Speakers (Plenary)

Dr Julia Ambler

Julia has been working in paediatric palliative care for the last 20 years, first in Oxford, UK, where she completed her diploma and then in Durban since 2009.

She co-founded Umduduzi – Hospice Care for Children in 2013. She is currently the only doctor that is paid for paediatric palliative care in South Africa, working 10 hours a week at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital. She is a sessional lecturer in the Departments of Paediatrics and Family Medicine, Nelson Mandela Medical School, University of KwaZulu-Natal and is the chairperson of The Association of Palliative Care Practitioners of South Africa (PALPRAC). As a communication skills expert, she is also a workshop facilitator for the Medical Protection Society.

Julia lives in Morningside with her partner, Tracey and two sons, Luke and Jack.

Mrs Juanita O. Arendse

• Profession/current roles: Chief Director: Emergency and Clinical Services Support

• Organisations and affiliations: Western Cape Government Health & Wellness

• Any palliative care-related career achievements/highlight: Western Cape Province Task Team lead and chairperson for the implementation of the NPFSPC

• Something personal (interest): My perfect de-stress is a movie with a predictable good ending.

Ms Kwanele Asante

Kwanele Asante is the Former Chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Cancer Prevention and Control, Republic South Africa. She serves on the World Health Organisation’s Civil Society Working Group on Non-Communicable Diseases.

Kwanele has received several awards for her African cancer equity activism, including the Harvard Global Health Catalyst – 2016 African Ambassador Award. She serves as a community representative on the South African Medical Council’s Bioethics Advisory Panel and she is a member of the External Advisory Board of the STARS Program at Harvard Medical School, USA.

Asante has a B. A. Liberal Arts (Psychology-Sociology major) degree from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, USA. And LLB and MSc Medicine: Bioethics and Health Law degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Dr Justin Baker (MD, FAAP, FAAHPM)

• Director, Quality of Life and Palliative Care
• Attending Physician, QoLA Team (Quality of Life for All)
• Medical Director, St Jude Home Care, LLC
• Co-Director, St Jude Global Palliative Care Program
St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, USA

• Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Award
• AAHPM - Inspirational Leader in Hospice and Palliative Care
• Fellow, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
• NIH R01-Funded (MPI) and >250 publications related to CPC

• Dr. Baker has been married to his college sweetheart (beautiful Monny from Monterrey, Mexico) for more than two decades and he and his wife are proud parents of four incredible children. An interesting fact about Dr. Baker is that he likely has more stuffed koala bears than any other individual on the planet and has even has a koala bobblehead and has had numerous koalas “adopted” in his name.

Dr Raksha Balbadhur

• Palliative medicine specialist working in private in Durban and the North Coast of KZN

• Masters degree on understanding the dignity experience of patients with advanced disease - a SA'n perspective

• Board Member Palprac, Steering Committee Member of Palnet KZN, Director of Beacon of Care, Volunteer at Verulam Hospice

• Founder and Chairperson of VIHASA (the Values in Healthcare Assoc of SA), she has run 100's of experiential workshops across Southern Africa to support healthcare practitioners with compassion fatigue

• A student and teacher of meditation, she brings meaning and peace to her patients at the most challenging time of their lives

Dr Aslam Dasoo

Dr Aslam Dasoo is MD of Health Equity Partners, an advisory consult ancy, and is a director of Meditech International Holdings SA, a medical IT company. He has more than three decades of experience in the health sector as a medical practitioner in public and private healthcare. He participated in the development of health policy for a post-apartheid SA and has held appointments on the Board of Governors on the Medicine Pricing Committee and the Road Accident Fund, and as Chairman of Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. After joining the medical schemes industry, he was appointed as the founding CEO of the Board of Healthcare Funders of Southern Africa in 1999, where he developed SA’s first medical scheme trustee training programme. He serves on the board of the Hospice and Palliative Care Association (HPCA) and is associated with several NGOs in the healthcare and social service sectors. He is the national convenor of the Progressive Health Forum (PHF), a healthcare advocacy network. Since 2020, he has co-ordinated the PHF Science Reference Group, comprised of SA’s leading public health, medical, and health economics scientists and experts involved in research, advocacy, and public information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and health system reform.

