This 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 Prof Dr Christoph Ostgathe, Professor of Palliative Medicine at the University of Erlangen, Bavaria, Germany.
If I were elected to the board I would want – as a clinical researcher – to support the EAPC’s continuous efforts towards the improvement of care for patients in need of palliative care. I have been active in the development of the German National Registry of Palliative Care, the Hospice Directory, core documentation and in guideline development. That, and my experience in building up sustainable and efficient networks with other professions, specialties, and colleagues from other countries, may be a resource for the EAPC Board.
I am a physician and I specialised primarily in anaesthesiology. As a young doctor at the end of the ‘90s, I came into contact with palliative care in a hospital in Bonn. In our anesthesiology department we had the opportunity for a year’s rotation in a palliative care unit. From day one, I was infected by the palliative care virus. The possibility to work in a team alongside the patients and those close to them, to learn so much about my own personhood, to learn to accept things without being inactive or giving up, and being part of a successful effort to move an important idea forward – these were, and still are, the fuel for my everyday work. Back then, I had the enormous luck to be in the right place at the right time. Prof Klaschik – one of the early pioneers of palliative care in Germany – was appointed as the first Chair of Palliative Care in Germany and I had the chance to start an unexpected and primarily unintended academic career in our field. After specialising in Palliative Care and Pain Management I joined Raymond Voltz’s team as a senior consultant at the University of Cologne. In 2010, I was appointed as Professor of Palliative Medicine at the University of Erlangen, Bavaria.
I am happy that in my current job I am still able to do all the things that attracted me to this particular field of work in the first place: work clinically, teach students and do research in palliative care. Here, my core area is health service research with a focus on relatives, tool development and adaption, as well as ethical issues in end-of-life care. A particular emphasis is on palliative care for patients with a diagnosis other than cancer and in particular situations, for example when infected/colonised with multi-resistant pathogens.
For the rest of the time, when I am not engaged in palliative care, I try to share as much time as possible with my family – one wife, one daughter and one dog. I also like to read books and listen to jazz music. Apart from that, I am a ‘sometimes distraught, sometimes approving’ supporter of the soccer team Borussia Mönchengladbach – their best times were in the ‘70s but finally, so far this year, they have been doing fine again!
More about the EAPC Board elections…
EAPC Board elections take place on Saturday 9 May from 10.00 am until 3.00 pm in room 171 of the Congress Center. If you are a member of the EAPC and eligible to vote please do go along and place your vote. Members can find more information on voting procedures and all the candidates standing for election on the EAPC website. (Members will need to login to access these pages).
We are also publishing candidates’ posts on the EAPC Blog in the run-up to the elections. Click here to read previous posts from other candidates.
EAPC Congress update…
If you’re joining us at the14th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care – Copenhagen, Denmark, 8-10 May, you can now download the final programme and the book of abstracts.
Follow us on Twitter @EAPCOnlus – our official congress hashtag is #eapc2015