my practice in Palliative Care. The time I spent there was busy from 6:45 to 5:00 observing patients, revising articles, participating in rounds team discussions, investigation projects and integrated care with the Palliative Care team leaded by Dr. Eduardo Bruera. The daily activity was completed making rounds and home visits at the Houston Hospice with Dr. Susan Krauter, one of the physicians that the IAHPC introduced to me some months ago. Dr. Krauter hosted me in her home and was willing to share with me the principles around hospice and end of life care, two concepts that were new for me. I`m greatful with all of them for their mentorship and help in developing my skills in palliative care. That time changed my life! It opened my eyes and my heart to many other possibilities I never imagined... I was clear that I didn`t have all the resources in Guatemala as the ones I observed in the institutions that I visited, but now I had the "whole pizza" scenario of what palliative care meant to be, a model of excelency in clinical attention, Palliative Care investigation, advocacy and education. From the start to the end, each day was challenging, a learning experience and life changing. Many of the partners around the world that followed up my beginings in Palliative Care have been close to me all this time since then, during this 5 years have some of them became, close loyal and signigicant friends, we all share our passion and work in Palliative Care. After my first visit to MD Anderson and Houston Hospice, I have been in contact constantly with the people of IAHPC and have received the newsletter in a regular basis. Through the newsletter I`ve access to great palliative care resources, I personally used the "How To Start" guide to structure a palliative care service for my institution, our unit was born with a vision of growing up to become a center of high quality in palliative care for Guatemala. Through the IAHPC newsletters I became involved in more activities and received more help to assist to other palliative care events as the Pain Policies Studies International Fellowship where IÂ´m involved to eliminate the barriers for opioid access and availability in my country, a program that promotes the cooperative work between international experts, fellows and some of the local healthcare authorities in each country. I also applied to a period of clinical observation as an international fellow in Navarra, Spain, a scholarship support program that was created by cooperative partnership of IAHPC with other Palliative Care Associations in Latin America and Spain. I received the grant for that program and will be assisting in August and September 2010, to University Clinic of Navarra, with Dr. Carlos Centeno, one of the spanish pioneers in Palliative Care that worked to promote it as a speciality in Spain and Europe. Today, I`m completing an International Fellowship Program at San Diego Hospice, I was invited to apply to this program through the IAHPC. Nowadays, I am developing a Palliative Care Department in my hospital. My highest goal is high quality Palliative Care. I have started an education program that is now official for undergraduate medicine students. In 2007 I started a postgraduate education program for residents of internal medicine and anesthesiology that has been growing since October 2005, but still needs to be included in the official curriculum. Our team today counts with two physicians, two pshychologists a nurse and a social worker, we still work from the hospital and need to provide home based hospice as our next step. By the end of 2009 we attended 3,000 consultations, one third of them were new patients. I consult the IAHPC "Pallipedia" in a regular basis, and keep myself actualized with the articles and revisions that the IAHPC publishes. Also, I use the tools and resources for patient care provided by the IAHPC as the main source of referral to the students of medicine and residents that come to my department to receive education in palliative care. I live in an underdeveloped country, I work with the poorest population in Guatemala, with scarce resources from the government for palliative care. The generous, constant and consistent help I have received from IAHPC has been a blessing providing the finantial support that has allowed me to acquire professional education and periods of direct observation with recoginized authorities in this field, keeping me on the path of providing palliative care with the best standards of care according to my resources. There has been an important support for Guatemalan patients through my participation in all the educational activities in palliative care that where available for me through the contact with IAHPC. Each experience where I have became involved has helped me to develop new areas of attention in Palliative Care in Guatemala. One of the aspects that I really appreciate is the networking that the IAHPC offers among other palliative care professionals and institutions around the world, many of them, as I mentioned are now close and valuable fellows that share and follow our progresses in Guatemala. I also enjoy following up their work in their countries, this encourages me to go up my goals and provide palliative care based in our population needs. My devoted and sincere thanks to the IAHPC for all the support during this wonderful career as a pioneer in Palliative Care in Guatemala, I wish that the IAHPC could continue helping more nations, that as in my case start with an individual that provides palliative care in the middle of a huge population in need, scarce resources, and no education and development opportunities in their own countries
I have been able to see first hand the benefits of this organization and their hard work in the promotion and development of palliative care around the world. I receive their monthly newsletter and every month I am able to read and learn about new developments, the programs and individuals they support, how they help improve care to patients and their families.