Mr Rod Bloom

• Founder of The Rohan Bloom Foundation.

• The foundation that was set up in the name of his son Rohan who lost his battle to cancer in 2016 at the young age of 14 years old.

• The Rohan Blooms foundations vision is to build Rohan House, a children's hospice/in patient facility dedicated to restoring dignity and offering the necessary care, resources and support to terminal children and their families.

Mrs Tersia Burger

Tersia has a strong commercial background and worked in the international Vehicle Armouring industry. Tersia travelled to 53 different countries and spent vast amounts of time in Afghanistan, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Tersia’s only child, Vicky Bruce was born with a rare and degenerative connective tissue disorder, Osteogenesis Imperfecta. By her 3rd birthday, Vicky had suffered 41 fractures. Despite a prognosis of “life-limiting” Vicky survived her childhood and got married at the age of 21. At the age of 22 she gave birth to the first of her two sons.

In February 2012, the doctors said there was no further treatment available.

The last 10 years of Vicky’s life were filled with 81 abdominal surgeries, septicaemia, intractable pain, total loss of dignity and hopelessness. Five months before Vicky’s death Tersia managed to secure help from Hospice Wits for her child. It was life-changing. Vicky went from being a bundle of bones, lying in her bed, to being able to take her boys to school, watch them play cricket and take them out for milkshakes. Two months before her death Vicky asked her mother to start a Hospice in Alberton so “no-one will suffer the way she did”.

On the 1st of January 2013 Stepping Stone Hospice started operating out of Tersia’s home in Alberton. Vicky sadly died on the 18th of January 2013.

Tersia is passionate about Palliative Care for All. She honours her child’s legacy every single day at Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services.

Tersia is the Regional Chairperson of the GP HPCA Board and serves on the HPCA Board as Vice-Chairperson. She serves on HPCA’s Accreditation Committee, Sustainability Committee, Standards Review Committee, Finance Committee and is Chairperson of the Mentorship Committee.

Tersia is passionate about palliative care for all.

Dr Susan Coetzer


Vice President of South African Geriatrics Society

• PG Dip Palliative Medicine (UCT) 2019

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.

Dr Tania de Villiers (PhD)

Tania de Villiers is a registered Nurse and Midwife, who has lived and worked in private and public health settings in the Western Cape. She has additional qualifications in Paediatric Nursing, Nursing Education and Nursing Management. She holds a PhD and MSc degree in Nursing, and is a member of the Golden Key Honour Society [Golden Key is the world's largest collegiate honour society. Membership into the Society is by invitation only and applies to 15% of top-performing graduate students in all fields of study, based solely on their academic achievements]. She is a board member of the Sigma Theta Tau global honour society for nurses.

She has led the Division’s curriculum development process of restructuring the existing UCT clinical PGDip in Nursing programmes (Child Nursing, Critical Care Nursing of the Child, Critical Care Nursing of the Adult, Midwifery, Nephrology and Ophthalmic Nursing) for the purpose of accreditation by the South African Nursing Council. Tania is finalising a new, and as yet, non-accredited PGDip in Palliative Nursing.

Currently, a PGDip in Palliative Nursing is not on the SANC’s Schedule of Postgraduate Programmes, only a PGDip in Oncology and Palliative Nursing.

Prof Julia Downing

Professor Downing is an experienced palliative care nurse, educationalist, and researcher. She is the Chief Executive of the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) and a Professor at universities in Uganda, Serbia, and the UK. She has extensive experience in Global palliative care, research, and education, and is on the editorial board of ecancer, APM, and the IJPN. She has worked within palliative care for 30 years, with twenty of those working internationally in Uganda, Africa, Eastern Europe, and globally. Professor Downing serves on the Boards of several NGOs including the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care, the Worldwide Hospice and Palliative Care Alliance, the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care, the African Palliative Care Association UK, and ehospice. She is also an advisor to the International Association of Hospice and Palliative Care.

Dr Nelia Drenth (PhD)

• Social Worker

• Private Practice & Part-time lecturer NWU

• PhD (Social Work) Complicated Grief in the South African Context – A Therapeutic Intervention Programme

• My tagline is: Life has meaning – always, everywhere

I am passionate in sharing my knowledge of dying and bereavement with interested (and sometimes not so interested) people.

