As part of our GCRF Project ‘Evaluating Community Palliative Care in Kerala, India’, the members of the project team gathered in Dumfries in November 2018, at the University of Glasgow School of Interdisciplinary Studies Campus, to kick off this new project with a series of workshops discussing strategy, research methods, and objectives for the project.
As part of this event, Professor David Clark, Dr Suresh Kumar, and Professor Devi Vijay met to discuss the current model of community palliative care in Kerala, its history, and achievements.
Professor David Clark
David Clark is Professor of Medical Sociology at the University of Glasgow’s School of Interdisciplinary Studies in Dumfries. He leads the Glasgow End of Life Studies Group, which he founded in 2014. David holds a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award for a five year study (2015-20) entitled Global Interventions at the End of Life. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern Denmark, and a Visiting Researcher at the University of Navarra, Spain. A Vice President of Hospice UK, David is also a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and has been a board member of the European Association for Palliative Care.
Dr Suresh Kumar
Dr Kumar is an acknowledged leader of the community based approach to palliative care services. At the Institute of Palliative Medicine in Khozikode (Calicut), he conceptualised and implemented a series of Neighbourhood Networks in Palliative Care for Kerala that became the foundation of a community-based and volunteer-driven movement that has spread across the state and beyond, engaging thousands of volunteers and community supporters, and also achieving recognition at the policy level. He is a major voice in the compassionate communities movement and a hugely influential figure in the promotion of palliative care for low and middle income countries.
Professor Devi Vijay
Professor Vijay’s current work examines inequality, vulnerable communities, and mobilisation, with a focus on healthcare. She has been tracing the evolution of the community-based form for palliative care in Kerala, and its translations to other geographies. She has recently co-edited, “Alternative Organisations in India: Undoing Boundaries” (Cambridge University Press, 2017), and has published in journals such as Public Management Review, Marketing Theory, and Journal of Marketing Management. She was awarded the Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (2016) and was a visiting fellow at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University during the grant period. Recently she has collaborated with the Glasgow group and published work on the transfer of the Kerala model to West Bengal, India.
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