Update: IAPCON 2022, Jaipur – Day 3

IAPCON 2022 concludes successfully after a fantastic 3 day Academic Fiesta!

The 29th Annual International conference of the Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPCON 2022) concluded on Sunday, 13th February, 2022.

Over 600 participants networked and collaborated between 10th February and 13th February, 2022, as they participated in the 9 pre-conference workshops and in the 34 academic and scientific sessions, to learn from an impressive line-up of stellar Faculty and also from each other.

9 sessions were live streamed from 2 conference halls on the final day of the conference.

IAPCON 2022 concluded with a formal valedictory ceremony post the sessions for the day.

We thank all our dear contributors (Dr Apeksha Modi Shah, Dr Arshi Taj, Dr Ashish Mazumdar, Dr Manisha Hemrajani, Dr Megha Pruthi, Dr Mohit Pal Singh, Dr Prableen Kaur Chatha, Dr Vidya Viswanath and Dr. Saurabh Bhargava) for their support in sharing content towards this report!

1. Session name: Integration of Palliative Care in Non-Oncology settings

Chairperson:

Dr. Lalit Kumar Raiger (Additional Principle-II, Senior Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, RNT Medical College Udaipur)

Moderators:

Dr Savita Butola (Chief Medical Officer, Selection Grade, Border Security Force, Panisagar and Secretary, IAPC)

Dr Ashish Mazumdar (Head, Department of Palliative Medicine, Balco Medical Centre, Chattishgarh)

This session highlighted global suffering and the burden of ageing populations along with those suffering from chronic illnesses, disability and dementia. The session aimed to sensitize and percolate the need to integrate palliative care within all other specialties of medical practice. 

Dr. Michael Silverman (Chief of Geriatrics and extended care and Hospice, West Palm) presented the first lecture of this session on ‘Integration of Palliative Care into Elderly Care’. Dr Silverman in his presentation touched upon the importance of accurately assessing the geriatric population’s physical problems, the need to assess pain and acknowledge behavioural problems in Dementia, the need to reduce the risk of falls and Polypharmacy. He concluded by sharing that caring for the elderly in their end of life was challenging and that comprehending the intrinsic and extrinsic factors of the aging process helps improve the care and allow for a more peaceful death.

Dr. Pankaj Singhai’s (Assistant Professor, Lead Renal Supportive Care Services, KMC Manipal) presentation on ‘Integration of Palliative Care into Kidney Diseases’ highlighted the need and importance of renal palliative care via various case studies. Additionally, he presented the various models of renal palliative care including the Manipal Renal Palliative Care Model and explained the existing roadblocks and the current developments in integrating renal palliative care.

 Dr. Sunitha Daniel (Specialist Medical Office, NHM, General Hospital, Ernakulam) in her presentation on ‘Integration of Palliative Care into Cardiac Conditions’ provided the delegates with an overview of problems, the evidences and details of the trajectory in Heart Failure. Dr Daniel also shared evidence to support the impact of early integration of palliative care in cardiac diseases. Dr Daniel concluded by mentioning the principles of cardiac medications and highlighting the importance of training care givers to render care for patients at home.

Dr Savita Duomai’s (Medical Consultant, Khyouchi Foundation, Manipur) presentation on ‘Early Integration of Palliative Care in HIV’ provided insights into the current situation of HIV in India, the changes in HIV’s clinical presentation, the growing need for early integration of palliative care in HIV, the common symptoms and co-morbidities in HIV along with detailing the importance of psychosocial and spiritual care in HIV.

The session concluded with Dr. Vivek Nirabhawane’s (Head, Clinical Services, Cipla Palliative Care & Training Centre, Pune) session on ‘Integration of Inclusive Palliative Care Services in the Community’. Dr Nirbabhawane highlighted the importance of engaging frontline workers as agents of change and the importance of follow-up of patients at PHC & Rural Hospitals. He concluded his session by sharing challenges in providing inclusive palliative care in the community and highlighting the importance of public-private partnership and teleconsultations.

