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January 21, 2009

CONTACT: Melissa DelaCalzada

                    San Diego Hospice
                    619-278-6139 or mdelacalzada@sdhospice.org

Innovations in Advanced Illness Care Explored at San Diego Meetings

The Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice hosts international meetings Jan. 21-26

 
(San Diego) – Several leading members of the international palliative care community will gather in San Diego from January 21 through 26 for meetings hosted by The Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice. These leading practitioners and researchers in palliative medicine will participate in meetings, and will study and teach with the researchers and fellows based in San Diego at the Institute.

Symposium participants will:
  • Discuss innovations and interventions to improve the delivery of palliative care in different settings;
  • Explore ways to fully integrate the practice of palliative medicine into the healthcare systems throughout the world; and,
  • Discuss current issues and learn from each other’s models and experiences.
“We are honored to host the world’s leading experts at this symposium here in San Diego,” said Frank D. Ferris, MD, Director of the International Program at The Institute for Palliative Medicine. “The Institute for Palliative Medicine is currently positioned at the cutting edge of the most advanced knowledge in the relief of pain and suffering through our research programs and through the education we provide to visiting professionals from around the world.”

“We are passionate about bringing together the finest experts in the field of palliative medicine to share their knowledge,” said Charles von Gunten, MD, PhD, Provost of The Institute for Palliative Medicine. “Through the discussions at these meetings, we will not only be able to exchange vital information and strategies for integrating palliative care into health care systems throughout the world. We will also be sharing approaches to relieving suffering in settings where 80% of patients who are diagnosed with cancer are already at Stage IV with advanced disease.”

Among the distinguished individuals coming to San Diego for these meetings:
  • Dr. Xavier Gomez-Bastiste, oncologist and Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Center for Public Health Palliative Care Programs at the Catalan Institute of Oncology, Barcelona, Spain
  • Dr. Carl Johan Furst, Director of the Palliative Care Program, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Ms. Liliana De Lima, Executive Director, International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, Houston, Texas; and WHO/ Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) consultant
The meetings are being hosted by Dr. Frank Ferris, Director of the International Program at The Institute for Palliative Medicine. Dr. Ferris is also an internationally recognized authority on palliative care and holds numerous professional appointments and associations with leading medical institutions, and is widely published.

About The Institute for Palliative Medicine


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 health care, it focuses on discovering, demonstrating and disseminating strategies for palliative care in existing health care 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 1700 health care students and professionals each year. The Institute helped pioneer the palliative medicine subspecialty approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties in 2006.

Palliative care is the prevention and relief of suffering by a specialized inter-disciplinary health care team that focuses on managing symptoms, relieving pain, and improving quality of life, whatever the diagnosis.

For more information, visit online at www.sdhospice.org.