Speakers (Parallel)

Dr Marion Arnold

Dr Marion Arnold is a senior lecturer at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital (RCWMCH) Division of Paediatric Surgery with special interests in colorectal and neonatal surgery as well as vascular anomaly management and promotion of paediatric surgery research in South Africa. She earned her undergraduate medical degree at the University of Pretoria and completed training in Paediatric Surgery in Cape Town, at Tygerberg Hospital and RCWMCH, in 2013. In 2019 she completed a six-month fellowship in paediatric colorectal surgery at the Center for Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstruction at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio, USA, and runs the colorectal service at RCWMCH.

Tarryn Bell

Tarryn Bell is a Social Worker, adoptive and foster parent with a passion for Children’s Palliative Care. She obtained her Honours Degree in Social Work at Huguenot College through the University of South Africa in 2006. Since then she has worked at various Child Protection organisations until moving to rural Zululand in 2011 to pursue a career in rural healthcare.

It was during her work as a hospital Social Worker in deep rural areas that she fell in love with Children’s Palliative Care and was exposed to the plight of orphaned and abandoned children with palliative needs in South Africa. Tarryn started her first non-profit company, Izandla ZeAfrika, in 2015 in the rural community of Mseleni, Northern KZN.

The family moved to Ingwavuma during 2017 and started Butterfly Palliative Home in 2018. Today Butterfly Palliative Home is the first and only Children’s Hospice in KZN, and cares for 12 in-patient children at a time, as well as providing home-based support to families within the Umkhanyakude District.”

Sue Boucher

Sue Boucher is a qualified schoolteacher and published author of educational textbooks and children’s story books and has extensive experience in digital communications and design. After a 30-year career in education she was appointed to the position of International Information Officer for the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) where she contributed to the development of their training curriculum, created their Training of Trainers course, and was involved in educating healthcare professionals in children’s palliative care across Africa and internationally. She has been a contributing author to several textbooks, including the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Care for Children, papers and journal articles on children’s palliative care. She currently works as the Programme and Communications Manager for PatchSA.

Tracey Brand

• Palliative Care Social Worker

• Director & Co-Founder of Umduduzi – Hospice Care for Children

• 15 years palliative care experience working with children in State & Private Hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal

• Avid golfer, dog mom and step-mom

Dr Mike Brown

Dr RGCW (Mike) Brown, MB,ChB; Dip Pall Med (UCT) is a Palliative Care Practitioner with previous experience in anaesthesia and in pharmaceutical medicine.

Mike has around 10 years’ experience within the Hospice environment in Johannesburg (HospiceWits) and Cape Town (St Luke’s).

After moving to Cape Town in 2018, Mike spent time at St Luke’s Combined Hospices in Kenilworth before joining Chariot Health, where he provides home based Palliative Care in private practice.

In his spare time, Mike is an enthusiastic recreational pilot.

Dr Henriette Burger

Dr Burger has been a Clinical Oncologist and senior lecturer in the Division of Radiation Oncology at Tygerberg Academic hospital (TAH) and Stellenbosch University (SU) since 2015. She became a fellow of the College of Radiation Oncologists in 2011 and previously worked at the GSH department of Clinical Oncology as a consultant from 2012 to 2015.

Her professional interests include urological and gynaecological cancers, palliative medicine, skin cancer, sarcomas, health professions education, and quality assurance in oncology. In addition to being a senior clinical oncology lecturer, she leads both the SU under-graduate and post-graduate academic programs in palliative medicine. She is an examiner for the College of Radiation Oncologists, a principal investigator on international and local clinical trials and has published in local and international journals. She is currently completing her Masters degree in Palliative Medicine through UCT on the acceptability of a serious illness conversation guide in a public oncology setting.

Kim Cardwell

Kim has over 20 years managed healthcare experience, with a passion for designing innovative patient-centric programmes.

Kim has a BA Hons Psych from Unisa which she applies in her strategic risk management role focusing on oncology and, more recently the management of palliative (End of Life) care.

I am a strong advocate for the benefits that a personal touch brings in healthcare, shaped and supported by my interest in the psychology of illness, overall wellbeing and quality of life.

I have a passion for gardening and love spending time reading, cooking and baking.

