The Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice

Leadership Development Initiative

We are excited to announce our new International Palliative Care Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) video!
This video shows the impact of this wonderful program on its participants and emphasizes the initiative's mission of advancing the international growth of palliative care.
Please visit our YouTube Channel to view this video in
full screen mode.
Press release announcing the LDI Video available here.


To Apply for Cohort 2, Read More…

Download an Overview of the Leadership Development Initiative (PDF 393KB)


“Being part of the Leadership Development initiative has really opened closed doors within me. Through being made aware of the closed doors and opening them, I am becoming a better leader who is not just focused on developing herself only, but others working with her. I have learned that I can develop the potential within me and also the potential within the other team members, thus making them effective leaders as well. This way, our organization is able to exhale,” LDI Participant


The International Palliative Care Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) aims to "grow global leaders… advance palliative care” through skill-building and mentorship of emerging palliative care physician leaders from around the world, including Africa, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. This initiative of the Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice (IPMSDH) is being funded by a grant from the International Palliative Care Initiative (IPCI), Open Society Foundations (OSF), New York, NY with additional support provided by the Office of International Affairs, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD (OIA NCI) and The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund (DPWMF).

The LDI builds on the foundational work that IPCI, OIA NCI, DPWMF, IPM and others have done around the world to increase palliative care capacity. Emerging palliative care leaders are identified who are motivated and positioned to take advantage of this structured skill-building initiative. The Initiative team anticipates that the physicians who participate in the LDI will become the next generation of national, regional and global palliative care leaders.

Overall Timeline: Over a five year period, two cohorts of emerging palliative care physician leaders will be chosen to participate in the Initiative. The first cohort will participate in the LDI from January 2010 to December 2011. The second cohort will participate in the LDI from January 2012 to December 2013.

Residential Courses: There will be three one-week residential courses in the first cohort. The second cohort starts with one two-week course, and continues with 2 other one-week courses during the Initiative. At each course, the participants, their mentors, the LDI team and invited faculty will gather to support leadership skill acquisition and development, particularly to augment understanding of what it means to be a global leader. There are several unique strengths of the course: personalized attention and guidance from the Regional Mentors, outstanding invited faculty, support of the LDI team members, peer engagement and networking and intensive focus on an evolving and more elaborate leadership role for the participant.

Individual Development Plans (IDP): Personal and customized Individual Development Plans will serve as a centerpiece of leadership development. As each participant comes to the LDI with different skills, experiences and goals, they will collaborate with their mentor, peers and members of the LDI Team to identify short and long-term activities which will extend their leadership skills and influence. To build depth and complexity into the process, each participant will complete a personal leadership skills assessment and analyze the situation in their own organization, region and country. Well utilized, the IDP will serve as a powerful document to guide leadership activities during the Initiative, and well beyond.

Ongoing Activities: In-between residential courses, participants and mentors will work closely. Participants will be asked to highlight leadership opportunities, to practice their leadership skills and to avail themselves of a number of educational opportunities and resources offered by the LDI team and faculty. Ultimately, throughout the time they are involved in the LDI, participants will have the opportunity to develop significant initiatives within their organizations, region, and nation and be empowered to step into global leadership.



To support the activities in their IDP, participants will have access to a wide range of resources, including:

Regional Mentors: A cadre of talented global leaders, practitioners and educators in palliative care will be LDI Regional Mentors to the participants in each cohort. Mentorship is one of the most powerful tools for professional and academic success, and is a unique feature of the Initiative. Participants and mentors will ‘meet’ at least every 3 months to review the past quarter’s activities and to look forward to the next quarter’s plans. Together, they will ensure the participant stays ‘on track’ with their established goals.

Local Mentors: Participants will also be encouraged to identify a cadre of local mentors who can be role-models, help them build their skills and achieve their goals.

Initiative Team: The Initiative Team at IPM and our collaborators at both IPCI and OIA NCI are deeply invested in the leadership development process and the success of each participant. In addition to being a resource to the participants and mentors, on-going activities and their outcomes will be closely monitored and nuanced to meet the needs of the emerging palliative care leaders.

Curricular Materials/Resources: As the project evolves, the LDI team will assimilate a wide range of resources and create a formal curriculum. From the outset, the evolving syllabus and resources will be available to participants and mentors at a private website. As these curricular materials and resources are ready for public consumption, they will be moved to a public open access website. All participants, mentors and faculty will be encouraged to contribute to the development of these unique resources. Resources that already exist on the internet will be collected and ‘linked-to’ through IPM’s International Palliative Care Resource Center,

LDI Community: For the duration of the LDI, participants and mentors will be asked to share and capture their experiences. The participants will journal their discoveries and developments that transpire during the Initiative in a private LDI workspace. Reflective assignments, participation in prepared educational materials, a moderated discussion group and accumulation of professional resources will serve as the basis for each participant’s final Leadership Development Project (see below). In so far that communication between the participants and mentors is a high value in the LDI community, the LDI team anticipates that participants and mentors will use internet-based communication tools like e-mail and Skype to keep in close contact.

Stipends: To support their participation in the LDI, each participant will receive a stipend from IPM each year for 2 years. These funds may be used to compensate salary while they are attending the course or to defray costs related to accomplishing the educational goals detailed in their Individual Development Plan (IDP), e.g., this might include travel costs to visit their mentor, support for a mentor to visit the participants home facility, or engaging in other individual skill building activities chosen for their potential contribution to the participant’s development plan. All plans and expenditures will need to be preapproved by the LDI team. These stipends will be used to pay for communication with the participant’s mentor.

