Dr Anda Jansone’s contribution to the development of children’s palliative care in Latvia was recognised at the 115th birthday of the Children’s University Hospital on 11 October. At this event the Children’s Hospital gave out awards to those who have contributed to the investment in children’s health. Dr Anda Jansone received the highest award, the A. Priedkalna award, for her very significant contribution to the development of children’s palliative care at the Children’s University Hospital and in Latvia.
The A. Priedkalna award was established in 2004 in honour of the outstanding work of Andrejs Priedkalns in the development of the Children’s Hospital, as well as to recognise and honour employees and supporters of the hospital for their contribution to its development.
In a serendipitous coincidence the prize was given out on World Hospice and Palliative Care Day.
On receiving the award Dr Anda Jansone said, “The award is welcome recognition for the whole of children’s palliative care in Latvia.”
More about Dr Jansone
Dr. Anda Jansone has worked at Children’s University Hospital since 1988. She says that in 1997 Latvians were not very aware of the concept of palliative care. Thanks to a partnership programme between St. Louis BJC Health System (USA) and several healthcare institutions in Riga between 1996 and 1999, a social worker and Dr Jansone were invited for training in St. Louis. It was a chance to see children’s palliative care in practice and the home care model that is prevalent in the USA.
Despite many challenges under Dr Jansone’s leadership the first children’s palliative care team was set up in Children’s University Hospital in 1998. Initially the team provided consultations to the patients in the hospital while at the same time they improved their knowledge and professional experience in the field of palliative care.
In 2000 the team began to provide palliative home care, initially on a voluntary basis without remuneration. The team cared for five families which to some extent was to evaluate weather the team was capable of carrying out this task and whether their knowledge and skills were sufficient. It was also a test to see if the families would accept the holistic home service model.
Since 1998, Dr. Jansone has led the children’s palliative care service, worked on the recruitment and training of the team and organised the day to day running of the team. She also successfully managed to attract resources for the enhancement and development of the palliative care service. The number of the patients receiving their service has increased every year. In 2013, 157 patients and their family members received palliative care services at home.
Dr Jansone also implemented telemedicine to facilitate availability to patients and their families living in the outermost regions of the country. This technology complements and extends the existing service making it available 24/7. The palliative care team specialists are able to provide consultations to the patients and their family members at home, using a specially designed telemedicine internet platform.
With more than 20 scientific publications under her belt and a frequent speaker at national and international events, Dr Jansone is also involved in the design of legislative documents which aim to promote the development of palliative care services for children in all the regions of Latvia.
She has developed training programmes in children’s palliative care for mobile teams in the country, for medical doctors (Residency in Medicine) and for students at Riga Stradiņš University. She has carried out the training programme for mobile teams in Latvia and for nurses and doctors in Tbilisi, Georgia. Dr Jansone is also the author and co-author of several publications on children’s palliative care.