The Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice

Liz Gwyther, MD, MBChB, FCFP, MSc

CEO & Chairperson, Hospice Palliative Association of South Africa

Mentor, International Palliative Care Leadership Development Initiative

Liz is currently CEO and Chairperson of the Hospice Palliative Care Association in South Africa, a position which has allowed her vision, medical background and admirable leadership qualities, to move an organisation from what could be perceived as a “charity”, to a credible, professional body that supports the 200 member hospices of South Africa. In addition to this role, she is a Director of Helderberg Hospice in Somerset West, the area in which she worked in private practice as a family practitioner prior to heading up St Luke’s Hospice in Cape Town. She is trustee of the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance (WPCA) and a director of the US National Hospice Palliative Care Organisation.

Liz has inspired and educated many palliative care professionals in her capacity as senior lecturer in Palliative Medicine at the University of Cape Town, her alma mater, where she obtained her MB ChB. She heads the Palliative Care Unit within the School of Public Health and Family Medicine. She is the convener for the postgraduate programmes in Palliative Medicine, responsible for research supervision and support for publications of the postgraduate students. Her special interests are women’s health and palliative care (in particular palliative care in HIV/AIDS) and human rights in health care.

Dr Gwyther obtained her MFGP, now FCFP, at the College of Medicine in SA, and received her diploma in Palliative Medicine, then her MSc in Palliative Medicine at the University of Wales. She is a Director of Pain SA and a Member of the Academy of Family Practice, South Africa.

Additional studies include Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, and Health & Human Rights at UCT, and at King’s College in London - Research Methods and Statistics in Palliative Care, Service Organisation and Policy in Palliative Care and Epidemiology in Palliative Care.

Dr Gwyther is a sought-after contributor to medical books and publications, and is regularly asked to present papers and workshops globally. Her hard work and credible profile has been instrumental in positioning palliative care as an essential human right in South Africa.

She has recently been awarded the SA Medical Association’s Gender Award for Human Rights in Health and the SA Institute of Health Managers Leadership in Health Systems award.