Dr Colleen Cox

I am a palliative oncologist based in Durban, KZN. I graduated with an MBBCh from the University of Witwatersrand in 1994 and then specialised as a clinical and radiation oncologist through the Colleges of Medicine in Cape Town in 2001. I have worked as an oncologist in private practice previously in Cape Town, East London and in Durban, but presently am working only in palliative care.

I received a palliative medicine diploma through the University of Cape Town in 2016, and am currently enrolled in their palliative medicine masters program. The subject of maintaining hope while living with serious illness is very close to my heart and is the topic of my masters thesis.

I am a founding member of PALPRAC and have contributed to various South African palliative care guidelines. I have worked to advocate for palliative care services in KZN as part of the Department of Health provincial and district palliative care task teams.

I practise as a palliative oncologist in Durban in the state, private and hospice sectors. My approach is that of holistic patient- and family-centred care, and in particular how to facilitate hope and coping, and to improve quality of life, in the face of life-threatening illness.

Dr Susan Coetzer

• Geriatrician

• Vice President of South African Geriatrics Society

• Older people are closer to the end of life and taking care of them requires comprehensive management just as in palliative care at any other age. I have a passion for ensuring all older people are treated with dignity and respect.

Prof Kenneth Cornetta

• Professor of Clinical Medical and Molecular Genetics

• Indiana University / Adjunct Moi University

• Director, AMPATH Palliative Care

• Kayaking is my happy place

Dr Clint Cupido

Clint Cupido is a Community person, who started his activism at High school with SAYNO Anti Drug Campaign. Now a Specialist Physician Heading the Department of Medicine at Victoria Hospital. He is a Palliative Care Activist, a disruptor and a fighter for equal care. Head of the Abundant Life Palliative Care program at Victoria Hospital Wynberg, he has Pioneered Hospital Palliative Care, “the Infusion Model”.

His belief that Palliative Care is Everyone’s Business, he refused to do the Diploma In Palliative Medicine at UCT, because “How can doctors need a certificate if 100% of our patients will have this condition?” In 2020 during the Covid Pandemic he completed the Diploma in Palliative Care.

Dr Cupido mentions that Palliative Care is emotionally draining work in itself, but pioneering it is inspiring work. Although finding it challenging to maintain mental wellness and a work life balance whilst working in this environment, Dr Cupido mentions there is no doubt in his mind that this is his calling!

Alex Daniels

Alex Daniels is an experienced children’s palliative care nurse and educationalist. She has a Masters in Paediatric Palliative Care from the University of Cape Town. Alex has gained rich experiences from a range of diverse settings including community health, adult intensive care and in the early childhood development sector. She facilitated bereavement training workshops prior to her work as a clinician and trainer in paediatric palliative care. Alex has been working with the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) as their Education Officer since 2017, managing their e-learning programme and teaching on face-to-face courses, webinars and workshops on paediatric palliative care. She has experience in developing new courses and is involved in education internationally.

Dr Katya Evans

• Specialist Emergency Physician

• HOD: Mitchells Plain District Hospital Emergency Centre (WCG: Department of Health)

• Joint Staff: University of Cape Town: Division of Emergency Medicine

• PGDip: Palliative Medicine

• PhD Candidate: Topic – “The development of a service model for district Palliative Care integration in a South African low-income community: The Emergency Centre as a nidus.”

Dr Lindsay Farrant (MBBCh, Dip HIV Man (SA), MPhil Pall Med)

MBBCh, Dip HIV Man (SA), MPhil Pall Med

Lindsay is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Division of Interdisciplinary Palliative Care and Medicine, Department of Family, Community, and Emergency Care in the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town. Lindsay has clinical palliative care experience in adult and paediatric palliative care. She currently coordinates the Research Methods Course for students enrolled for the MPhil Pall Med and the MMed in Family Medicine. Her research interests include understanding the integration of palliative care into primary care for noncommunicable chronic diseases.

Dr Dawn Garish

• Author, poet, creative facilitator, general practitioner

• Director of the Life Righting Collective www.liferighting.com

• I am a hiker, singer in the duo Further ado, dance and mother of two adult sons

Dr Mari Geldenhuys

• Private practice palliative care doctor doing home based and in hospital palliative medicine, ICU medical officer (Netcare Unitas hospital).

