European Palliative Care Academy 2017-19: 2nd Course Week in London

The second course week of the European Palliative Care Academy took place in the middle of March. The EUPCA participants spend one week at the Cicely Saunders Institute at King’s College London.

The focus of the London week was the research module of the course. Dr Jonathan Koffman, Dr Catherine Evans, and other experts instructed the emerging palliative care leaders on many crucial aspects of research. The Cicely Saunders Institute is known for its cutting-edge research in the field of palliative care which made it the perfect surrounding for the EUPCA participants to develop their knowledge and skill base in the subject of research which is essential for promoting high quality palliative care practices.

The module was introduced with a debate to emphasize the importance of evidence. In following sessions study and questionnaire designs were explained, and participants learned how to plan and conduct a study including quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection. Ethical aspects, the development of complex interventions, and methods of critically appraising research papers were also discussed. One participant said: “It is very useful to show how theory and practice are related”.

The EUPCA participants also had the chance to visit the St. Christopher’s Hospice as part of the Local Best Practice module. As the first modern hospice ever built it is a place worth visiting for emerging palliative care leaders to get inspired. Participants really enjoyed the session at the Hospice: “Mary’s memories and experiences were really amazing. The environment and all the staff were so friendly and smart.”

During the sessions of the Personal Development module the topics team and self-awareness were discussed.

As participants had started working on their personal projects in September, there were also Project Management sessions with room to discuss and exchange individual progression, problems and funding.


Thanks to everybody who helped making this great course week in London possible!

EUPCA-Alumni Juan-Pablo published an article about his project – Death in the Fire Services: A curriculum development study.

Juan-Pablo Leiva Santos from Spain participated in the EUPCA leadership course 2015-2017. Within the course he developed a curriculum to improve the resilience of firefighters who are dealing with death and dying on their duty. In a qualitative study he identified needs and resources of firefighters and based a training curriculum on his findings. We are proud to share his publication. Please follow the link to read “Death in the Spanish fire services: a curriculum development study”.

If you click here you can read the EAPC Blog entry, including some pictures, about Juan-Pablo’s project.

Forms of assistance for terminally ill people: EUPCA’s project then and now.

We are happy to share the project story of the EUPCA 2015-2017 alumni Joanna John!


The project “Non-medical forms of assistance for terminally ill cancer patients. Wide-range training for volunteers” was provided by Archdiocesean Home’s Hospice bl. John Paul II from September 2015 to February 2017. It was addressed at people without medical experience, but with a strong interest in helping and supporting hospice patients.
The projects main objective was to teach forms and practices for implementing this support, drawing on participants’ individual abilities or even their free time.

Students Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology, University of Silesia, participated in the project’s first module. Here, they could learn to improve their communication with patients in the terminal stage by means of a lecture and a subsequent practical training. A variation of important topics was addressed, including Active Listening, Troubles in Communication, Volunteer Self-Protection and others.
As a next step, participants had the chance to apply their newly gained knowledge in a ward by talking and being with patients. At the end of the module participants had prepared workshops for our hospice’s volunteers with minimum stay of one year. These workshops focused on the communication with patient relatives as well as managing difficult situations. Our volunteers could also use these workshops as a welcome opportunity to exchange their knowledge.

Voluntary Work in Action was the subject of the next two modules. It revolved around educational meetings in kindergartens, schools, parishes etc. in Silesia Voivodeship. We promoted palliative care in these institutions and invited people to become our volunteers in action. Interested people could then participate in fairs, collections and other projects as for example the one of Mrs. Iwona, one of our volunteers. She began her volunteer work by preparing beautiful and unique handicraft paper-daffodils to sell at the fair. By now, she has become a corporate volunteer – as a PKO employee – and helps us cooperate with the PKO Foundation which kindly gave us a donation as well. As indicated above, an important part of our project was the development of manual activities for patients. We used different techniques in our workshops, for example decouphage and artichoke handicraft, among others. This way, we could find out which techniques and materials will be suitable for our patients. This activity drew a lot of support by elderly people who helped us prepare handicrafts for the fair. In the first module, too, elderly people were among those helping out the patients, for example by spending time with them in the ward.

