I have over 20 years clinical and academic experience in the speciality of palliative care, including regional co-ordinator of services and head of a hospice education department. I am currently Professor of Clinical Nursing (Palliative Care) at University College Dublin and Our Lady’s Hospice and Care Services, Dublin and as my title suggests, this joint Chair combines both a clinical and academic focus which I believe is essential for the development of palliative care and palliative nursing, in particular.
I have been involved at both a national and international level in palliative care; both as a member and latterly Chair of the Irish Association for Palliative Care and was honoured to hold the Vice-Chair of the European Association for Palliative Care 2003-2007. This gave me the opportunity to appreciate how palliative care requires sound political understanding to ensure it becomes embedded in healthcare policy and finance. I will stand as EAPC President in 2015. I also Chair the All-Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care, an organisation designed to improve the experience of palliative care for all citizens on the island of Ireland, North and South. This organisation is founded on key principles such as social justice, capacity building and policy engagement, essential to strengthen the voice and vision of palliative care not only in Ireland, but also across Europe. We can only achieve this through greater partnership, learning and valuing each other’s experience.
I believe this is a strategically important time for palliative care, particularly as the EAPC engages with other agencies such as WHO to form strategic alliances to advance a message of palliative care as a public health initiative. As a member of the Board, it is essential that we do not lose sight of the views of individuals and member organisations that we represent so that they are able to fully contribute to that work. I would hope to support and develop this contribution in the future.
I believe that my background as an academic nurse and the relationships I have fostered over many years with colleagues from varied disciplines across Europe will assist me in serving the members of EAPC in the years ahead. Palliative care in Ireland has a long and distinguished history. Respecting the history of EAPC is equally important. Learning from the wisdom of others will help EAPC develop and transform to meet new and exciting challenges.
Tel: (01) 498 6328