Welcoming New Board Members.

The International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) has added seven new Board members to the International Board of Trustees. This week ICPCN would like to introduce two of the seven Board members who’ve joined us. ICPCN board members serve a 3-year term and volunteer their time and energy to directly impact the community and our organisation. The board aims for both diversity of perspective and depth of expertise.

We are so lucky to have the best volunteers. When we elect and appoint new members to our Board of Directors, we are inspired by their excitement and willingness to serve. Below we introduce you to our new Board members.

Dr. Hanneke Brits

Hanneke Brits is a Family Physician working for the Department of Health and the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She is committed to ensuring a balanced lifestyle, including family, friends, and work. Her special interests are maternal and childcare, pediatric palliative care, teaching and training, and research. With over 30 years of work experience, she sees her role as empowering others to be the best versions of themselves by supporting and assisting their development.

Her motto is that she achieved her goal if she helped others become better than herself. She serves in numerous leadership positions locally and nationally; her research is published widely in national and international journals. She is also an accomplished trainer.

Hanneke expresses her creativity through cooking and baking, while her love for the outdoors is satisfied with camping and motorcycling.

“ICPCN may not be the cure, however, it is supporting care for children and families affected by life-limiting conditions.”

You can find some of her published work here.

Dr. Justin Baker

As a pediatric oncologist, palliative care physician, and patient-reported outcomes and Phase I and end-of-life care clinical investigator at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Dr. Baker is intimately aware of the distress experienced by children with advanced cancer and the communication and end-of-life/bereavement issues surrounding their disease progression. Dr. Baker currently serves as the Chief of the Division of Quality of Life and Palliative Care at St. Jude.

He was a founding team member of the Quality of Life for All (QOLA) Service – the St. Jude palliative care team. Additionally, he founded and continues to lead the St Jude Bereaved Parent Steering Council and Bereaved Parent Mentoring Program. His research interests include communication and decision-making in advancing cancer, ethical considerations surrounding enrollment in Phase I clinical trials, AYA palliative oncology care, grief, and bereavement issues, integrating palliative care into the ongoing care of children with cancer as well as patient-reported outcomes and pain and symptom control in the context of pediatric oncology care. Dr. Baker is an internationally recognized physician-scientist with over 220 publications with extensive research and clinical experience in communication skills training at the intersection of pediatric oncology and palliative care.

He has extensive experience with the development and implementation of communication education, including the creation and dissemination, and publication of communication skills training at the institution and on national and international platforms.

“Joining the ICPCN Board is a tremendous honor and privilege. ICPCN is the premier global entity for the promotion of palliative care for children and promoting this work (CPC) is my lifelong mission. I am so excited to be a part of this board and I literally cannot wait to see what the future holds as we work to address suffering on a global scale.”

Another article will follow soon introducing more board members.