Prof Jan du Plessis

• Head of Paediatric Oncology

• Department of Paediatrics and Child Health

• University of the Free State

• PATCH Board member

• Tennis & Garden enthusiast

• Be kind, be humble

Dr Pelisa Ford

Dr Pelisa Ford obtained her degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Cape Town in 1998 and also holds an MSc in Medicine: Bioethics and Health Law from the University of Witwatersrand, and a Diploma Palliative Medicine from the University of Cape Town. She served as an Intern at Cecelia Makiwane Hospital in Mdantsane in 1999 and completed her Community Service in Queenstown/Cala. She has worked as Medical Officer at the Provincial Hospital/Livingstone Oncology Unit as well as in HIV Management.

She is an independent Specialist Oncologist in private practice since 1st November 2018, with rooms and a chemotherapy suite at Life Mercantile Hospital. She provides all forms of modern and advanced radiotherapy at the Langenhoven Oncology Centre as well as prostate brachytherapy. Holistic, multidisciplinary, patient-centred, and compassionate care are the central tenets of her oncology practice.

Associate Prof Lionel Green-Thompson

MBBCh (Wits), MMed(Anaesthesiology), FCA(SA), PhD (Wits)
Dean: Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Lionel Green-Thompson currently serves as the Dean: Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He started in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic. He served previously as the Dean of the School of Medicine at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (2018 – 2020) after working as the Assistant Dean: Teaching, Learning and Undergraduate Affairs (2014 – 2018) at Wits University.

He completed his undergraduate studies at Wits in 1988. He completed medical officer jobs in OBGYN, Paediatrics and intensive care before working as a general practitioner between 1991 and 1995. He served as a supervising medical officer for an emergency services company which included the casevac service fetching casualties out of Africa. He returned to the Wits Anaesthesiology circuit and attained the FCA in 2001. He managed the anaesthesiology undergraduate teaching programme at Wits between 2001 and 2004.

He served as a co-author panellist for the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) Consensus Report: Reconceptualising health professions education in South Africa. This report released in 2018, represented a national response to the Lancet Commission of 2010. Lionel has also served on the education workstream which contributed to the 2030 Human Resources for Health Strategy: Investing in the Health Workforce for Universal Health Coverage for the South African government. He is a specialist anaesthesiologist by training, obtaining a Fellowship of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa in 2001. He completed a PhD in 2014 entitled: The nature of social accountability in South African medical education and practice. Lionel is currently the Chairperson of the national SA Committee of Medical Deans (SACOMD) and represents SACOMD in engagements with the Colleges of Medicine of SA. The major focus of the representation is the development of workplace-based assessments for specialist medical education.

Lionel served on the National Council of South African Association of Health Educationalists (SAAHE) for many years. He was SAAHE national chairperson for the 2010 to 2013 triennium and co-chaired the national conference held at Wits in 2010 titled “Making Education Matter”.

He currently serves on the board of the Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP) and Towards Unity for Health (TUFH). He is a member of AMEE and serves on the Research Committee, co-chairing the Network for Medical Education in Resource Constrained Environments (MERCS).

Lionel is interested in assessment of clinical competency, professional identity formation, transformative education and social accountability.

Prof Elizabeth (Liz) Gwyther

• Palliative care doctor/ Emeritus Associate Professor of palliative medicine, UCT

• University of Cape Town, PalPrac

• A/Prof of palliative medicine, chair of ehospice, board member of African Palliative Care Association; past CEO of Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa, past chair of Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance, recent palliative care consultant World Health Organization; previously exec. Committee member of Cancer Alliance, council member of PainSA

• Now graduated to current role of granny & living in Scotland

Dr Craig G Howes

• Palliative care practitioner

• Private practice in Sandton, Johannesburg

• PG Dip Palliative Medicine (UCT) 2019

• Currently reading for MSc in Palliative Medicine from the University of Glasgow

• Cat papa to Puccini, music enthusiast and singer

Mr Mark Heywood

Mark Heywood is a social justice activist and former Executive Director and co-founder of SECTION27 as well as a co-founder of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC). He sits on the Boards of several health and human rights NGOs in South Africa and internationally.