I began to work in Palliative care and Cancer pain management during the year 2003. While doing a training in a Palliative Care service at the National Institute of Oncology in Panama as a graduate student I came to know how far I was from being able to effectively interact with patients on cancer pain needing palliative care. At that moment I was already a Pharmacology professor with almost 20 years of teaching experience, with a strong background in pain research techniques but I lacked of clinical training in cancer pain management. I figured out that if that was my condition my students were, most probably, even in a worst position. I proposed a course on Pharmaceutical on cancer pain management that included not only pharmacology, pathophysiology and pharmacotherapy of cancer pain management but also a chapter on opioids availability and regulations. By now I have trained around 180 pharmacy students. But it was not only the year 2006 that my academic life made a real change in favor of my country: I applied to a fellowship from the University of Wisconsin with the International Pain Policy and Study Group and with other seven health care professional from all over the world I was accepted. The fellow was sponsored not only by Open Society Institute but also by IAHCP. Many persons were involved in our training, I would not be fare if I did not mention each one of this wonderful persons: Mary Callaway, Karen Ryan, Martha Maurer, David Joranson, Willhem Scholtem, Liliana de Lima. I was so lucky to have Liliana de Lima, form IAHPC as my direct mentor. The whole training, the support of University of Wisconsin, OSI and IAHPC ended in a major change in opioidÂ´s prescription and dispensation in my country. This change is positively influencing opioids availability in Panama. I am still working in a second part of my fellowship but at the same time I became a mentor for a physician in Peru as part of a program coordinated by IAHPC and also became in touch with the National Plan of Palliative Care in Panama trough IAHPC. With these opportunities I have been able to increase palliative care knowledge not only in my School but also at national and international level. I was also invited during the last month of March to the 53rd meeting of the CND in Vienna where U.S.A presented a proposal to discuss during the next ten years not only measures to control misuse but also to increase opioids availability for medical and research purposes. Many organizations supported this initiative, which was approved. IAHPC, OSI and Human Right can be mentioned as leaders of this main idea. Prof. Rosa Buitrago de Tello, School of Pharmacy, University of Panama.
IAHPC has done a lot and is still doing a great deal to advance palliative care globally, and especially in the developing countries. IAHPC has supported training, advocating for essential palliative care drugs, developing Palliative care guidelines and bringing palliative care providers from around the world together.
The International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care strives to promote hospice and palliative care services in developing countries. We do this through our newsletter, by providing grants for travel for health professionals in developing countries to attend international meetings, sending world experts to developing countries to teach for two weeks, awarding grants to universities, colleges, to support a faculty position to teach and develop a palliative care curriculum. We do all this, plus more, on a very small and limited budget and we have done so for many years. Bill Farr
I have been involved as a board member and Vice-Chair of the International Association for Hospice and Palliative (IAHPC) Care, Inc. since its inception. Prior to this, I was the Vice-president of the International Hospice Institute and the successor organization the International Hospice Institute and College, which was the immediate predecessor of the IAHPC. The IAHPC has been actively involved in promoting hospice and palliative care education in developing countries. To this end, we send experts to these resource poor countries in order to develop a culturally sensitive educational program for the whole host of service providers in programs aimed at alleviating the pain and other symptoms in patients with far-advanced and terminal diseases. In addition, we provide funds to selected care providers in developing countries to attend educational programs in various parts of the world. We also support a faculty member for three years in a resource poor country who is dedicated to developing a new hospice/palliative care educational program in their hospital and university. We publish free booklets, and e-books for use by resource poor countries. We also send out a free e-newsletter each month to over 8,000 persons each month. We do all of this very efficiently and on a very small budget.
This organisation has a real vision to advocate for and facilitate effective hospice and palliative care worldwide. As an academic in this filed, I have seen the effect of this organisation in different countries and situations. Thus although I am too busy, I have this year volunteered to join the board, and was fortunate to be voted on.
IAHPC is a wonderful organisation which succeeds in fostering international development of Palliative Care on an extremely tight budget, thanks to the incredible amount of work performed by the people working for the organisation. I am proud and honoured to serve as a Board member for IAHPC.
I have been the recipient of travelling fellowships which have enabled me to plan and deliver much needed training programs to eager, highly motivated interdisciplinary palliative care teams. The IAHPC is one organization that I am fully behind because I have seen first hand the conditions that physicians, nurses, counsellors, spiritual care providers, and volunteers must work in. The IAHPC is completely dedicated to supporting professionals from around the world to connect and share information and resources. They tirelessly promote education in the field and support leaders, and people in positions of power to put pressure on governing bodies to change regulations to benefit the most vulnerable people. The IAHPC must be financially support in their work because they bring together people who have the knowledge, the skills, the power, and the motivation to make a difference.
My first contact with IAHPC was in 1993, when the Founder (Dr Josephine Magno from the Philippines) and her initial colleagues, visited me in Washington when I was trying to raise funds for the vision we had for palliative care in Africa. Since then I have watched this organisation grow, assisting people in poorer countries to bring relief to the suffering. I was most surprised to be chosen as the first person to receive their Vittorio Ventafrida Award in 2002, as a recognition for initiating palliative care in Africa and Asia. This brought to me a gift of 2,000$ for my use. At that time our team was struggling with personal debts and growing families. They needed a credit union. The money went into the credit union and started it off. This has been run completely by the employees of Hospice Africa Uganda and gives relief from financial burden to many. Those on our team work very hard and under difficult circumstances to bring relief of suffering and suffer personal losses as they lose patients and support families through to bereavement. IAHPC has supported students from poorer countries to attend our programmes for training like the Diploma in palliative medicine, conferred by Makerere University but owned by HAU. As a Board Member, I am in a position to be part of decision making and to be privy to their accounts. I am quite convinced that this organisation makes a great impression on the spread of palliative care to the poorer areas of the world, and works with enormous integrity.
Review from Guidestar