The funding climate for palliative care education initiatives continues to be very challenging. Studies have found that less than 0.2 percent of the annual budget of National Institutes of Health (NIH) support palliative care research.1 Medical schools nationally continue to provide inadequate training in palliative care and do not prioritize teaching about palliative care, especially at the clinical level. Lack of institutional funds limit individuals’ access to professional development and other educational programs.
The HMS Center for Palliative Care’s activities are sustained through tuition revenues, but we continue to seek funding for scholarships for our course, Palliative Care Education and Practice. We are grateful to the Open Society Foundations' Project on Death in America and Jane Weingarten and the late Dr. Charles Weingarten for their long-term commitment to scholarship funding. Special appreciation to the J. Andrew Billings, MD, Memorial Fund. Additional scholarship assistance, and support for our "patients-as-teachers" program, is provided by Partners HealthCare, Inc., the Jacqueline S. Alaimo Palliative Care Fund, and JoJo's Education Fund.
J. Andrew Billings, MD, Memorial Fund
The J. Andrew Billings, MD, Memorial Fund was established to recognize the memory of Dr. Billings, who co-founded the HMS Center for Palliative Care (HMS CPC) in 1999 and died in 2015. The fund supports scholarships for candidates from developing countries to participate in the HMS CPC's flagship course, Palliative Care Education and Practice (PCEP). Dr. Billings felt passionately about the need for global education in palliative care, and this fund is a fitting tribute to his memory and dedication to the field.
We invite you to consider a gift to this fund. All contributions will be used exclusively for PCEP international scholarship support and will be administered by a committee of the Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care designated for this purpose. Donations will be managed through the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and can be made at the following site: www.danafarber.org/billingsmemorial
1A National Strategy For Palliative Care. DE Meier, AL Back, A Berman, SD Block, JM Corrigan, RS Morrison. Health Affairs, 2017.