As of August 2015, Dr. Felicia M. Knaul, Director of HGEI between 2009-2015, transferred to the University of Miami as the Director of the Miami Institute of the Americas and Professor at the Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Knaul made significant contributions to the Harvard community and beyond during her tenure at HGEI through innovative and cross-cutting, policy-oriented research on various topics related to promoting health equity globally, including most recently, launching and chairing the Lancet Commission on Global Access to Palliative Care and Pain Control (GAPCPC). The GAPCPC Commission is a joint project between researchers at Harvard University and the University of Miami.
On the occasion of the 21st anniversary of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, palliative care specialist and HGEI collaborator Christian Ntizimira has written a powerful and moving article titled “Dying with Dignity: Hope for Rwanda as a post-genocide society.”
“During the genocide,” Christian concludes, “a part of our humanity was lost along with the one million who perished. However, I’m still convinced that the concept of palliative care will bring back this part of humanity lost and will teach us to understand the deep perception of being a ‘human being’ in extending hope for the Rwandan post genocide society.”
You can read his inspiring article in its entirety on ehospice.
Commissioners from all over the world convened in Cambridge and Boston May 13-15 to attend the second in-person meeting of the Lancet Commission on Global Access to Palliative Care and Pain Control (GAPCPC), hosted by HGEI and held at the Harvard Faculty Club and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Among the comprehensive list of goals for the meeting were finalizing the working definition of palliative care; discussing the Commission’s scope of work and implications for the Commission report; revisiting markers of success for the Commission; analyzing key knowledge gaps; and identifying challenges and opportunities for global, regional, and national action.
The meeting also featured updates from and sub-meetings of the Economic Evaluation and Metrics, and Models and Innovations working groups. The former working group is tasked with creating a set of metrics to better quantify both the burden of pain and economic cost of suffering. The Models and Innovations group seeks to identify capacity building innovations and promising models of delivery and financing, with an eye to creating country- specific cases and policy briefs that present strategies for integrating pain control and palliative care into national health systems around the world.
The commission, which unites specialists in pain control and palliative care with experts in global health and health systems, seeks to harness opportunities to integrate palliative care into universal health coverage; and to catalyze an evolution of thought that recognizes pain control and palliative care as an essential part of health systems and a priority for investment in health.
See the announcement of the Commission published in The Lancet here.