He is currently editor of Maverick Citizen, a section of the Daily Maverick that focuses on activism, human rights and social justice. He is also adjunct Professor at the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance at the University of Cape Town; a distinguished visitor at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University Law Center; and a visiting scholar at the Bonavero Institute for Human Rights, Oxford University. He has written numerous articles on law, human rights, HIV/AIDS, health and literature and edited and written several books, including a book of poetry I Write What I Fight (2015) and a memoir, Get Up! Stand Up! Personal Journeys Towards Social Justice (2017).

Associate Prof Leon Holtzhausen

Leon Holtzhausen is an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Social Work and Social Development at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He completed both his PhD (2003) and MSocSc in Criminal Justice Social (1999) at the University of Johannesburg. After practicing social work for more than 12 years in the field of criminal justice, Leon took up an Assistant Professorship in Social Work at the United Arab University in the United Arab Emirates. Here he taught social work for more than 6 years. His research work during this period focused on the human rights and lived experiences of migrant workers in the Middle East and social work pedagogy in Non-Western settings. He returned to South Africa in 2010 and a position in the Department of Social Development, UCT. His current research explores the role of Adverse Childhood Experiences as a precursor to anti-social behavior amongst young adults. Specific research foci include understanding the role of trauma in child and youth sex offending and child sexual abuse. Other work includes developing a standardized Substance Use Disorder Assessment Tool for the Western Cape (WC-SUDAT).

Dr Rene Krause

Dr Krause is a Family Physician with a master's degree in Palliative Medicine and a postgraduate diploma in Health Professional education. She is currently the Acting Head of the Division of Interdisciplinary Palliative Care and Medicine and in the Department of Family Medicine, Community and Emergency Care (University of Cape Town) and convenor of the postgraduate diploma in Palliative Medicine. She assists in the 6th year of lecturing and supervision during the rotation in Family Medicine. She also supervises Masters's students in Palliative Medicine and supervises registrars of Family Medicine during their Palliative Medicine rotation. Clinically, Dr Krause has an honorary appointment at Groote Schuur Hospital, consulting in palliative care. In Groote Schuur Hospital, she works alongside the oncology team, doing combined ward rounds and consulting in palliative care across this 900-bed hospital. Dr Krause serves as a board member of the African Palliative Care Association and Palprac, the South African Palliative Medicine Practitioner’s Association.

Dr Krause’s research interest is the strengthening and integration Palliative Care practices in hospitals. Dr Krause is doing a PhD in integrating palliative care in academic teaching hospitals within the Department of Family Medicine at UCT.

Mr Lawrence Mandikiana

Deputy Director: Palliative Care with the National Department of Health  There has been a dire need for palliative care at clinical and community level in South Africa pre and post the COVID-19 pandemic and we should ensure that patients and families receive dignified and compassionate care as they go through difficult experiences with health conditions. Importantly, the term ‘palliative care’ does not only describe end-of-life care, but the dignified relief of symptoms and suffering for all, whatever their final health outcome is. This is a drive which made me want to be part of the palliative care community. </span

Lawrence holds the following qualifications:
Masters of Public Health degree (Uni of Johannesburg),
Post Grad Dip in Palliative Med (Uni of Cape Town),
Bachelors of Health and Welfare Science (Uni of South Africa),
Bachelors of Social Science degree (Africa Uni)

Sr Joan Marston

Joan is a professional nurse who has worked in the field of palliative and hospice care for the past 34 years at local, national and international level with a special interest in children's palliative care including its' history, palliative care in humanitarian settings, spirituality in palliative care and mentorship

She is presently responsible for Advocacy on the International Executive of PallCHASE- Palliative Care in Humanitarian Aid Situations and Emergencies, which she co-established in 2016; Vice-President of the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation (Global)and Chair of their South -Asian Fellowship programme; a Global Ambassador for the ICPCN; on the Faculty of a number of international educational programmes; and happily still involved with Sunflower Children's Hospice in Bloemfontein which she set up 25 years ago.