2. Session name: Withholding and withdrawing life support in India

Chairpersons:

Dr Shabbar Joad (Chief, Critical care and Emergency, Mangalam Medicity, Jaipur)

Dr Sheila Myantra (Professor, Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai)

Moderator:

Dr Saurabh Bhargava (Professor and Head, Department of Emergency Medicine, NIMS Medical College, Jaipur)

Dr Roop Gursahani (Consultant, Neurologist and Epileptologist, P.D. Hinduja Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Mumbai) set the session in motion with his presentation on ‘India: Not a place to die in’ on why he feels that India is not the right place to die in. He then went on to share that various constraints cascaded into a huge hesitation to withhold or withdraw treatment, which lead to the unnecessary prolongation of treatment.

This was followed by Dr R K Mani’s (Group CEO and Chairman, Critical Care, Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine, Nayati Medicity, Mathura and Nayati Group of Hospitals, New Delhi) session on ‘Withholding and Withdrawing in the Indian ICU setting’ in which he spoke at length on why it is important to take treatment limiting decisions so that everyone is assured of a decent quality of death. He also spoke on how this issue is now progressing towards the desired direction by citing data from India and abroad.

Dr Nagesh Simha (Founder Medical Director, Karunashraya, Bengaluru), in his presentation onEnd of Life Care Taskforce (ELICIT) – Formation, Evolution and its Impact enlightened the conference delegates about the formation and impact of ELICIT in the formulation of policies and guidelines for End of Life Care (EoLC). Dr SImha concluded his session by citing examples of EoLC documents that were published by AIIMS, New Delhi, and the Blue Maple document by Manipal Hospital, Manipal.

Dr Dhvani Mehta (Co-Founder and Lead, Health, Vidhi, Center for Legal Policy), the legal expert in the group then transitioned to discuss how the law is now evolving and how her advocacy group is trying to formulate legislations to make decision making in EOL care easy and safe so that the doctors can take these decisions without the fear of persecution. She also emphasized on the importance of following proper procedures while taking these decisions.

These lectures were followed up by a panel discussion, led by Dr Naveen Salins (HoD, Department of Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care, Kasturba Medical College and Hospital, Manipal), with the panel comprising of stalwarts from the fields of Intensive care, Palliative care and the advocacy group VIDHI. The session focused on the very important issue of withdrawing and withholding treatment in EOL care patients in the ICU. They panelists consented that not taking these decisions at the opportune time lead to unnecessary prolongation of treatment leading to wastage of effort and resources apart from prolonging the family’s agony. They also highlighted that the caregivers are often reluctant to take these decisions due to multiple reasons, the most important being the fear of legal harassment in case of litigations and problems from the attendants. They concluded by sharing that if the process followed due diligence, then the incidence of legal problems were significantly less likely.

3. Session name: Plenary 3

Chairperson: 

Dr Nagesh Simha (Founder Trustee and Medical Director, Karunashraya, Bengaluru)

Moderator:

Dr Manisha Hemrajani (Senior Consultant, Department of Anaesthesia and Palliative medicine, Bhagwan Mahaveer Cancer Hospital, Jaipur)

Dr Eduardo Bruera (Director, Department of Supportive Care Centre, Division of Cancer Medicine, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston) and Dr Frank Ferris (Executive Director, Palliative Medicine Research and Education, Ohio Health, Columbus) shared presentations in this session.

Dr Breura in his session on ‘Research in Palliative Care in Low and Middle Income Countries’ guided delegates on the various techniques of conducting research in one’s daily clinical practice and also highlighted the importance of team work. He went on to share that one needed to adopt strategic approaches which included having definitive timelines for each phase, having clearly defined roles for every team member and providing equal importance to retrospective, non RCT and RCT trials.

Dr Ferris in his session on ‘Sustainability’ shared advice on ways to sustain palliative care services within a cancer treating team of physicians. He went on to add that understanding the perspectives of physicians, the managing / administration teams and those of the patients and their families would help achieve goals and automatically paving the way for sustainability. Dr Breura emphasized the need to be patient focused, family centered and be accessible / responsive.

The Key takeaways from the session as below:

Practicing good team work, taking initiatives to pursue any type of research (high or low quality) and making it a continuous process to help families, patients and organisations will help physicians to achieve their goals and sustain themselves as palliative care physicians.