• Mari completed her PGDip Palliative Medicine in 2022. She has a passion for palliative care in ICU.

• Crazy dog lady, sports fanatic, loves music, dance, the outdoors and nature, birdwatcher and traveller.

Dr Lyndal Gibbs

Lyndal is a paediatric palliative care specialist working for Paedspal, an NGO in Cape Town. She and her team provide comprehensive care to children with palliative care needs in both the public and private sectors and strive to empower their colleagues with the skills to care for children with complex, life-limiting conditions. Lyndal is also a lecturer at the University of Cape Town and is studying towards a Masters in bioethics and health law at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Hilary Grey

Hilary Grey is an oncology nurse with an MPhil in Palliative Care from UCT and an MBA from the University of Maryland University College. She works at Knysna Sedgefield Hospice, as the CEO, where it is well known that she gets grumpy if not given time with patients. Patients are a source of inspiration and learning for her. She is well known as a palliative care trainer within the district she lives and works.

Dr Sarah Halix

• Paediatric Palliative Care Physician Fellow, General Surgery Resident

• Boston Children’s Hospital; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Massachusetts General Hospital

• Research interest lies as the intersection between paediatric palliative care and paediatric surgery

• Loves to spend time outside hiking, running and skiing, and spending time with my family.

Chelsea Heneghan

Chelsea Heneghan is a nurse practitioner for the Pediatric Advanced Care Team at Boston Children’s Hospital & Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Chelsea received her bachelor’s degree in Biology & Human Development from Colby College and went on to receive a second bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Columbia University. Chelsea worked as a registered nurse on an oncology, hematology, stem cell transplant unit in NY which sparked her interest in pediatric palliative care. After completing her master’s degree at Columbia University, she worked as an inpatient pediatric nurse practitioner in oncology at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for before joining PACT (DFCI/BCH) in 2018.

As a Pediatric Palliative Care NP, Chelsea interacts with staff and families throughout the hospital, community, and nation. Chelsea provides pediatric palliative care education in many different settings across the hospital as well as to outside organizations. Chelsea remains very passionate about pediatric palliative care and the role it plays in an ever-evolving medical landscape.

Chelsea has found a particular interest in quality improvement and improving system vulnerabilities, specifically in the pediatric palliative care sphere. She is now enrolled in Johns Hopkins University dual degree DNP/MBA program.

Outside of work, Chelsea loves being active and planning trips with her friends and family.

Dr Linda Holding

• Co-Founder and Clinical Guardian at Alignd

• Alignd have developed a solution to increase access to palliative care by unlocking funding through a value based care solution

• Palprac member from day one!

• Love spending time in nature to recharge

Dr Linley Holmes

• Paramedic/ clinical educator and facilitator

• SA Resuscitation Council

• Groote Schuur Hospital (Dept. of Anaesthetics)

• PalPrac

• Mphil Palliative Medicine (UCT)

• Endurance riding (Equine)

Dr Mark Hosking

• Medical Officer Helderberg Hospice

• Anaesthetic Sedationist Helderberg

• Palprac registered

Prof Louis Jenkins

• Family physician, Head of Clinical Unit, Associate Professor

• George Hospital, Garden route, Western Cape Department of Health; Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Stellenbosch University; Primary Healthcare Directorate, UCT.

• Headed up the provincial rural palliative care project in the Garden Route since 2018. Part of the palliative care team in the George sub-district. Conducted research and published on palliative care.

• Enjoys family life (wife and 2 daughters) gardening (planting 1 tree every week), running (not very far), and doing some home visits for patients with palliative care needs in the community.

Rafaela Joffe Peerutin

After graduating in Logopaedics from UCT (1983) I emigrated to the UK where I entered the National Health Service as a Speech and Language therapist, thereafter rising to become Associate Director of Therapies for East London, (UK). Within my 30 years in the NHS my expertise included managing therapies across a range of services and providing therapeutic and counselling support to people with disability across all ages.

With the passing of my daughter in 2013 after a lifelong illness, I left the NHS and returned to South Africa, seeking a new direction.

In early 2017 I attended the Palliative Care and Bereavement Care Support/Counselling training at St. Luke’s Hospice. Since then, I have been volunteering within the Spiritual Care and Bereavement Counselling departments.