Download the LDI Use of the Financial Stipend Guidelines (PDF 430KB)

Each regional mentor will also receive an honorarium from IPM for her/his role as a regional mentor.


Participants, regional mentors and the Initiative team will evaluate all aspects of the LDI. Formal evaluations will be sought during residential courses, semi-annually, and annually. As this is a pilot project, it will be critical to evaluate and document activities, capture experiences, rate effectiveness and provide feedback to strengthen all aspects of the Initiative.

Personal Project

By the end of the 2-year experience, each participant will write her/his personal ‘leadership story’ for publication. The LDI team anticipates that the stories will serve as models for many others who aspire to be leaders in palliative care, or other healthcare disciplines.

Long-term Strategy

As part of the LDI, IPMSDH plans to host a second cohort of physician participants and mentors from January 2012 to December 2013 to further develop and evaluate the curriculum and the mentorship process. Once the LDI matures, IPMSDH intends to offer this syllabus and mentorship opportunity to prospective palliative care leaders around the world through subsequent 2-year cohorts.

To Apply for Cohort 2, Read More…


Unprecedented Opportunity


The LDI presents an unprecedented opportunity to develop an innovative leadership development curriculum with the specific aim to "Grow Global Leaders... Advance Palliative Care." The resulting curriculum will likely have much broader application beyond palliative care. The resulting network will likely last long after participants complete their formal 2-year experience with the Initiative. IPM is excited to host the LDI and collaborate with so many to develop this innovative, precedent-setting initiative.

Cohort 1 Participants

  • Agnes Csikos, MD, Pecs University Medical School, Hungary
  • Anil Kumar Paleri, MD, Pain & Palliative Care Society, India
  • Bich Thuy Bui, MD, Haiphong Medical University, Vietnam
  • Do Duy Cuong, MD, MSc., Bach Mai Hospital, Vietnam
  • Folaju Olusegun Oyebola, MD, MBBS, DAWCS, MSc. Pharm & Therapeutics, MPhil. Palliative Medicine (UCT), Federal Medical Centre, Nigeria
  • Gayatri Palat, MD, MNJ Institute of Oncology and RCC, India
  • George Loy, MD, PhD, AIDS Relief Tanzania, Tanzania
  • Hanneke Brits MD, MB Ch B, M Fam Med, FCFP, University of the Free State, South Africa
  • Henry Ddungu MD, MB Ch B, MMed, African Palliative Care Association, Uganda
  • John Weru, MD, HDIP, PC, Nairobi Hospice, Kenya
  • Ladislav Kabelka, MD, PhD, St. Joseph´s Hospice and Pain Centre, Rajhrad, Czech Republic
  • Mohammad Bushnaq, MD, King Hussein Cancer Center, Jordan
  • Natalya Dinat, MD (Mos) FCOG (SA) M Phil Pall Med (UCT), PG Cert Pall Care (KCL), Gauteng Department of Health, South Africa
  • Ondrej Slama, MD, PhD, Masaryk Memorial Cancer Institute, Czech Republic
  • Patrick Akhiwu, MD, Delta Medical Centre, Botswana
  • Priyadarshini Kulkarni, MD, MBBS, DA, BCCPM, APHN, Cipla Palliative Care and Training Centre, India
  • Sofia Bunge, MD, Programa Argentino de Medicina Paliativa - Fundación FEMEBA, Argentina
  • Thanh Khanh Quach, MD, Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital, Vietnam
  • Urska Lunder, MD, PhD, University Hospital for Respiratory and Allergic Diseases, Slovenia
  • Vadim Pogonet, MD, PMSI Institute of Oncology, Moldova
  • Zipporah Ali, MD, MPH, Dip. Palliative Care, Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association, Kenya

Cohort 1 Mentors

  • Carl Johan Fürst                 , MD, PhD, Stockholms Sjukhem Foundation, Karolinska, Sweden
  • Daniela Mosiou, MD, PhD, Hospice “Casa Sperantei”, Romania
  • David Alan Cameron, MB ChB, M Prax Med, M Phil (Palliative Medicine), FCFP(SA), University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • Eric Krakauer, MD, PhD, Harvard Medical School, Center for Palliative Care, United States
  • Fraser Black, BSc, MD, CCFP, FCFP, Victoria Hospice Society, Canada
  • Liliana De Lima, MHA, IAHPC, United States
  • Liz Gwyther, MD, MBChB, FCFP, MSc, Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa, South Africa
  • Lukas Radbruch, MD, PhD, Malteser Hospital Bonn/Rhein-Sieg, Germany


  • Ron Cameron-Lewis, BA, AGSM, Communication and Media Consultant

LDI Leadership Team

  • Frank D. Ferris, MD, Director, International Programs
  • Shannon Moore, MD, Assistant Director, International Programs
  • Helen McNeal, BBA, Executive Director
  • Eileen Piersa, MS OD, MA, Manager, Special Projects
  • Melissa Poole, Administrative Assistant
  • Paula Brown, Administrative Assistant
  • Judi McCarter, MT, BS, MAS, Director, Grant Management
  • Diane Munson, MPH, Director, Grant Development
  • Linda Lloyd, PhD, MPH, Director, Center for Research
  • Stephanie Whitmore, BA, Coordinator, Research
  • Rick Nelesen, PhD, Statistician

Download an Overview of the Leadership Development Initiative (PDF 393KB)

Download the LDI Participant Guidelines (PDF 696KB)

Download the LDI Use of the Financial Stipend Guidelines (PDF 430KB)

To Apply for Cohort 2, Read More…


For Further Information:

International Programs
The Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice
4311 Third Avenue
San Diego, California 92103-1407 or