The Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice Celebrates World Hospice and Palliative Care Day

The International Program at The Institute for Palliative Medicine educates worldwide

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice celebrates World Hospice and Palliative Care Day on October 9 through the worldwide reach of its International Programs, which provide consultation, professional education, and technical assistance to countries, health care systems and organizations committed to building comprehensive palliative care programs.

The need for pain relief and palliative care has become a major public health issue, and an urgent imperative, worldwide. Medical experts working with the World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that more than 60% of the 50 million deaths worldwide each year, could benefit significantly from palliative care services if they receive them early enough in the illness experience. Palliative care (or palliative medicine) is the prevention and relief of suffering by a specialized medical team that focuses on managing symptoms, relieving pain and improving quality of life, whatever the diagnosis.

With a strategy based on the WHO Public Health Strategy for integrating palliative care into a healthcare system, The Institute for Palliative Medicine has customized the WHO Strategy to the situation and stage of development in each country.

Frank Ferris, MD, is the Director of International Programs for The Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice. He oversees all initiatives and evaluates the each country's needs based on their requested outcomes.

"We begin by asking, 'what do we want?' The answer is typically 'better control, symptom management, and quality of life.' These goals are ultimately the same whether you're in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia or in San Diego, California," said Ferris.

One of the newest programs is the International Palliative Care Leadership Development Initiative, funded by a grant from the International Palliative Care Initiative, Open Society Institute, with collaborative support provided by the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland and The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. Additional support has also been received from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. The two-year Leadership Development Initiative supports the development of skills among international palliative care physicians in resource-limited countries around the world. Participants are selected from among individuals in developing nations who demonstrate leadership over and above the delivery of palliative care in their community, who come to The Institute for Palliative Medicine for instruction. More information can be found online at

About The Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice

The Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice is internationally recognized for its excellence in palliative care education and research. Dedicated to the relief of suffering through the transformation of health care, it focuses on discovering, demonstrating and disseminating strategies for palliative care in existing health care systems whether here in San Diego, California or throughout the world.  Home to the country's largest palliative medicine physician fellowship program, the Institute also provides education to more than 2,000 health care professional and students each year.  The Institute helped pioneer the palliative medicine subspecialty approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties in 2006. For more information, visit The Institute for Palliative Medicine's new website at

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.

Frank D. Ferris, MD

Contact: Melissa DelaCalzada, The Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice, (619) 278-6139

SOURCE The Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice


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