In September 2018 I trained with Professor Dr Joanne Cacciatore’s MISS Foundation, Centre for Loss and Trauma in Arizona, USA, (affiliated with the Elizabeth Kubler Ross Trust) and became a Certified Compassionate Bereavement Care Provider.

In May 2020 I completed my Soul Doula training under Dr. Mary Ryan. As an active member of the Soul Doula Network I companion end-of-life patients from St. Luke’s and private referrals, drawing on my extensive professional and personal experiences of over 40 years.

I offer a compassionate, holistic and spiritual approach to these patients and their families (and pets) as they prepare for their final journey.

Madelein Kritzinger

• Occupational Therapist in private practice; with a special interest and focus in Palliative Care rehab

• OTASA and PALPRAC member

• B.OT (UFS) 2017; PgDip Palliative Medicine (UCT) 2022

I love spending time outdoors and being with my family. I enjoy a good glass of wine, especially with friends or family. Apparently I enjoy doing a job that nobody knows what it is or what I do…even other OTs! Palliative Care is my calling and purpose.

Jackie Maimin

• Pharmacist

• CEO of the Independent Community Pharmacy Association

• SAPC Council Member, Chair of the Practice Committee

• Past Chair PSSA CWP Branch

• Fellow PSSA

• Keen interest in palliative care and the role of the pharmacist in a multi-disciplinary healthcare team

Penelope Mathe

Penelope is a social worker at Hospice Wits in Houghton, Gauteng. She is responsible for psychosocial services for both Soweto and Houghton sites.


Penelope obtained a BA degree in Social Work at the University of South Africa (UNISA) in 2009. She obtained MA in Social Work at the North-West University in 2013. Currently a PhD in Social Work candidate with North-West University.

Career path to date

Penelope started her career as a social worker in 2010 at the Johannesburg Council for the Disabled in Gauteng.

From 2010- up to date she is working as a palliative care social worker at Hospice Wits.

She has recently published an article on COVID-19 and palliative care patients with the International Journal of Social Work in end-of-life and palliative care.

She has presented her research in palliative care in local and international conferences.

With training done in the following programmes: Loss grief and bereavement, Integrated Access to Care and Treatment, Retention and Referral System, Foundations to Care and Caring and Adherence Clubs and Mhealth.

Pierre Matthee

Pierre Matthee is a social worker in Private Practice with a passion for patients diagnosed with chronic/acute illnesses. He holds a Masters Degree in Social Work (Health Care) Cum Laude through the University of Pretoria (2015). Working mainly in the field of health and disease, he completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Psychosocial intervention in End-of-Life and Bereavement Care, through the University of North West (2019). He has a heart for therapy, patient stories and exploring ways of how to live life despite the medical diagnosis. He therefore has a special interest in Narrative Therapy, which he studied through the Dulwich Centre in Australia, and regularly does courses do update his knowledge.

Clinical Focus:
• Adult psychosocial assessment and intervention
• Counselling/Therapy in Acute and Chronic Illnesses
• End-of-Life and Bereavement Care

• Social Worker in Healthcare

Dr Barbara Matthews

• Palliative Care Specialist in Private Practice

• Member of PalPrac. Work in collaboration with Alignd and their Palliative Care network, Grahamstown Hospice, Dolphin Health Gqeberha (Greater Port Elizabeth Metropole)

• Embracing the Alignd remote access palliative care model, being part of expansion of access to people irrespective of their location, and exploring collaboration with PC teams around the country, is a career highlight

• I am committed to the mission of making palliative care accessible to everyone.

Fiona McLennan

• Therapeutic Aromatherapist, Therapeutic Reflexologist, PG Dip Pall Med

• Psychosocial Team Coordinator, Paedspal; Member of the Aromatherapy Society of SA; The National Reflexology Association

• My highlight is the daily fulfilling work I do at Paedspal.

• I used to be an attorney. I far prefer my current job!

Dr Jennie Morgan

Dr Jennie Morgan is a Family Physician, based at Heideveld CDC in the Cape Metro Health Services. She has worked as a Family Physician for the Metro health services for the last 8 years.

