This new series introduces candidates for the European Association for Palliative Care Board of Directors who will be standing for election (or in some cases re-election) in May 2015. We hope the blog posts provide an opportunity for candidates to explain more about themselves and how they might contribute to the EAPC and the palliative care community more generally. Board members are nominated by national associations or, in a few cases, by individual members. They are elected as individuals to service the EAPC for a four-year term, with one additional opportunity to be re-elected. The EAPC is keen to have Board members from all disciplines, at all stages of their career, and from all parts of Europe.
The series continues today with Professor Manuel Luis Capelas, Institute of Health Sciences of the Catholic University of Portugal.
I am 49 years old, and a professor in the Institute of Health Sciences of the Catholic University of Portugal, where I coordinate several courses and curricular units of palliative care, at undergraduate or post-graduate levels. I am also the Coordinator of the Palliative Care Research Group. For the past nine years I have been involved with the Portuguese Association for Palliative Care (APCP), first as a member of the board of directors and, since 2012, as its President. Since 2013, I have been the director of the APCP journal, Cuidados Paliativos.
I think my interest in palliative care grew from the moment I started my career in 1990 as a nurse in a burns unit; suffering was always present and we did our best to relieve it. In 2004, I had the opportunity to do a Masters in Palliative Care, for which my dissertation was ‘The total pain in patients with bone metastasis’. Since then, I have become more involved in palliative care as a board member of APCP, as a speaker at national and international courses and congresses (including the EAPC Lisbon Congress in 2011), as a member of scientific committees (congresses and palliative care university courses), and as a reviewer of palliative care congresses or journals.
Nowadays, palliative care is one of the most important parts of my life (in my work as a professor and also as a tutor/mentor, which is my research area and one of my life’s missions). My main research interests are: education, organisation and quality of services. An important achievement for me is my PhD in Health Sciences/Palliative Care for which my thesis was ‘Quality Indicators for Palliative Care Services in Portugal’. Simultaneously, my contact with several palliative care professionals across the world (José Pereira, Maria Nabal, Carlos Centeno, Lukas Radbruch, Franco De Conno, Robin Faisinger, Eduardo Bruera, Isabel Neto, Xavier Gomez-Batiste, and David Oliver, among many others) has played an important part in increasing my engagement in the field.
When I am not working in palliative care, I like listening to music, reading, working out (swimming and gym), but most of all I like to be with my family. These activities are very important to my wellbeing.
Finally, if elected, I would bring the Southern European ‘voice’, with a special focus on Portugal, to the EAPC Board. I would hope to contribute to the vision of the EAPC and the different contexts of palliative care across Europe thus giving us a stronger role at European level. I would hope to stimulate Portuguese health professionals, especially those who work in palliative care services, to participate more actively in EAPC initiatives: research, education or participation at congresses. Also, I would contribute, with EAPC support, towards the development of a strong and adequate palliative care national programme. As a Portuguese, I would hope to strengthen links between the EAPC and Brazil, as well as African countries where the official language is Portuguese and where we have good relationships, and to help the promotion there of palliative care programme.
Coming up on the EAPC blog…
We shall be publishing more posts from our candidates in the run-up to the elections. Click here to read last week’s contribution from Prof Philip J Larkin.
Are you coming to Copenhagen?
See you at the 14th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care – Copenhagen, Denmark, 8-10 May, 2015. Follow us on Twitter @EAPCOnlus – our official congress hashtag is #eapc2015
Vem a Copenhaga?
Vêmo-nos no 14o Congresso Mundial da Associação Europeia de Cuidados Paliativos – Copenhaga, Dinamarca, 8-10 Maio, 2015. Sigam-nos no Twitter @EAPCOnlus – o hashtag oficial do congresso é #eapc2015