Parag Bharadwaj, MD FAAHPM, Founder, Palliative Care Network
Palliative Care Network (PCN) was launched in 2007, based on the idea of using readily available technology to bridge the knowledge gap among palliative care professionals worldwide.
We began PCN with a Directory listing palliative care professionals from across the globe that are interested in sharing knowledge and information. This enabled a nurse from Malawi to receive guidance from a physician in Kenya and a social worker in the United States, ultimately making it possible for the Malawian nurse to pursue a career in palliative care nursing. In 2008, seeking to broaden the scope of PCN, we launched PCN-e (education) providing a knowledge-sharing platform for our global user base. Its first project led to the procurement of a secure, steady supply of opioids in a developing country. Subsequently, the first online community for palliative care professionals, PCN community, was launched and it hosted the first online poster exhibition in 2009. One example of the many impacts, the information exchanged in the first poster exhibition resulted in a change to the practice of pain management in a country and brought relief to innumerable patients and their families.
In 2011, PCN convened its first online conference with a pilot lecture series and concurrent poster exhibition. This year, the call for abstracts invites palliative care professionals and organisations from all disciplines to share their work at the conference, promoting the free flow of information from different regions. In addition, there are other innovative projects that allow for sharing information and knowledge.
All of PCN’s services are free of charge. The organisation is supported and web sites maintained exclusively by the help of an international team of volunteers. Their devoted work has facilitated global change in palliative care practices. Teamwork is integral to palliative care – at Palliative Care Network teamwork is done on a global level. We look forward to creating a global community and invite colleagues from Europe to participate and contribute to the exchange of knowledge by joining the endeavour.