4. Session name: Psychosocial issues in Palliative Care – the current evidence

Theme Lead: Dr Seema Rao (Associate Director, Education and Research, Karunashraya, Bengaluru)

Chairpersons:

Dr Prabha Chandra (Associate Dean, NIMHANS, Bengaluru)

Ms Sanghamitra Iyengar (Psychiatric Social Worker and Founder, Samraksha Bengaluru)

Moderator:

Dr Apeksha Modi Shah (Palliative Care Physician, Bharat Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Surat, Gujarat)

The first session in this lecture ‘Surviving the Blues: Depression and Anxiety in Palliative Care – The Way forward’ was presented by Dr. Jayita Deodhar (Professor, Department of Palliative Medicine, TMH Mumbai).

Dr Deodhar delivered an excellent and a thought provoking session that explored the Psychosocial Issues which are embedded in Palliative Care in various situations. Dr. Deodhar’s session also examined Depression and Anxiety across different stages of life limiting illnesses and proposed a range of interventions by different mental health practitioners at these stages.

Dr Chitra Venkateswaran (Professor and Head, Department of Psychiatry, Senior Consultant, Palliative Care, BCMCH, Tiruvalla) and Dr Soumitra Datta (Senior Consultant, Psychiatry, Tata Medical Center, Kolkata) then went on to present on ‘Surviving Humanitarian Crisis – There is always something we can do’ and ‘Surviving COVID 19 – Addressing the Mental Health Challenges of healthcare staff in Oncology and Palliative Care’ respectively.

Dr Venkateshwaran and Dr Dutta shared the responses of their organizations to humanitarian crises which needed preparedness, collaboration and concern for the health care providers. The melting away of boundaries between the carer and cared in terms of losses suffered, grief, fears and anxieties was highlighted along with proposing various interventions.

The speakers shared that caring for terminally ill patients and their families requires the skills of many professionals working together as a team. They also shared that often the psychosocial issues surrounding patients and families caused professionals with greater difficulty than the physical symptoms and that issues of psychosocial assessment, treatment, care, and support of palliative care patients differed from the care of patients with early and treatable cancer as the time is shorter.

They concluded by sharing that Digital tools had already transformed aid delivery and interaction with affected populations and that digital transformation was both an opportunity (improved analytics and supply chains) and also a challenge (supply chains). Their closing remarks was that mental health be a priority in humanitarian emergencies and that supporting people’s mental health could be lifesaving in times of covid.

The take home messages are as below:

  • Depression and Anxiety depend on multiple factors and can occur at all stages of life limiting illnesses and need to be elicited and addressed throughout the journey
  • Preparedness, collaboration and adaptation are critical strategies during humanitarian crisis to respond to all dimensions of suffering
  • Compassion is needed while addressing frustration, desperation, grief and loss of health care workers who are both directly and vicariously impacted by pandemics like the Covid 19

5. Session name: Managing Patients with Difficult Pain

Chairpersons:

Dr Parmanand Jain (Professor, Palliative Medicine, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai)

Dr Kavita Jain (Senior Professor, Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine, JLN Medical College, Ajmer)

Moderator:

Dr Prableen Kaur Chatha (Senior Resident, Oncoanesthesia and Palliative Medicine, BMCHRC, Consultant, Pain Medicine, JIPSI, Jaipur)

The session began with Dr Babita Ghai’s (Professor, PGIMER, Chandigarh) lecture on ‘Refractory Neuropathic Cancer Pain: Challenges and Management’ in which she discussed about QOL (quality of life) improvement in patients with opioid manipulation, use of non-opioids and Co-analgesics and to start medications low and slow in order to prevent side effects. She also emphasized on the need for team work while managing neuropathic cancer pain in patients.

Dr Andrew Davies (Professor, Palliative Medicine, Trinity College, Dublin) then presented on ‘Difficult to manage Breakthrough Pain’ in which he discussed the clinical features of patients with breakthrough pain, how the assessment needs to be done, APM algorithm and recommendations regarding management of cause, precipitants and complications, use of opioids as rescue medication, non opioids as well as non pharmacological methods. He concluded with a discussion on the barriers in the management with opioids like cost, availability, addiction/abuse.

