Hospice and palliative care leaders and campaigners recognised in UK New Year Honours list

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Dr Virginia Hobday, medical director at Cayman HospiceCare, has been awarded an MBE for her contribution to to hospice care in the Cayman Islands.

Dr Hobday moved to the Cayman Islands from the UK in 1998, becoming involved in the work of the hospice in 2001 – becoming Honorary Medical Director of Cayman Hospice Care and serving on the board of directors, while also working working in private practice. She also introduced to the Cayman Islands the Caribbean Palliative Care Conference, which provides continuing education to medical personnel, through eminent local and overseas speakers.

“It was entirely unexpected but I am truly humbled and honoured to receive it,” Dr Hobday commented, adding that she attributes the reach and impact of hospice care in the Cayman Islands to the whole team – from the nurses and carers, the fundraising and administrative staff to committed board members and of course the volunteers.

You can read more about Dr Hobday in the official press release on the Cayman Islands Government website.

Barbara Gelb, Chief Executive of Together for Short Lives and immediate past chair of the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) Board of Trustees, was awarded an OBE in recognition of her services to improving palliative care services for children.

Joan Marston, ICPCN’s CEO commented: “This award is a very well deserved recognition of Barbara’s inspiring leadership of both Together for short Lives and the ICPCN. We congratulate Barbara on receiving this award and thank her for her selfless dedication to imrpoving the lives of children with palliative care needs and their families.”

Terry Moran, Chair of Trustees of Together for Short Lives, added: “I am delighted that Barbara has received this award. She has strived tirelessly throughout her career to improve the lives of children and families. She is a powerful and passionate advocate for children with life-limiting conditions and their families and for the professionals and organisations, including children’s hospices that serve them.”

The actress Joan Collins received a Damehood (DBE) for her “very substantial, tireless and sustained contribution to charity, charitable fundraising and advocacy.” Joan is patron of several charitable organisations including Shooting Star Chase, a children’s hospice in the UK, for which she has hosted many fundraising events and co-hosts tea every year at Harrods for Shooting Star Chase families. On learning of her award, Joan said: “I am deeply honoured by this award. It is humbling to receive this level of recognition from my Queen and country, and I am truly thrilled and grateful.”

Val Jourdan was awarded an MBE for services to improving the lives of disabled children in the West Bank. After taking a year’s sabbatical in Bethlehem in 1983 to help treat physically and mentally handicapped children on the West Bank and Gaza as part of the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation (BASR), Val Jourdan, a qualified physiotherapist, founded Action around Bethlehem Children with Disability (ABCD) which supports children with physical and mental difficulties and their families.

Visit the UK edition of ehospice for details of other dedicated individuals honoured for services to hospice and palliative care.

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