Dr Michelle Meiring

• Palliative Care Paediatrician

CEO Paedspal,
Course Convenor (Dip Pal Med Paeds @UCT)
Chairperson (PatchSA)

Any palliative care related career achievements/highlights:
Starting a Paediatric Stream to the Palliative Medicine Diploma at UCT
Part of National Palliative Care Policy Steering Committee (2016 – 2019)
1 of 4 editors -4th Edition of Oxford Textbook of Palliative Care for Children

Something personal (interest)
Mom of 2 children (19 and 14) and enjoy doing anything creative: making cakes, flipping furniture etc

Prof Nokuzola Mndende

• PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Cape Town.

• Adjunct Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the Nelson Mandela University

• President of Icamagu Spirituality and is the founder of Icamagu Heritage Institute

• African Liberation theologian and also a Womanist theologian.

• Had been a Commissioner in the Commission for Traditional Leadership Disputes and claims, and at the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities. Is a member of the Circle of Concerned Africa Theologians.

• Published extensively on issues relating to African Traditional Religion, Religion and Law in South Africa; gender issues; and Religion in education.

Ms Malika Ndlovu

MALIKA NDLOVU’s trans-disciplinary work encompasses matters of heritage, indigenous wisdom, identity, spirituality, health, and the 'medicinal' value of creative expression inherent to all human beings.

She is an internationally published South African poet, playwright, performer, and arts project manager. For several years she was live festival and online curator/ presenter for the Africa Centre's Badilisha Poetry X- Change which pioneered an exclusively African poetry podcasting platform. Originally from Kwa Zulu - Natal she has lived in Cape Town for over 20 years, where her applied arts practice, specifically within the NGO sector and University-associated programmes, has grown wide and deep roots. She features in UCT’s Arts and Medicine: Humanizing Healthcare MOOC, which continues to feed into a global conversation on the multiple merits of an interdisciplinary approach using the arts within clinical settings. This MOOC served the development of the Critical Health Humanities in Africa course as part of the MA degree program in Health Humanities and the Arts, launched in 2022. For WITS University's Drama For Life 2018 conference, Malika's keynote address and performance were entitled Poetic Navigation: Mapping creative pathways through trauma, grief, and re-membering, using poetry as an integrative process of release, documentation, and memorialization. Via her poetic memoir Invisible Earthquake: a Woman’s Journal through Stillbirth (Modjaji Books, 2009) and website www.invisiblestill.co.za, Malika has also become a passionately vocal advocate around pregnancy-related loss, bereavement support, and maternal health. Her ongoing often site-specific ritual performances and multi-media collaborations with various artists, she sees as both activism and ancestral medicine work. Grief Seed, her upcoming publication reflects (on) the generative nature of grief through poetry, prose, and photography.

Melissa Williams-Platt

Sam's Mum

• Professional Certified Palliative & Grief Coach and Speaker

Co-Founder of Footprints4Sam in honour of my son, Samuel Frederick Platt

PatchSA Board Member

Completed the post graduate diploma in Paediatric Palliative Medicine in 2017

• Supporting tangible initiatives offering hope and dignity to underprivileged and chronically ill children.

Passionate about advocating for patient-centred care and emotional well-being in healthcare.

Dr Milton Raff

• Anaesthesiologist and pain management practitioner

• Past President SASA and PainSA, Past Chairperson of Acute Pain Committee of WFSA

• Part-time advisor to St Lukes Hospice

Prof Shivani Ranchod

Shivani's work traverses conscious leadership, health system redesign, mindfulness, and organisation building and design. She is passionate about value-based care; this is reflected in her co-founding of Alignd, and her sitting on the global advisory council of Leapfrog to Value. She has a long-standing affiliation with the University of Cape Town: currently as an Adjunct Associate Professor in Management Studies, previously as the head of Actuarial Science. The work she does, across all of these capacities, is deeply collaborative and inclusive in nature. Her life's work is to rebuild institutions, ways of work, ways of being, and forms of ownership based on mutuality and a deep honouring of our interconnectedness.

Dr Mpho Ratshikana

BSc (Med Lab Science-Unin), MBChB (SMU), DTM&H (UP), DOH (UP), MPhil Pall Med (UCT)

Dr Mpho Ratshikana is the sectional head and Director of the Gauteng/Wits Centre for Palliative Care at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital and School of Clinical Medicine, University of Witwatersrand. She completed her Palliative Medicine training at UCT in 2010, and is currently a lecturer for undergraduates and postgraduate students, and is also the convener of the palliative care short course at Wits University.

