NHPCO President/CEO and Board Chair Visit to UK Includes a Meeting with HRM Queen Elizabeth II at Help the Hospices Silver Jubilee
Alexandria, Va) – J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, and Gretchen Brown, chair of the NHPCO board of directors traveled to London on March 15 for a series of meetings with international hospice and palliative care organizations and providers. A highlight of the trip was the opportunity to meet Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh at a reception marking the 25th anniversary of Help the Hospices, the leading British charity supporting hospice care throughout the United Kingdom.
The celebration at St. James’s Palace in London on March 16 brought together 600 guests that included hospice founders, staff, and volunteers from hospice programs throughout the UK as well as hospice professionals from across the globe.
“We had the honor of being introduced to Queen Elizabeth and we spoke about the vital role that Dame Cicely Saunders played with her pioneering work at St. Christopher’s Hospice in London. The Queen asked about the breadth of hospice in the US and remarked on the challenges that national organizations, such as NHPCO, must face,” said Dr. Schumacher. “She was gracious, kind and obviously well informed about today’s hospice environment.”
In a press statement, David Praill, chief executive of Help the Hospices, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be celebrating this anniversary and the huge strides hospice care has made, while recognizing many challenges still lie ahead. This gives us a wonderful opportunity to say thank you to those who have helped and supported both our charity since our founding and also the development of hospice care in the UK and across the world.”
While abroad, Schumacher and Brown met with David Praill of Help the Hospices and discussed differences in structure between end-of-life care delivery in the US and the UK. A meeting with the leadership of the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance on global palliative care issues also provided an opportunity to discuss the work being done by hospice and palliative care providers in the US.
In his role as president and CEO of the National Hospice Foundation, Schumacher was pleased to present the final report on the work and accomplishments of NHF's Diana Legacy Fund to staff at the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. In 2005, a generous grant for $3.35 million was awarded by the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund in cooperation with the Franklin Mint and supported work of NHF, NHPCO, and the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“This visit was a strong reminder of how important the voice of US hospice and palliative care is on the international stage. More importantly, it reminds us that we are partners in the global community with much to learn, much to share, and much to celebrate,” Schumacher noted.
All the events surrounding Help the Hospice’s silver jubilee provided a valuable opportunity to focus on both achievements and opportunities for hospice and palliative care. At the dinner following the reception at St. James’s Palace, Dr. Schumacher was seated with Anne, Duchess of Norfolk, Help the Hospices founder and president. Other notable guests included: Professor Mike Richards, national clinical director for cancer, Department of Health; Baroness Illora Findlay, professor of palliative medicine, member of the House of Lords and president of the Royal Society of Medicine; Graham Perrolls, executive director of Hospices of Hope and internationally recognized advocate for hospice in Romania; and Elizabeth Gwyther of the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of South Africa. All the events surrounding Help the Hospice’s silver jubilee provided a valuable opportunity to focus on both achievements and opportunities for hospice and palliative care.
For more information visit, http://www.nhpco.org