Following this was a heart-rending presentation by Dr David Oliviere (Consultant, Psychosocial Palliative Care, Middlesex University, London, UK) on ‘Psychosocial Pain: going beyond nerves and analgesics’. Dr Oliviere shared his experiences by citing examples of various patients to share with us how psycho-social-spiritual pain is inseparable, the pain of relationships and bereavement, the power of attachment, the need of support and communication with family and friends and how it affects intimacy and create a feeling of being lovable. He emphasized that people needed communication, compassion, collaboration and care.

Dr Mayank  Gupta (Associate Professor, AIIMS Bathinda) then delivered the final lecture in this session on ‘Interventions for difficult to manage cancer pain’ in which he shared insights on individual interventional pain management procedures for different regions like secondary trigeminal neuralgia in case of tumours of head by maxillary / mandibular nerve block, sphenopalatine ganglion block, greater and lesser occipital nerve block; for cancer of base of tongue/ tonsillitis fossa/ pharynx, glossopharyngeal nerve block; for thoracic pain, intercostal nerve block, paravertebral block, vertrbroplasty/ kyphoplasty; in abdomen/ pelvic cancers, celiac plexus, superior hypogastric plexus and ganglion impar plexus blocks/ neurolysis. He emphasised on the need for early intervention for better QOL, survival, pain control and to avoid the side effects associated with opioids.

6. Session name: Instruments (TOOLS)

Chairpersons:

Dr Pushpalatha Gupta (HoD, Anaesthesia, Bhagawan Mahavir Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Jaipur)

Dr Lulu Mathews (Program Director, Academics, Institute of Palliative Medicine, Calicut)

Moderator:

Dr Vidya Viswanath (Assistant Professor, Department of Palliative Medicine, Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Visakhapatnam)

This session was aimed at discussing tools used in palliative care as Assets for Assessment.

Dr Megha Pruthi (Senior Consultant, Pain and Palliative Medicine, Max Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi) in her presentation on ‘Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS)’ presented one of the most commonly used multidimensional screening tool, the ESAS. Dr Pruthi spoke about the evolution of the ESAS, its ease of administration in various settings and its widespread use. She shared that validation of the tool in Indian languages was a key limitation which could be further looked into.

Dr Arthi Hota (Head, Psychology Department, Psycho oncologist, Bhagawan Mahavir Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Jaipur) then spoke about the NCCN ‘Distress tool’ and shared her experiences from a tertiary care centre in using the tool and its application to guide patients towards better outcomes.

Prognostication in palliative care and the use of the ‘Palliative Prognostic Index (PPI)’ was elaborated by Dr Avinash Tiwari (Specialist Palliative Care Physician, Department of Medical Oncology, AIIMS Raipur) along with a discussion on sound evidences and his own experiences to encourage its use across varying palliative care settings.

Dr Puneet Rathore (Senior Resident, Department of Palliative Medicine, AIIMS, New Delhi)  took forward the session by presenting on ‘Neuropathic Pain Tools’ in which the importance of neuropathic pain assessment was highlighted along with a discussion on the merits of different tools. Dr Rathore also described the DN4 tool for the assessment of neuropathic pain at length.

The session on ‘Tools for Dyspnoea’ was presented by Dr Nandan Choudhary (Senior Resident, Department of Palliative Medicine, Shija Academy of Health Sciences, Imphal) in which he chose to discuss the role of the Cancer Dyspnoea Scale with its strengths and limitations.

The last tool in the armamentarium was the ‘Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) Tool’ for delirium, which was elaborated by Dr Kunal Ranjan Vinayak (Assistant Professor, Department of Palliative Medicine, MPMMC and HBCH, Varanasi).

The interesting session was followed by a healthy round of interactions which reiterated that understanding each tool, choosing the right tool and assessing longitudinally contributed to conducting a comprehensive assessment.

