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 Professor Jon Håvard Loge, Regional Centre for Excellence in Palliative Care, Oslo University Hospital/ University of Oslo, Norway.
After graduating from medical school, I entered specialist training in child and adolescent psychiatry and thereafter in psychiatry before becoming a specialist in both. Major lessons learned throughout those years were the importance of keeping the whole patient and her/his family in focus, the importance of good and flexible communication skills, the value of a biopsychosocial perspective on disease and illnesses and, not the least, the importance of multidisciplinary approaches in relation to complex health problems. These perspectives have guided me in my clinical practice and my research in palliative care, and also in medicine in general which I think is becoming increasingly disease-oriented and less patient-centred.
I was introduced to palliative care through research more than 15 years ago. Since then I have been engaged in the development of Norwegian palliative care, clinically as well as in research. I have also chaired the National Resource Centre for late effects after cancer. Now I chair the Regional Centre for Excellence in Palliative Care at Oslo University Hospital. The major tasks of the Centre are education and research in palliative care. I have chaired and been a board member of the Norwegian Association for Palliative Medicine and have performed various tasks for the EAPC. I have also participated in working groups developing national programmes in palliative care, cancer survivorship and cancer rehabilitation. Academically I am a professor in behavioural sciences in medicine at the University of Oslo, and I have participated in national and international multicentre studies in palliative care and cancer survivorship. Psychological aspects of palliative care and symptom assessment are central aspects of my research portfolio. Presently I chair a national multicentre study aiming at better integration of palliative care and oncology which I think is a major challenge in today’s fragmented care for the seriously ill.
I believe that EAPC in the years to come, and especially in light of the present economic and political situation, needs to have a strong focus on European citizens’ access to palliative care and on maintaining and further developing European Health Care Personnel’s access to education in palliative care. Research should have a clinical focus aiming to fill gaps in our present knowledge base and support clinical practice. Collaboration is a key element for reaching these goals, and that also includes collaboration with the member organisations of EAPC and other bodies of importance for further development of palliative care in Europe.
Outside my professional life I am a father of three who have all left home. I live with my wife and a cat in a suburb outside Oslo and use my spare time on outdoor seasonal activities such as sailing and skiing, on reading political history and of course on my family and friends.
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 all the Congress events on Twitter @EAPCOnlus the official Congress hashtag is #eapc2015