How I can help? Is it a place for me? These questions indicate the general doubt among the people thinking about volunteering in hospice. The reason behind our project was the idea to answer these questions. Therefore, we can show potential candidates a variety of forms to be of help for people in the terminal stage. EUPCA’s project shows how much volunteers support palliative care.

Author: Joanna John, Volunteer coordinator

European Palliative Care Academy 2017-19: 1st Course Week

The Centre for Palliative Medicine of the University Hospital of Cologne welcomed the third cohort of EUPCA (European Palliative Care Academy) participants from September 25th till 29th. The 20 future palliative care leaders from 13 countries around Europe were selected during the application process in the early summer.

Aim of this unique further education course is to prepare specialists in palliative care for prospective leadership tasks in their professional lives. The European Palliative Care Academy focuses on Personal Development, Project Management, Teamwork, Research Methods and Advocacy and supports participants to successfully implement their personal project in their region or institution.

During the first course week in Cologne all modules where introduced and the participants archived skills primary in Personal Development, tutored by Prof. Dr Daniela Mosoiu and Malina Dumitrescu from Romania and Project Management, tutored by Prof. Dr Raymond Voltz and Dr Christiane Kuch from Germany.

The group turned out to be a great mix from different countries, professions and backgrounds which made lively group sessions and interesting discussions possible.

We look back on a successful week and would like to thank all participants, lecturers and others involved!

Psychological Counseling Curriculum in Romania – Kick-off course was a great success!

Adriana Caruntu, participant of the 2015 – 2017 EUPCA Leadership Course, successfully started implementing her Personal Project in Romania. Her aim is to advance palliative care through a psychological counseling curriculum. The training of psychologists working in Palliative Care will improve professionals’ daily activities and patients’ quality of life. Learn more about Adriana and her project.

The first training course based on the psychological counseling curriculum in palliative care has recently ended in Bucharest, Romania. The course was structured into five modules which took place in June and July 2017. Adriana Caruntu was a lecturer in the first module. The second and third module were supported by the psychologist Mrs. Diana Vasile. Mrs. Florentina Nicolescu gave support in the fourth module and Mrs. Luxita Bara in the fifth module, both are psychologists, too. The course was considered a success for both – lecturers and participants.

Adriana says: “I thank my psychologist colleagues at the Institute for Trauma Study and Trauma for getting involved in writing and implementing the project, but also to my EUPCA teachers who have been able to develop my skills and contribute to my evolution as a palliative care specialist, to initiate an innovative project in Romania and last but not least, I would like to thank Mrs. Malina Dumitrescu who recommended me to join the EUPCA.

EUPCA Leadership Course 2017-19

Many interesting candidates applied for the next course run of the EUPCA Leadership Course. Over the past few weeks, the Steering Committee of the European Palliative Care Academy has carefully reached a decision concerning the next group of emerging palliative care leaders. 20 participants have now been selected. The course will kick off at the end of September with the first course week in Cologne, Germany. Participants will have the first chance to meet each other and the lecturers, receive an introduction into the course weeks to come and make a start on their Personal Project with the Project Management Module. We look forward to welcoming all the new participants and starting the next run of this inspiring course. Please see the timeline for more information about the upcoming course weeks.

And the Award for Palliative Care Leadership Programmes goes to…

We are proud to present you this year’s winner of the Award for Palliative Care Leadership Programmes – and it is not only one but two winners:

Prof. Julia Downing (Uganda) and Leena Pelttari (Austria).

The award was presented at the 15th EAPC World Congress in Madrid by Prof. Philip Larkin on behalf of the EAPC and Prof. Raymond Voltz on behalf of the EUPCA.

Award ceremony in Madrid



About the winners and their programmes:

Award Winner Julia Downing

Prof. Julia Downing serves on the boards of several international NGOs, is Chief Executive of the International Children’s Palliative Care Network and is an Honorary Professor at Makerere University, Kampala, as well as a Visiting Professor at several Universities, and a Honorary Research Fellow with the Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care, Policy and Rehabilitation, at King’s College London (England).