7. Session name: Palliative care in Head and Neck Cancer

Chairpersons:

Dr Ramamani P V (Senior Specialist, Department of Anaesthetics & Palliatve Care, Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bengaluru)

Dr Prabha Seshachar (Resident Medical Officer, Department of Anaesthetics & Palliatve Care, Kidwai        Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bengaluru)

Moderator:

Dr Mohit Pal Singh (Vice Principal, Professor and Head, Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Pacific Dental College and Hosptal, Udaipur)

Dr Ravi Kannan (Director, Chachar Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Silchar, Assam) delivered the first lecture in this session on ‘When do we need a surgeon?’. Dr Kannan’s presentation covered the surgical management of head and neck cancer while emphasizing the significance of palliative care and the palliative surgical aspects.

Dr Reena George (Professor, Department of CME, Christian Medical College, Vellore) presented on ‘Symptom control 1: Fungating wounds management’ in which she spoke about the palliative management of fungating wounds of head and neck cancers. She also shared a role play video presentation to simulate the significance and importance of concerns faced by such patients, the management of pain, myiasis and foul odors, psychological counselling etc.

The next presentation in this session ‘Symptom control 2: Oral mucositis, Ulceration management’ was presented by Dr Priti Sanghavi (Professor and HoD, Department of Pain and Palliative Medicine, GCRI, B J Medical College, Ahmedabad). Dr Sanghavi’s presentation covered palliative care in oral mucositis, ulcers, stomatitis, oral discomfort, burning sensation and pain. She also touched upon the use of mouth washes, oral medicaments etc. in her presentation.

Dr Rebecca M Marrie (Occupational Therapist, Tata Memorial Hospital & Center, Mumbai) presented the last session in this series on ‘Management of Cervicofacial Lymphedema’ in which she provided insights into the pathophysiology of cervicofacial lymphedema, palliative care in such cases, use of specific garments used for lymphedema, importance of physiotherapy and exercises in lymphedema.

This session was a comprehensive didactic discourse covering surgical palliation, symptom management of pain, fungating, disfigurement, oral mucositis, burning sensation in oral cavity post radio-chemotherapies in head and neck cancer patients. The Patho physiology and management of cervicofacial lymphadenopathy was also covered effectively.

The takehome messages from this session were therefore the Importance of proper surgical management of head and neck cancer patients, the SNIFF protocol for malodors and its management by use of metronidazole, Grading of oral mucositis, Magic mouth wash, use of morphine and ketamine in oral mucositis induced pain and burning sensations.

8. Session name: NDPS Act and maintaining the RMI status

Chairpersons:

Dr Sushma Bhatnagar (Professor and HoD, Onco anaesthesia and Palliative Medicine, AIIMS New Delhi, and President, IAPC)

Dr Ajay Pathak (Drug Controller, Rajasthan)

Moderator:

Dr Arshi Taj (Associate Professor, Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care and Pain Management, Government Medical College, Srinagar)

Lectures on the ‘Background: NDPS Act and amendment’, ‘How to Apply for RMI status – Practical guidelines’ and ‘Institutional challenges in implementing Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) ACT norms’ were delivered by Dr Geeta Joshi (CEO, Community Oncology Center Hospice, The Gujarat Cancer Society, Ahmedabad), Ms Tripti Tandon (Advocate) and Dr Rajith Ramachandran (Consultant, Family Medicine and Palliative Care, GKNM Hospital and Raksha Hospice, Coimbatore) respectively.

The session began with delegates receiving a background of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) and it’s amendment. This was followed by the legal prerequisites that were needed to apply for RMI status. The session concluded with Faculty enlisting various challenges that plagued institutions while implementing the NDPS Act and by highlighting the need to cover the whole country under the IAPC’s SOPs and guidelines on NDPS Act for uniformity.