Her research is focused on palliative care needs, patient-reported outcomes, and improving access to palliative care, with special interest in spiritual care. Dr Ratshikana has presented at both local and international conferences, and published a number of articles.

Dr Ewa Skowronska

• CEO of Hospice Palliative Care Association

• Public Health graduate from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, US

• Over a decade’s experience in leadership and management of international NGOs in Africa

• Executed global clinical research programmes in Europe, Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa with a focus on HIV/AIDS and Oncology

• Contributed to the development of “HPCA Standards for Palliative Healthcare Services”, 2020

• A fierce advocate for Hospice Work and believes in quality PC for ALL

• Love nature, travel, and her furry children

Mrs Bonni Suckling

• Founder of Rainbows and Smiles Foundation – mom to Jed

• ITBA, PalPrac, CCNSA, Cancer Alliance, Patient User Network, PatchSA

• Completed PPC Diploma in 2022 (changed my life)
SBAH - we have started a PPC Clinic
Bereavement support

• I am a fitness instructor and participate in extreme sporting events (Ironman, Comrades). I know more than I should about the “burden of complicated grief”

• Quote I live by: “Let’s make today the funnest day ever!”

• Jed Brady Suckling (3/11/2004 – 11/7/2011)

Dr Margie Venter

• Clinical oncologist and palliative care specialist

• Clinical director PALPRAC; clinician at Enfold.me (private palliative care practice)

• Co-founder of PALPRAC (2018); board member & clinical volunteer at Stellenbosch Hospice

• Other important notes: raising 3 teenage boys; recharge station is Betty’s Bay and the Kogelberg Nature Reserve for hikes and swimming in the Palmiet river

Mrs Tracy Winde

TRACY WINDE was born in Cape Town in 1966. She married Alan in 1993 and they have 2 adult children, Jason & Lauren.

Tracy has a degree in the Performing Arts and was the owner and manager of a travel business in Knysna for 12 years.

Throughout her life, Tracy has practiced mindful meditation and in 2015 she started a business where she combined this love with her travel experience. She became a strategic advisor to the travel industry on bringing mindfulness into tourism.

Tracy was a volunteer carer for Iris House Children’s Hospice for many years and now serves as their patron. She is also an active member of the Soul Care Network, which offers end-of-life care and companionship to the dying.

Her interest in children and their welfare, together with a startup donation from a UK philanthropist, has enabled her to set up an academy in an extremely impoverished Cape Town community which is riddled with drugs, crime and GBV. The Heart Shine Academy’s mission is to help the children and youth growing up in this very difficult space to process trauma by participating in creative arts programs, which are run by trauma-informed facilitators, and where there is a safety net of care, referral, and counselling.

Tracy shares Alan’s commitment and dedication to the wonderful people of South Africa, who have so much potential and promise.

Prof Zukiswa Zingela

MBChB (UND) 1995, MMed (UP) 2003, FCPsych (SA) 2002, PhD Psychology (NMU)

Associate Professor and Head of Psychiatry at Walter Sisulu University and Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital
in Mthatha until the end of July 2021. This role included clinical and academic responsibilities, including
teachingandresearchresponsibilities across the Eastern Cape province for Psychiatry and Behavioural
Sciences for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Work Experience: In clinical and academic medicine for just over 25 years, with 23 of those working in
psychiatry, and 18 plus years as a specialist psychiatrist.

Interest and Contributions to Science: Previous research in the following subject areas:
• prevalence of HIV, the use of traditional healers by people living with mental illness
• the use of substances in those with mental illness
• the genetics of mental illness, ethical and consent issues in genetic mental health research
• healthcare worker mental health and
• more recently research in catatonia as a PhD candidate at Nelson Mandela University.
• Other recent projects include implementation of a mental health support program for Interns and a
support program for front-line health care workers during the COVID-19 outbreak across the Eastern Cape Province (South Africa). This culminated in the Sisonke Initiative which is a mental health
support program delivered in the form of Psychological Preparedness Training for frontline Healthcare Workers in Mthatha and Port Elizabeth during the COVID-19 outbreak.