Joan Marston to stand down as ICPCN Chief Executive in November

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This article originally appeared in ehospice

Joan Marston, Chief Executive of the International Children’s Palliative Care Network for the past six years, has announced her retirement from the position but assures that she will continue to work as a consultant and as a Global Ambassador for ICPCN and children’s palliative care. Joan has worked in palliative care for the past 27 years and specifically in children’s palliative care for 17 years.

The ICPCN has grown enormously under Joan’s guidance and is now acknowledged as the leading global organisation advocating for and working towards the development of children’s palliative care services worldwide. In her capacity as Chief Executive, the organisation has gone on to achieve a number of important victories in the international field, including the inclusion of children’s palliative care in the 2014 Resolution on Palliative Care passed at that year’s World Health Assembly in Geneva and the holding of a Side Event on children’s palliative care at the 2015 World Health Assembly.

Mary Callaway, former Director of the International Palliative Care Initiative (IPCI) of the Open Society Foundations and a long-time supporter of ICPCN writes:

“… I think it’s fair to say that ICPCN would not be where it is today without Joan’s total dedication and leadership, bringing individuals and organizations together to better serve the needs of children and make real change possible.

Whether she is helping set up hospices in remote villages in India and Africa or meeting with leaders at the United Nations, Joan represents the very best of ICPCN and certainly no one can under estimate what she has done to develop the organisation and develop the field of paediatric palliative care.

Sharing her thoughts on her decision to stand down as the Chief Executive of ICPCN, Joan had this to say:

It has been a wonderful, exciting journey, leading the ICPCN from its’ beginning in Seoul…

… As many know, my passion is especially for children in the most vulnerable situations – those in developing countries, living in poverty and affected by humanitarian situations. So as I change my role to become a Global Ambassador for children’s palliative care, I plan to focus on advocating for better access to palliative care particularly for these children; to support development of children’s palliative care programmes; and to encourage the involvement of a truly global community of children’s palliative care Champions.

The role of ICPCN Chief Executive will be passed on to the present ICPCN Director of Research and Education, Professor Julia Downing. She will take up this position from 1 November 2016.