Key messages from this session included:

  • The NDPS Act and Rules have paved the way for better access to Essential Narcotic Drugs through Recognised Medical Institutes (RMIs). These facilities should be implemented and publicized for the benefit of patients
  • The Amended NDPS Act (2014) is yet to be implemented uniformly throughout the country. An SOP for procuring and dispensing ENDS needs to be established. IAPC to lead implementation by engaging with the concerned Government officials
  • All doctors should change their Knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding the medical use of narcotics to relieve the suffering of patients

9. Session name: Sensitive Conversations

Chairperson:

Dr Manish Sharma (Paediatric Intensivist and Registrar, Rajasthan Medical Council)

Dr Reena Sharma (Medical Director, Cansupport, New Delhi)

Moderator:

Dr Megha Pruthi (Senior Consultant, Pain and Palliative Medicine, Max Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi)

The first section of this session was on ‘Sensitive Conversations with children and families’ and was delivered by Dr Lulu Mathews (Chairperson, Board of Examiners, IAPC) and Dr Spandana Rayala (Consultant, Paediatric Palliative Care, Pain Relief and Palliative Care Society, Hyderabad). The interesting and interactive session covered the topic in its length and breadth, and enlightened delegates about the various intricacies and sensitivities that are involved while communicating with children.

This section concluded with the following key take away messages:

  • We are to let children lead the communication
  • We must listen to and be honest with children

The second section of this session was about a much less discussed topic even amongst the palliative care physicians themselves. The session on ‘Intimacy and Sexuality in Palliative Care’ was delivered jointly by 5 eminent Faculty.

Dr Biju Raghavan (Senior Consultant, Department of Pain and Palliative Medicine, Rajagiri Hospital, Ernakulam) introduced the topic with a case vignette and also moderated the entire panel discussion.

Dr Rajashree K C (Faculty, Institute of Palliative Medicine, and a Assistant Professor, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi) in her presentation on ‘Intimacy and Sexuality: What it is about?’, introduced delegates to sexuality and intimacy.

Dr Priyadarshini Kulkarni (Consultant, Palliative Medicine, Pune and Founder, Ease and Support, India) then continued the series with a presentation on ‘Importance / Relevance of Intimacy in Palliative Care’ in which she shared that we needed to be open to talk about intimacy and sexual issues in our palliative medicine clinics.

Dr Nidhi Patni (Director, Department of Radiation Oncology) in her presentation on ‘Barriers regarding intimacy in Palliative Care’ shed light on the barriers that the health care professionals and patients’ face while dealing with these issues in palliative care clinics.

Dr. Biji M S’s (Assistant Professor and In-charge, Department of Cancer Palliative Medicine, Malabar Cancer Center, Kerala) session on ‘Can we make a difference?’ provided delegates with an interesting overview on how we can make a difference. The unique session, left delegates to identify ways why which we could change our practice, by screening the patient for sexual/ intimacy issues, providing the patients/ spouses with an appropriate and safe space to discuss such issues, and to  finally empower them with a sense of confidence by providing them holistic management in such difficult times.

The scientific and academic sessions of IAPCON 2022 thus came to an end with this session which was filled with rich experiences and case vignettes shared by the Faculty which kept delegates engaged and informed.

The delegates then moved on the final part of the conference, the Valedictory Ceremony.

The Valedictory Ceremony:

After a 3 day academic extravaganza, the curtains were drawn on Sunday (13th February, 2022) evening as IAPCON 2022 concluded with a positive overwhelming response from conference delegates.

Dr Sushma Bhatnagar (President, IAPC) congratulated Dr Anjum Khan Joad (Organizing Secretary, IAPCON 2022) and her team during the ceremony and shared that “IAPCON 2022 was extremely well organized and delivered a brilliant series of academic sessions”. She then invited conference delegates to attend IAPCON 2023, a physical conference, that will be held at the NIMHANS Convention Center, Bengaluru, in February 2023. 

Dr Savita Butola (Secretary, IAPC) then reflected upon IAPCON 2022. “This was the second online conference that we organized and with each experience, things have evolved and improved. Dr Anjum and her team deserve our appreciation, and heartfelt gratitude for all their dedication and hard work. The scientific program was definitely a virtual feast of learning. On behalf of the IAPC, I thank the organizing secretary and her team who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to present to us, this highly successful conference” said Dr Butola. She also thanked the conference delegates for making the conference a grant success.

Dr Anjum Khan Joad then went to share, “We hope that, through the scientific programs we were able to deliver something for everyone and that we were able to enrich the knowledge of over 600 delegates who participated in the conference”. She thanked her team for their support and recollected her team’s arduous journey through challenging times when she shared that despite some of the faculty and members from both the organizing team and the technical team being down with COVID. She added that “Even amidst all these odds, the team enjoyed several happy moments. We got brilliant faculty, who were so eager to participate”.