As well as her qualifications in Family Medicine she has a post graduate Diploma in Palliative Medicine.

She, along with Katya Evans, heads the Palliative care program in the Klipfontein/Mitchell’s Plain Districts within the Metro Health services.

She is a key member of the Provincial Palliative care task team, aiming to integrate quality Palliative care into all areas of health in the Province.

She has been a leader of implementing Palliative care in PHC facilities in the Metro, developing effective communication lines, addressing individual patient concerns, training staff in Palliative care, and improving health systems to accommodate integrating Palliative care into the existing framework of health care services in the state sector.

She has a keen interest in community palliative care, supporting other staff to implement palliative care and research to support these objectives.

She is a joint staff member with the University of Cape Town Department of Family, Community and Emergency Medicine, Division of Family Medicine. She teaches in both the Division of Family Medicine and the Division of Interdisciplinary Palliative Care and Medicine.

She is a wife and mother of 2.

Dr Shannon Odell

• Palliative medicine specialist and GP – working in private practice in the southern peninsula of Cape Town

• PALPRAC Executive board member & part-time lecturer at UCT in the division of Interdisciplinary Palliative Care and Medicine

• Mom of two, so my interests are baking, gardening, fishing, lego, hiking, driving and watching sport

Wayne Oxford-Huggett

Wanye is a data analyst and IT consultant for Msunduzi Hospice Association with a Google Data Analytics Specialisation. He is also a part time web designer and programmer.

Dr Amy Porter (MD, PhD)

Amy Porter is a physician-anthropologist trained in Pediatrics and Pediatric Complex Care, currently completing her fellowship in Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Harvard Interprofessional Palliative Care Fellowship Program. She received her MD/PhD in clinical medicine and anthropology from Harvard Medical School, completed residency in Pediatrics at the Cleveland Clinic, and completed fellowship in Pediatric Complex Care at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. Her research aims to understand and support rest and rejuvenation among family caregivers of children with medical complexity. With a decade of experience conducting clinical work and ethnographic research in South Africa, she also aims to use anthropological and ethnographic approaches to understand and change the social, political, and economic forces driving disparities in access to pediatric palliative care in South Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and globally.

Yolande Riekert

Yolande is an Occupational Therapist, who has more than a decade of experience working ICU. The close work with people who are dying and their families has inspired various studies to better support her work, including a mindful grieving course and the professional training in compassionate inquiry.

These trainings were put into practice during the Covid 19 pandemic, when Yolande worked on the frontlines to support those who were critically ill and their families, as part of a counciling team set up during the pandemic.

Angela Rackstraw

• Angela Rackstraw is a practicing artist, was once upon a time a registered nurse, a neonatal nurse and midwife, and is now a trained and HPCSA registered Art Psychotherapist, having trained at the University of Hertfordshire, England, 27 years ago.

Angela currently works at the UCT Department of Psychiatry (TLC), is a senior Art Therapy lecturer at the University of Johannesburg, has a private practice, and works with patients and their mothers at Paedspal in Rondebosch, Cape Town. She is also currently a Doctoral student at the University of Derby, England.

She finds solace and strength through her own art-making and stitching, being with her loved ones and creatures, and being in her garden, in nature, or near the sea.

Tracy Rawlins

• Professional Palliative Care Nurse and Educator, currently the Education and Training Manager at PatchSA

• PatchSA, PalPrac, Umduduzi Hospice Care for Children, Butterfly Home

• Co-author of Bettercare Books – Children’s Palliative Care for Children and Perinatal Palliative Care; Co-developer of PatchSA Online Academy

• I was born to teach ☺ I also love any form of exercise especially trail running and am blessed to live on a farm in Cedarville surrounded by the Southern Drakensberg and Lesotho mountains.

Elizabeth Scrimgeour

• Currently, I am the CEO of Drakenstein Palliative Hospice and Butterfly House in Paarl. I am a Professional Nurse with extra qualifications in Oncology, Psychiatric, and Palliative Care Nursing; I have a BA Hons Psychology and MTh specialising in narrative therapy.

• I served on the HPCA Board as vice-chairperson and chairperson of the WC-HPCA Board for many years. Currently, I am semi-retired. Palliative Care and the Hospice philosophy is my passion.

