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Samar Aoun

Samar Aoun

Samar Aoun is Perron Institute Research Chair in Palliative Care at the University of Western Australia, Head of Palliative Care Research at Perron Institute, and Adjunct Professor at La Trobe University.
Samar advocates for a person-centred health and social care. Her research programs on supporting family caregivers at end of life and the public health approach to bereavement care have informed policy and practice at the national and international levels. Her work on social models in bereavement support has provided empirical evidence to strengthen the Compassionate Communities model of care. She co-founded the South West Compassionate Communities Network in 2018, and is leading the Compassionate Connector Program which has been embedded into practice by the health service.

Stephen Connor

Stephen ConnorStephen Connor, PhD is Executive Director of the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance, an alliance of over 395 hospice and palliative care organizations in over 100 countries. Dr. Connor has worked continuously in the hospice/palliative care movement since 1975 as an executive, health services researcher, educator, advocate, and psychotherapist, licensed as a clinical psychologist. Connor has published over 150 peer reviewed journal articles, reviews, & book chapters on palliative care and is the author/editor of six books on palliative care including Hospice & Palliative Care: The essential guide, 3rd Ed (2018) and the 1st and 2nd editions of the Global Atlas of Palliative Care (2016/2020), in partnership with WHO.

Liesbeth De Donder

Liesbeth De DonderLiesbeth De Donder is Professor Adult Educational Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel where she teaches the course “Civil Society and Community Development” and three courses on “Research Methodology”. Her research focuses on social participation and inclusion of older adults, active caring communities, with a particular interest in participatory methodologies (peer-research, co-construction and action research). She is promotor of the Compassionate Communities Centre of Expertise and coordinates the research line “Community Development and Change” in the research group Belgian Ageing Studies. 


Luc Deliens

Luc Deliens

Luc Deliens is Professor of Palliative Care Research at the VUB Brussels & Ghent University and Founding Director of the End-of-Life Care Research Group in Belgium. He published over 500 papers in peer-reviewed journals, over 50 book chapters, and successfully supervised over 50 PhDs in palliative care or end-of-life decision-making.

Naheed Dosani

Naheed DosaniAs a palliative care physician and health justice activist, Dr. Naheed Dosani is dedicated to advancing equitable access to health care for people experiencing homelessness and marginalization. These efforts include founding the Palliative Education and Care for the Homeless (PEACH) at the Inner City Health Associates and serving as Medical Director for a regional COVID-19 Isolation/Housing Program in the Toronto area. He also serves as the Health Equity Lead at Kensington Health in downtown Toronto and as a palliative care physician at St Michael’s Hospital at Unity Health Toronto. Dr. Dosani shares his passion for health equity through education and advocacy efforts that include media, public speaking, social media and faculty appointments at the University of Toronto and McMaster University. Dr. Dosani's research interests include care models for people experiencing homelessness and access to palliative care among culturally diverse communities.

Rebecca Hilton

Rebecca HiltonAn Australian born dance person, Rebecca Hilton is Professor in Choreography for the research area Site Event Encounter at Stockholm University of the Arts. As artist, researcher and pedagogue she works to unfold relationships between embodied knowledges, oral traditions and choreographic systems. Situating participatory art practices and projects in spaces that are private, public and/or in flux, her research environments include universities, hospitals, shopping malls, wilderness parks, community gardens and family homes. She is currently contributing artistic research to DoBra, a multi-faceted transdisciplinary research program based at Stockholm’s Karolinska institute, exploring experiences and understandings of, and relationships to, ageing, death and dying in Sweden.


Julie Ling

Julie LingJulie Ling is a Consultant Technical Adviser on Palliative Care at the World Health Organisation Regional Office, Europe. This role aims to strengthen palliative care policy and services in the European region, providing technical advice and support.
Julie has also been CEO of the European Association for Palliative Care since January 2015. The EAPC is the leading palliative care organisation in Europe representing 54 member associations from thirty-three countries across Europe and with individual members from 52 countries globally.
Originally a nurse, Julie has worked in palliative care for thirty-five years in both adult and children’s palliative care. She has held a variety of posts in clinical care; management; research; policy and the voluntary sector. She successfully completed a PhD by research exploring the respite needs and experiences of parents caring for a child with a life-limiting condition. She has an MBA from Trinity College Dublin.
Julie is also Chair of the World Hospice and Palliative Care Alliance, a global palliative care organisation that lobbies and advocates for the provision of palliative care as part of universal health coverage and is a board member of the Health Research Board, Ireland.