Dr Joad thanked the Faculty, Delegates, Technical team (Get Set Events & Conferences), Sponsors (Cipla Palliative Care [platinum sponsors], Braun, Fresenius Kabi, Neon, Themis Medicare and Tuoren) etc. for all their support and commitment towards IAPCON 2022.

Dr Joad also expressed her gratitude to the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC) for offering scholarships’ to 13 Delegates to participate in IAPCON 2022 by awarding a total of USD 400 in this regard.

She then proceeded to the much awaited section of the ceremony, announcing the winners from the various events. Please find below the list of winners from the various competitions.

IAPC’s Annual quiz at IAPCON 2022:

  • West Zone (represented by Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, and Gujarat Cancer Research Institute, Ahmedabad).
  • The team was represented by Dr Jyothsna Kuriakose, Dr Kashish Vats, Dr Lekha Raval, Dr Prasun P, Ms Simaran Suryawanshi and Dr Varun Yadav.  

IAPC’s Annual Debate at IAPCON 2022: 

  • First Prize: Dr Krithika S Rao from Kasturba Medical College, Manipal
  • Second Prize: Dr Raghav Gupta from AIIMS New Delhi

Poster Presentation:

  • First Prize: Dr Shweta Kiran Chawak from IIT, Hyderabad
  • Second Prize: Dr Srikanth Srinivasan from AIIMS Jodhpur
  • Third Prize: Ms Neethu Susan Abraham from AIIMS New Delhi

Oral Presentation:

  • First Prize: Ms Michelle Normen from Karunashraya, Bengaluru
  • Second Prize: Dr Arun Vivek from Amrita  Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi
  • Third Prize (Tie):
    • Dr Stanley C Macaden from the Palliative Care Programme of The Christian Medical Association of India(CMAI), Bengaluru
    • Dr Prinu Jose from Kasturba Medical College, Manipal

Participants from ‘Expressions’: 

  • Ms Shriya Raina
  • Dr Praveenraj V
  • Shree Gopal Kabra
  • Dr Raghav Gupta
  • Dr Arkanil
  • Dr Reena George

Participants from ‘Innovations’

  • Dr Rekha Chavan
  • Dr Gurucharan Singh
  • Dr Navdeep
  • Dr Shailendra

Dr Joad and Dr Bhatnagar congratulated all the winners!

The recipients of the ‘International Award for Excellence in Palliative Care (2021-2022)’ awarded by the Cancer Aid Society, Lucknow, was announced next.

  • Doctor Category: Dr Biji M S (Assistant Professor and In charge, Cancer Palliative Medcine, Malabar Cancer Centre, Thalassery, Kerala)
  • Nurses / Para Medical category: Ms Saroja Gangaiah (Senior Pharmacist, Department of Palliative Medcine, KMIO, Bangalore)
  • Volunteer category: Mr K Radhakrishna Menon (Palliative Care Volunteer from Kochi, Kerala)

The ceremony concluded with Dr Nagesh Simha, Organizing Chair, of the 30th Annual International Conference of the Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPCON 2023), inviting everyone to Bengaluru for IAPCON 2023. He shared that the conference was slated to be held between the 10th and 12th of February 2023, with pre-conference workshops scheduled for 9th February, 2023.

Dr Naveen Salins, the Scientific Chairperson of IAPCON 2023, presented the theme of IAPCON 2023: ‘Metamorphosis’. “The scientific program of IAPCON 2023 will be slightly different from the previous conferences. We want IAPCON 2023, to provide a strong foundation for what the future of palliative care should be. We hope that this conference would lead to some degree of a metamorphosis for Palliative Medicine in India and the growing subspeciality of Palliative Medicine in India. IAPCON 2023 would have 9 tracks in total (6 major tracks and 3 minor tracks) with each of the major tracks focusing on the 6 sub specialties. Therefore, there will be 9 sub scientific committees” explained Dr Salins. He concluded by congratulating Dr Joad and her team for presenting an amazing virtual conference.

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