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International Women's Day 2014

The theme of International Women’s Day 2014 on 8th March is ‘Inspiring Change’.

Dame Cicely Saunders was an inspiring pioneer in the field of palliative medicine. Through her work as founder of St Christopher’s Hospice and establishing hospices all over the world, she transformed the way in which we care for the ill, dying and bereaved. She believed in ‘total care’ and the importance of treating patients with compassion, dignity, and respect.

Dame Cicely worked actively for the creation of a centre of excellence housing clinical care, research, and education, including palliative care courses and information provision. The mission of the cicely Saunders Institute established in her name is to pioneer the very best in palliative care and rehabilitation by integrating cutting-edge research, skilled multi-professional care and innovation in engagement and education.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day this year, we congratulate Dr Fliss Murtagh for her recent achievement of a Readership in Palliative Care, and Dr Gao Wei on her promotion to Senior Lecturer and award of an honorary membership for the UK’s Faculty of Public Health.

We also celebrate Professor Irene Higginson’s election as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in May 2013, for outstanding contribution to advances in human health and welfare. Few women in science have attained this accolade; out of 1094 Fellows only 162 are women. Professor Higginson is the only Fellow with a background in palliative care.


Copyright photograph by Derek Bayes