Bregje Onwuteaka-Philipsen

Bregje Onwuteaka-PhilipsenBregje Onwuteaka-Philipsen, health scientist by background, is professor of end-of-life research at the department of public and occupational health of Amsterdam UMC. She chairs the section Quality and Organization of Care. Within this section she leads the research group public health at the end of life that focuses on research on advance care planning, palliative care and medical decisions at the end of life. As chair of the Expertise Center Palliative Care of Amsterdam UMC and the consortium Palliative Care of the provinces Noord-Holland and Flevoland she contributes to connecting practice, education and research in the field of palliative care.

Claudia Michel

Claudia MichelClaudia Michel PhD is a lecturer at the Institute of Ageing at the Bern University of Applied Sciences. She did her doctorate at the Institute of Geography at the University of Bern and completed the Gender Studies Research Training Group during her doctoral studies. Before she started at the University of Applied Sciences in 2014, she mediated between research and practice for over seven years in the National Centre of Competence in Research North-South as the person responsible for knowledge and technology transfer. At the Institute for Ageing, she is concerned with age work in communal social space. She is particularly interested in the question of how people at the end of life and their relatives can be supported so that they can remain in their traditional environment for as long as possible.

Ruth Raes

Ruth RaesRuth Raes is a professional coach and consultant. As a guide in learning and change processes, the quintessence of her style is to trigger awareness. For over twenty years, Ruth also holds leadership positions. Today, she manages Netwerk Levenseinde, homecare network in palliative care. She is a transition coach in the change process in first line healthcare and welfare in Flanders and president of the ‘Eerstelijnszone Vlaamse Ardennen’. Co-founder of Villa Rozerood. Previous positions at Quintessence Consulting, Ogilvy Group, Alcatel and Vlerick Business School. Ruth holds a master-degree both in business management (Vlerick Business School) and public administration and management (UGent).

Libby Sallnow

Libby Sallnow

Dr Libby Sallnow is a palliative medicine consultant with CNWL NHS Trust in London, UK and an honorary senior lecturer at St Christopher's Hospice and the UCL Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Department, UK. She has helped lead and develop the fields of new public health approaches to end of life care, compassionate communities and social approaches to death, dying and loss over the past two decades in the UK and internationally. Her PhD explored the translation of a model of compassionate communities from Kerala, India to London, UK. She has published over 25 articles and book chapters in these fields and co-edited the book "International perspectives on public health and palliative care" in 2011. She is an Honorary Consultant at the WHO Collaborating Centre for Palliative Care in Kerala, India, Vice President of Public Health Palliative Care International, the President of the Palliative Care Section of the Royal Society of Medicine, UK, a post-doc researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium and the first author of the new Lancet Commission on the Value of death: bringing death back into life (2022).


Lena Sharp

Lena Sharp

Lena Sharp, RN, PhD, Head of Department at The Regional Cancer Centre, Stockholm-Gotland, in Sweden. She is past president and chair of the Advocacy working group of the European Oncology Nursing Society. Lena has been a cancer nurse since 1985. She has long experience in clinical cancer nursing, leadership, teaching and research.

Prior to taking up her post at the Regional Cancer Centre, Lena Sharp was the chief nursing officer and patient safety coordinator at the Department of Oncology at Karolinska University Hospital. Her focus areas in research are patient safety, communication, leadership, inequalities and cancer care organization.

Isabel Vermote

Isabel VermoteIsabel Vermote (°1973) is an Art Historian and Historian. She studied at the Universities of Namur, Leuven, Tübingen and Brussels (VUB).
Isabel has worked since 2008 for the Education Department at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium and is responsible for the program 'Made to Measure’ which offers guided tours, creative courses, workshops and themed activities tailored to specific audiences.
In 2017 Isabel launched the project ‘Art and Care in Dialogue’ organising extra muros visits (at the organisation) and guided tours for people from the Homes for the Elderly, Rehabilitation Centres, Psychiatric Centres, people with Dementia, with a Drug Addiction and in Palliative Care.


Klaus Wegleitner

Klaus WegneiterAs an Associate Professor (Public Health & End-of-Life-Care) he is Vice Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Aging and Care (CIRAC) at the University of Graz (Austria) and chairperson of the civil society association “Careweb” (Vienna). His research interests are addressing the need for developing and transforming health care systems and societal care networks in elderly and end-of-life care, interlinking palliative care and public health perspectives, care ethics, questions about social justice and the democratization of care. A major aspect of his research and consulting is to promote and develop Caring/Compassionate Communities.