Prof. Downing is implementing the Uganda Palliative Care Nurse Leadership Fellowship Programme. This programme develops nurse leaders who will be confident, skilled, resilient and empowered.

It takes place over 18-months, consisting of three one-week intensive training modules in Kampala, Uganda follwed by ongoing mentorship and supervision. The participating nurses are involved in developing and implementing leadership action plans. The 3 modules instruct them in personal development as a leader, how to lead a project and general leadership competencies. Nurses play a key role in the provision of palliative care in Uganda and needs assessments have shown a need for the development of nurse leadership skills.

For more information visit:



Award Winner Leena Pelttari

Leena Pelttari is CEO of the umbrella organisation Hospice Austria, serves on the board of the Master of Science in Palliative Care at the Paracelsus Private Medical University and as Co-Chair of the Taskforce for Volunteering in Hospice and Palliative Care at the European Association of Palliative Care (EAPC).

She ist implementing the Master of Science in Palliative Care. This Master’s Programme is an interdisciplinary educational programme offered in different parts of Austria and created in cooperation with the Paracelsus Private Medical University, Hospice Austria, the Austrian umbrella organization for hospice and Palliative Care organizations, and St. Virgil Salzburg.

The main aim of the programme is not only to qualify health and social care professionals in palliative care, management and leadership, but also to develop new institutions and improve existing structures. The Master has been running since 2006 and contributes to futhering the development of palliative care in the German speaking world. Master’s programme is accredited by the agency for quality assurance and accreditation AQ Austria, and they received an Award for Science and Research from Salzburg in 2014.

For more information visit:


EAPC Congress Madrid 2017


The European Palliative Care Academy had the chance to attend the 15th EAPC World Congress which took place in Madrid from the 18th to the 20th May. According to the EAPC Website, this year there were approximately 2,800 People in attendance from a wide variety of backgrounds in palliative care from both Europe and the wider international community.

EUPCA held a meet the experts session, presented an academic poster on the development of EUPCA over the past 5 years and had a stand where people were free to visit us and talk about the course. It was a great opportunity to see old faces and learn about their sucesses as well as to meet new people and spread the word about EUPCA.




Romania’s first psychological counselling curriculum in palliative care

A. Caruntu_01The central goal of the European Palliative Care Academy (EUPCA) Leadership Course is to develop leaders equipped with necessary competencies to advance palliative care across Europe. Through the mandatory personal project, participants are encouraged to develop these skills while affecting positive change in palliative care in their home region.

Adriana Caruntu, a recently graduated member of EUPCA Leadership Course 2015-17, recognised a need for a psychological counselling curriculum in palliative care in her home country of Romania. She made it her goal to provide this for Romanian palliative care specialists in order to improve patients’ quality of life and quality of services in palliative care. Here she tells us about the project she developed as part of her time with us.

In 2015, with the beginning of my time at the EUPCA, I started this project with the desire to contribute significantly in palliative care on a national level. Over the course of the next two years, I received guidance from teachers from the EUPCA which was of great importantance for the development of my project.

As part of my time with the EUPCA, I16406955_1877481089164061_3670004902014948715_n gained experiences central to the quality of my project. Firstly, my observation week at Hospital Bellerive in Geneva, Switzerland allowed me to gain important insights into psychological counselling in palliative care. Moreover, the Local Best Practice module offered by the EUPCA broadened my knowledge of palliative care in Europe. Of particular significance for my project was the time at St Christopher’s Hospice, London, UK.

This project was not simple or easy to achieve. At the same time as investing time and effort for the successful completion of the project, I worked as a manager of the St. Nectarios Palliative Care Center Bucharest, a position which requires a lot of responsiblity. When, after months of effort, we were able to publish ,,Psychological Counseling Curriculum in Palliative Care” and conducted the first course for specialists it was great a great achievement for myself and everyone involved. Nothing can be more beautiful than to see your dream fulfilled. I can say that due to the EUPCA, this dream has come true for me!

Applications are now being accepted for the Leadership Course 2017-19. Click here for more information.