• I am a committed and proud mother and grandmother and live in Betty’s Bay with a beautiful, peaceful mountain view… a daily inspiration.

Dr Mitchell Scott

• Dr. Scott is in private practice and until recently the consultant at Highway Hospice. Mitch is the adult Palliative Medicine Lead at UKZN. Lecturing commenced in 2007 to MMed candidates while completing his masters degree, and thereafter teaching the MBChB Palliative Medicine courses. He developed and co-ordinates the PGDip in Fam Med, Palliative Medicine module and tutors the MMed/FCFP registrars.

• Qualifications: MBChB, MMed (Fam Med) with a Palliative Medicine elective under the tutorship of the late Dr Sarah Fakroodeen. Post Graduate Diploma in Palliative Medicine (UCT) and currently completing a PhD in ALS/MND.

• Give me my sons, nature and the sun and I am happy.

Carol Scrooby

Carol Scrooby is a spiritual counsellor who has personal and professional experience supporting adults with life-limiting illnesses (cancer, dementia) and at end of life. The essence of her approach is in offering healing presence while honouring the personhood of her clients. Her holistic approach includes supportive counselling and practical guidance for family members.

With over 25 years’ experience as a Reiki practitioner and intuitive massage therapist, Carol provides gentle physical touch therapy when needed. Her qualifications include a Diploma in Counselling (SACAP) and Introduction to Palliative Care Course (UCT). She completed Soul Care training with Mary Ryan in 2020.

She is currently the co-ordinator for the Soul Carers Network.

Lanise Shortell


• Director of Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Care

• Emory and Wellstar Health Care Systems, Atlanta, GA, USA

• Training Hospice and Palliative Care Fellows in caring for paediatric hospice families outside of hospital walls for nearly 2 decades.
• Nationally certified in pediatric hospice and palliative care and caring for families experiencing perinatal loss.

• Llamas, Yoga, Friends, Family fulfill my life.

Zodwa Sithole

Zodwa has worked in the health sector in various disciples including general nursing, midwifery, community health and palliative care. She gained valuable experience in various private, government and community institutions and has worked in environments with limited resources, illiteracy, abject poverty and general deprivation, hence covering a diverse content of first and third world care. She is formally trained in general nursing, Midwifery; Primary Health Care; Nursing Administration and Education; Community Health Care and Palliative Care. She holds a B. Cur degree and a master’s degree in Nursing. Zodwa has participated in numerous national and international conferences. She has managed to advocate for the integration of Palliative Care in the caring of inmates living with life threatening illnesses in the South African prisons; advocated for Palliative Care with Traditional Healers resulting in the development of a Palliative Care curriculum for Traditional Healers. She coordinated the development of Alliance for Access to Palliative Care – a group of individuals who are not working for Palliative Care but assist in advocating for Palliative Care.

Currently working for Cancer Association of South Africa ( CANSA) as the Head: Advocacy

Dr Jennifer Snaman (MD MS)

• Attending Physician, Pediatric Palliative Care and Pediatric Oncology; Assistant Professor in Pediatrics

• Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital

• Research interests include improving support for bereaved families and developing interventions to enhance the adolescent patient voice in advance illness

• Mom to two kids (age 11 and 8) and we love to play soccer together

Dr Leana Spies (MPhil Pall Med, MBChB)

Leana is a medical officer in Palliative Medicine at Groote Schuur Hospital since March 2023.

In 2011, Leana received her medical degree (MBChB) from Stellenbosch University. After completing her two-year internship and a year of community service, she subsequently worked for 6 years with adult cancer patients in the Oncology department at Kimberley Provincial Hospital in the Northern Cape Province. During this time, her passion and interest in palliative medicine took flight when she saw and experienced how the majority of patients’ multidimensional, complex and often unaddressed health care needs were not being adequately met. Leana found herself wanting to be an advocate for better palliative care. She completed her postgraduate diploma in Palliative Medicine in 2018, and subsequently also received her master’s degree in Palliative Medicine in 2020 from Cape Town University. She was one of the earliest members of PALPRAC, the Association of Palliative Medicine in its infancy in South Africa.

