Author: Justin N. Baker, MD, FAAHPM
Chief, Division of Quality of Life and Palliative Care, Attending Physician, QoLA Team (Quality of Life for All), Chair, St Jude Global QoL/Palliative Care Transversal Working Group, Medical Director, St Jude Home Care, LLC
Paediatric Palliative care has been recognised worldwide as a fundamental human right – not just a privilege. Access to palliative care, however, is very limited globally. Several barriers to accessing palliative care have been identified; one of the most common barriers described is a lack of specialized training in palliative care for health care providers.
Education in Palliative & End-of-Life Care (EPEC) for Pediatrics is a comprehensive adaptation of the EPEC curriculum designed to address the needs of children, their families and pediatric oncology providers and other pediatric clinicians. It was developed by and continues to receive regular input and updates from experts in several pediatric disciplines as well as from parent advocate advisers. It consists of 24 modules in pain and symptom management that is taught as a combination of web-based distance learning and in-person conference sessions. Additionally, this curriculum had been adapted to several different regions such as Eurasia and Latin America and is available in Spanish and French.
Participants in past EPEC-Pediatrics conferences stated that the course led to a higher level of comfort with symptom management of pediatric patients, earlier referrals to a specialized PPC team as well as earlier discussions about topics such as Advance Care Planning for children who had died. Feedback from participants in the EPEC-P Eurasia course held in March, 2021 revealed an incredibly meaningful experience for the providers, both professionally and personally. Participants expressed the course had “very interesting seminars”, and was “an excellent way to learn. Interactive.” Participants describe that this course provided them a “new view on palliative care”, and “will certainly change [their] future medical practice.”
An online version of the ‘EPEC Pediatrics – Advanced Workshop in Pediatric Palliative Care’ will be hosted by The Maruzza Foundation and take place from 25 to 28th October 2021. This course will provide education on state-of-the-art pain and symptom management, as well as training in the skills required to address key domains for paediatric palliative care including communication and bereavement care. The St Jude Global Quality of Life and Palliative Care Transversal Program is working in collaboration with EPEC-Peds, ICPCN, and the Maruzza Foundation to increase access of this important curriculum by offering scholarships to health care providers in LMICs and those who would otherwise be unable to attend.
St. Jude Global, in partnership with the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN), are offering scholarships to enable up to 20 individuals from low-and-middle-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Mediterranean, and Eurasia, to register for the event.
Below you will find the link to more information.