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Sarah Banks

Sarah BanksSarah BANKS is Co-Director, Centre for Social Justice and Community Action and Professor, Department of Sociology, Durham University, UK.  The Centre promotes participatory action research for social justice in partnership with community-based organisations. With the centre, she has developed ethical guidelines for participatory research and offers training/events for academic and community-based researchers. She has coordinated several participatory research projects, including research on debt, poverty and community development, and leads the Ethics Working Group of the International Collaboration for Participatory Health Research. She is co-editor of Ethics in Participatory Research for Health and Social Well-Being (2019) and Co-Producing Research: A Community Development Approach (2019), and co-author of Participatory Research for Health and Social Well-Being (2019).

Joachim Cohen

Joachim Cohen

Prof. Joachim Cohen is a social health scientist and a professor of the End-of-Life Care Research Group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.In the research group he is chairing a research program public health and palliative care. He graduated in 2001 as a Master in Sociology and in 2007 as a PhD in Social Health Sciences.
His research has been awarded with the Kubler Ross Award for Young Researchers and the Young Investigator Award from the European Association of Palliative Care 2010. Both prizes were awarded to him, mainly because of his large-scale population-based and population-level cross-national research on end-of-life care.
Prof. Cohen has published over 150 articles in international peer reviewed journals, co-edited the Oxford University Press book: “A public health perspective on end of life care”.

Dirk De fauw (Mayor of Bruges)

Mayor of BrugesBruges will always have a special place in my heart.
And that is hardly surprising, because I have lived here all my life, I went to school here, I work here and I spend my free time here. 
In 1981, I graduated cum laude from the faculty of law at KULeuven. I completed my internship in Mr Ducheyne’s office and then worked in Mr Petitat’s office for several years, gaining considerable legal experience. Currently, I am a partner in the office De fauw – Buelens – De fauw in Sint-Andries.
Political career: Although my parents had 7 children, I was the only one who followed in my father’s political footsteps.  I was first elected to the Bruges council in 1982 and was an alderman from 1995 to 2000. In 1985, I was also elected to the provincial council, and I was a deputy from 2000 until the end of 2012. I was chairman of the public centre for social welfare from 2013 until the end of 2018. I have been the burgomaster (mayor) of Bruges since 1 January 2019.

Pieter Deknudt

Pieter Deknudt

Over the last couple of years, Flemish grieving culture has become one to watch.  Dozens of organisations are unifying efforts to catalyze a Flemish Grief Revolution. One of the driving forces behind this movement is the non-profit organisation Reveil, which brings consouling concerts around sunset at cemeteries on November 1st. The movement has spread its wings over almost one in two Flemish cities since its start in 2014, with local poets, singer-songwriters, brass bands, dancers, storytellers and visual artists simultaneously paying tribute to the forgotten stories behind the Flemish tombstones.  Reveil creates expositions, conferences, a magazine, theater shows and consouling productions, such as Soul Repair Café, The Great Crossing...,  which enables cities to send a signal to their inhabitants. Reveil founder Pieter Deknudt is a singer-songwriter who channeled the loss of a friend into a search for a warmer, more collective approach to death and bereavement.  And his dream is to inspire you to do the same. 

Steffen Eychmüller

Steffen EychmüllerSpecialized in Internal Medicine, Psychosomatics and Palliative Medicine.
1999 – 2012 Head, Center for Palliative Care Cantonal Hospital St.Gallen, Switzerland.
Between 2000 and 2010 visiting fellow Center for Palliative Care Univ. Sydney and Perth.
2012 – 2015 Head, Center for Palliative Care, University Hospital Bern, Switzerland.
Since 2016 Chair for Palliative Care, University of Bern, Switzerland.


Mieke Hoste

Mieke HosteA member of the Flemish social democratic party Vooruit, Mieke Hoste has been the Alderman for Tourism and Zeebrugge in Bruges since 1 January 2022. Having participated in the municipal elections for the first time in October 2012, she was immediately elected to the College of Burgomaster and Aldermen in Bruges. Well-known in Bruges for her nursery Pietje Pek, Mieke made sure that the sound of children playing could never be considered a nuisance. From 2013 until 2018, she was the alderman responsible for the environment, socio-cultural associations, tourist organisations, Zeebrugge-bad and animal welfare. After that, she was a member of the municipal council of Bruges for three years and became alderman again on 1 January 2022.


Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin

Since August 2018, Philip Larkin has held the Kristian Gerhard Jebsen Chair of Palliative Care Nursing within the Palliative and Supportive Care Service of the University Hospital Centre (CHUV). He also directs the Master of Science in Advanced Nursing Practice at the Institute for Higher Education and Research in healthcare (IUFRS), University of Lausanne.
An Irish national, Philip Larkin has over 30 years of experience in the palliative care sector, both clinically and academically. He has become an important figure in the field in Ireland and elsewhere: As Professor of Palliative Care at University College Dublin, he has led the development of the All Ireland Institute for Hospice and Palliative Care, a public health project bringing together The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to improves palliative care outcomes for all citizens. He was President of the European Palliative Care Association (EAPC) from 2015 to 2019.
His research has focused on access to palliative care for vulnerable populations, with a particular focus on patients with mental health issues, disability, children and palliative care needs in rural isolation, groups often marginalized in accessing palliative care. The place of compassion in palliative care is also part of his academic scholarship.
He currently leads a palliative care nursing research team at the CHUV and continues to lecture nationally and internationally on nursing care, palliative care and compassion in care.

Kate Lorig

Kate LorigProfessor Emeritus, Department of Medicine
Stanford University School of Medicine
Partner Self-Management Resource Center

Dr. Kate Lorig received her BS in Nursing from Boston University and her Doctorate in Public Health from the University of California Berkeley.  She is a faculty member at Stanford University School of Medicine and a partner in the Self-Management Resource Center.  She is also vice chair of the Evidenced Based Leadership Collaborative.
The focus of Dr. Lorig’s research has been the development, evaluation, and translation into practice of self-management programs in for people with multiple chronic diseases,  caregivers, diabetes, pain, and cancer survivors.  Programs are delivered by peers in small groups, via mail, and via the Internet.  Of special interest are factors in the development and translation of programs that make them available and used by large populations.    Dr. Lorig’s work is used widely in the United States and  more than 25 other countries. 

Christoph Ostgathe

Christoph OstgatheProf. Dr. Christoph Ostgathe was as trained as an anaesthesiologist, pain and palliative care specialist in Bonn, Germany.  2004 -2010 he worked as a Consultant and Associate Director at the Centre for Palliative Medicine at the University of Cologne. In April 2010 he was appointed University Professor for Palliative Medicine at the University of Erlangen-Nuernberg. His research is mainly dedicated to issues of Screening for Palliative Care Needs, Outcome Assessment and Health Services Research, currently focusing e.g. on sedation in palliative care. Additionally he is working on integrating medical technology into palliative care. Since 2019 the President of the European association for palliative care (EAPC).


John Rosenberg

John RosenbergDr John Rosenberg is the current President of Public Health Palliative Care International. He is a Registered Nurse with a clinical background in community-based palliative care. John is now a Senior Lecturer in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine at the University of the Sunshine Coast, near the city of Brisbane, Australia.  John’s doctoral thesis was conferred in 2007 and was the first ever in the field of health promoting palliative care. He is a co-author of the Death Literacy Index, and continues to contribute to the advancement of public health palliative care locally, nationally and globally.


Viktoria Stein

Viktoria SteinProf. Viktoria Stein is Assistant Professor for Population Health Management at Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands and joint editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Integrated Care. She is also co-founder and co-CEO of VM Partners Integrating Health and Care. Prof. Stein’s recognition as a leading expert in integrated care policy, design and implementation has led to her extensive work as a consultant and expert for international agencies like the World Health Organisation, or World Bank, providing input on so diverse topics as workforce development, integrated care design, evaluation and monitoring, or population health management and community involvement.

Merel Visse

Merel VisseMerel Visse (Ph.D.) advocates and contemplates care, the humanities and the arts. She serves as the Director of the Medical and Health Humanities Program at Drew University in the U.S.A, and she is also an associate professor of Care Ethics at the University of Humanistic Studies in The Netherlands. As a published author, examples of her books are Evaluation for a Caring Society (2018) and A Paradigm of Care (2021). She serves on the editorial board of Landscapes: the Arts, Aesthetics and Education (Springer). Together with Dr. Elena Cologni, she facilitates the Art & Care Sessions of their Art & Care Platform. Please visit