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In The Newsroom

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November 4, 2010

CONTACT:
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR
                     (619) 997-2495 or gayle@falconvalleygroup.com

 

International Palliative Care Physicians Receive Leadership Training in San Diego
Physicians from 14 nations receive intensive training in palliative care November 6 - 13


(San Diego) - When Dr. Patrick Akhiwu leaves San Diego to share what he has learned with his overworked hospital staff back in Botswana, he’ll be equipped with a new tool to help advance Palliative Care in his country and the region. It’s not a new piece of high-tech equipment or a powerful new drug. It’s leadership.

Akhiwu and 21 doctors from around the world return to San Diego to participate in the two-year ground-breaking International Palliative Care Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) at The Institute for Palliative Medicine (IPM) at San Diego Hospice from November 6-13, 2010. The physicians will continue their intensive leadership development program under the direction of Dr. Frank D. Ferris, Director of the International Programs at The Institute.

Dr. Ferris said, “In our effort to transform the experience of millions of people around the world who suffer from pain or other distressing symptoms in the context of critical or life-threatening illness, we must advance palliative care. This cannot be achieved without skilled, experienced and committed leadership.”

Currently, physicians are trained to focus on patient care. They have little background managing the organizational and societal changes necessary to implement new medical programs or innovative healthcare solutions. Through the Palliative Care Leadership Development Initiative, physicians commit to a two-year program of classroom studies, ongoing mentorships, one-on-one skill building sessions, personal development plans, and peer-to-peer networking.

The program charges world-class physicians with the responsibility to take new leadership skills home to their countries to share, teach, and advance palliative care among their nation’s medical community with the goal of easing the suffering of people with life-limiting illness.

A highlight of the program is keynote speaker Dr. Jerry Jellison. Jellison is an expert on change management in organizations. He has been a professor of social psychology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles for over 30 years. He is the author of Managing the Dynamics of Change, and Overcoming Resistance: A Practical Guide to Change in the Workplace.

While the training is underway, a documentary film crew from Australia lead by Mike Hill of Moonshine Movies, will film stories of patients and families, interview The Institute for Palliative Medicine faculty and some of the international physicians to depict real life experiences, challenges and responses to the pain management crises around the world. The completed documentary is tentatively scheduled to be released at the Toronto Film Festival in 2011 and through public television stations.

Dr. Shannon Moore, assistant director of the International Programs said, “We have been blessed to have the opportunity to develop this precedent-setting curriculum. The financial support we have received from the International Palliative Care Initiative, Open Society Foundations; with collaborative support provided by the National Cancer Institute, Office of International Affairs, and The Palliative Care Initiative of The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund allows us to select palliative care physicians from low and middle resource countries, and to provide an educational experience that fosters leadership skill building and opportunities to practice leadership in a variety of settings.

“Every one of these world-class physicians is committed to working to change the unfortunate reality of suffering for patients and families in every country,” said Moore. “The skills of leadership can impact government policy, medical education, healthcare organization and management, medical professionals and society itself; to transform healthcare by integrating the holistic approach of Palliative Care.”

Helen McNeal, Executive Director of The Institute for Palliative Medicine, said “All it takes is a spark to ignite a fire to change the world. That’s what we intend to do as these doctors embark on the second half of their leadership journey in the International Palliative Care Leadership Development Initiative.”

About The Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice


The Institute for Palliative Medicine (IPM) at San Diego Hospice is internationally recognized for its excellence in palliative care education and research. Dedicated to the relief of suffering through the transformation of healthcare, it focuses on discovering, demonstrating and disseminating strategies for palliative care in existing healthcare systems whether here in San Diego or throughout the world. Physicians and healthcare professionals from around the globe come to The Institute for Palliative Medicine to study. Home to the country’s largest palliative medicine physician fellowship program, the Institute also provides education to more than 2,500 healthcare students and professionals each year. The Institute helped pioneer the palliative medicine subspecialty approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties in 2006. For more information, visit www.palliativemed.org