As Palliative Medicine is not yet integrated into the formal health care sector in South Africa, Leana acted as an advocate for palliative care while working in the Oncology setting at Kimberley Provincial Hospital – offering the appropriate care to patients and their families and playing a vital clinical leadership role to the benefit of her colleagues.

In order to broaden her clinical experience and gain hands on training, Leana had the opportunity to work in the Palliative Care team at North West Hospice in Sligo, Ireland for 18 months. She returned to South Africa and is currently part of the palliative care team at Groote Schuur Hospital under lead of Dr Rene Krause. Leana is committed to being an advocate to the sustainable and vibrant growth of palliative medicine in South Africa.

Outside of work, Leana loves being outdoors and active and enjoys activities such as running, cycling and swimming. She also takes great pleasure in travelling and seeks and enjoys any form of adventure such as hiking, exploring, discovering and appreciating the limitless capacity of the Lord’s creation including the beauty of nature. She enjoys meeting new people and spending quality time with family and friends. She is also passionate about cooking and enjoying local cuisine. She believes that change, including personal growth, is the only constant and loves to broaden her perspective about life.

Mari Stevens

Mari Stevens is a registered music therapist (MA Music Therapy) from Cape Town. Besides for a diverse private therapy practise through which she has gained extensive experience working with complex trauma, psychiatry and special needs with both adult and paediatric clients, she is practising in specialist paediatric palliative care. With a post graduate diploma in paediatric palliative medicine, Mari has been part of the psychotherapy team at Paedspal, a specialist paediatric palliative care organisation, since 2021. Along with the privilege of direct client work, Mari enjoys collaborating with other practitioners in teaching, presenting and advocating around palliative care, mental health and psychotherapy services and have presented on both local and international platforms. Besides for enjoying family life with her husband and two busy boys, Mari is a performing cellist and also loves a good training session.

Dr Rika Swanzen

• Social Worker and Research Manager

• The Independent Institute of Education, IIEMSA campus

• Member of the South African Council for Social Service Professions (active registered professional and ministerial appointee to the previous council, 2016 to 2022)

• Obtained the PGDip in Paediatric Palliative Care with distinction

• Research poster and conference proceeding published on palliative care during my PGDip study year in 2022

• Authored 22 peer reviewed publications and delivered 25 conference presentations from 2007 to 2022

• Scanner of worthwhile adventures

Dr David Thomson

• Critical Care Subspecialist and Transplant Surgeon

• University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital

• Creator of the online course: Organ Donation - From Death to Life that runs on a platform weekly to educate on best practice at end of life in relation to organ and tissue donation. Am a firm believer that organ donation rates are a reflection of how we as health care professionals apply ourselves to good end of life care.

• Loves family - Ferhana, Amarah and Aila - and playing basketball and chess

Fran Tong

Fran is a qualified social worker, with a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Therapy, specialising in Narrative Therapy.

Fran has been involved with the hospice movement for nearly 25 years which includes her work at Drakenstein Palliative Hospice (Paarl), in their Patient Care Department, as well as the Hospice Palliative Care Association (HPCA) where she assisted member organisations with their growth and development which included the coordination and provision of training. She is currently the General Manager at Overstrand Hospice in Hermanus.

Fran serves on the Western Cape – Hospice Palliative Care Association Board (WC-HPCA) as Chairperson, and is the regional representative for the Western Cape, and a board member of HPCA. Fran assists with the development and review of the HPCA standardised Psychosocial Palliative Care Courses (PPCC) and is currently the PPCC course lead on the HPCA National Education Committee.

Dr Dalene van Jaarsveld

• Medical Specialist (Department of Oncology, Palliative Care), UAH-complex in Bloemfontein

• Affiliated with UFS, Bloemfontein Hospice and work with FsDOH on the Implementation of PC services for the Free State.

• Being full-time appointed by the FsDOH from 1 March 2023 in this position

• Worked as a Clinical Pharmacologist for many years while simultaneously assisting in the development of PC in UAH and UFS. Also remained a keen runner and completed 8 comrades marathons.

Associate Prof Nicki Wearne

• Head of Nephrology and Hypertension

• South Africa / University of Cape Town

Lead Author :Renal palliative and supportive care in South Africa – a consensus statement

• Mother of 3 busy kids – multi-tasker – love to trail run