The first open session on leadership in palliative care was held recently in Berlin at the 16th European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) World Congress. Organised by the European Palliative Care Academy (EUPCA), it presented excellent speakers and welcomed 120 participants. EUPCA Coordinator, Dr Gerrit Frerich (Germany), explains.
We were greatly honoured that this session was introduced by Professor Phil Larkin (Switzerland) and chaired by Professor Sheila Payne (UK), both former presidents of the EAPC. Keynote speaker and leadership expert, Dr Sally Watson (UK), started with new leadership approaches in palliative care and assumptions about leadership. The second keynote speaker, Professor Frank Ferris (USA), spoke about the ‘Global Reach of the Five Practices of Exemplary Leaders’ and his experience with the global Leadership Development Initiative (LDI).
Impact of EUPCA Leadership courses in six countries
Six EUPCA alumni of the three previous EUPCA leadership courses gave insight into their personal leadership development and the practical impact of their projects in different parts of Europe. Coming from six different countries in Eastern and Western Europe, the alumni’s presentations covered Spain, Iceland, Estonia, Slovenia, Poland and Ireland.
Dr Juan Pablo Leiva presented his island-wide training for fire fighters and for clinicians of the Balearic Islandsin Spain to be better prepared in dealing with death and dying.
Asdis Ingvarsdottir, talked about palliative home care in Reykjavik and described future plans and challenges for palliative care in Iceland.
Dr Mari Lõhmus (Estonia) spoke about her ‘Highway to Leadership’. She faced the challenges of leadership much faster than expected, but the broader view the EUPCA course and participants shared on palliative care and leadership helped her to build the essential confidence.
Dr Maja Ebert Moltara explained her ‘Project Butterfly’ that tries to improve palliative care in Slovenia especially by dissemination activities. She pointed out that her collaboration in EUPCA resulted in major impact on national palliative care development.
Alumni and steering committee member, Dr Anna Janowicz, stated that “family carers are no longer left alone”. She shared her experience with successful campaigns for family caregivers as the manager of the Hospice Foundation Gdansk in Poland.
Prof. Michael Connolly (Ireland) outlined his leadership journey. He had learnt that leading aims to transform, challenge, support, advocate, agitate and, above all, support those he works with and for.
The presentations were followed by a lively discussion on what leadership means, especially in palliative care. Alumnus, Emily Dobson (UK), presented the third part of the open workshop, the EUPCA Alumni Platform. The platform is intended to connect EUPCA alumni and to continue supportive communication according to joint funding opportunities, events and work on leadership capacities.
EUPCA director, Professor Raymond Voltz (Germany), concluded with the key messages of this session and unveiled plans for the EAPC Leadership Task Force that will be launched soon.
And the last word from Professor Sheila Payne:
“We are highly motivated to bring leadership experience together and foster palliative care pioneering in Europe. The next global networking event should be held at the next EAPC Congress in Palermo!”
Links and resources
- Read more about the EUPCA Leadership course here.
- View earlier posts from EUPCA students on the EAPC blog.
- Read more posts relating to the 16th EAPC World Congress in Berlin.
- 11th EAPC World Research Congress, Palermo, Italy, 14 to 16 May 2020. Abstracts online submission opens SOON! Check the congress website and follow the EAPC blog for updates.