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2018/the year that was

As the end of another fantastic year at PCSA approaches, we find ourselves reflecting on achievements, milestones, challenges and changes. So much has happened over the last year. CEO, Tracey Watters wraps up the year’s highs and lows.

As CEO of your organisation I spend a lot of time collating numbers and looking at our information.  I understand the importance of what our numbers tell us, and I am confident they convey the story of a strong and growing organisation.

We have so much to celebrate this year, and we are thankful that you are part of our growing community. In 2018, over 1500 people attended a palliative care forum.  Another 150 people participated in the Dying to Talk rural program with a similar number attending the Say it Forward Advance Care Planning sessions across Metropolitan Adelaide.
We produced three issues of PalliativeProfileSA, a professionally printed newsletter posted to 1200 members, aged care staff, general practices, hospitals, health peak bodies, politicians, community centres and libraries.  It is electronically circulated to over 4000 Palliative Care supporters (‘P-Allies”).
National Palliative Care Week and National Volunteer Week ran simultaneously this year and given that over 450 palliative care volunteers make a profound impact on the daily loves of some of the most vulnerable South Australians, it is appropriate to showcase their contribution to care, not to mention palliative care services budget bottom lines.
Palliative Care volunteers are constantly interacting with the community and thus influence public attitudes to palliative care, dying, death, loss and bereavement – an objective of national palliative care week.
National Palliative Care Week’s focus was What Matters Most.  We disseminated over 5000 items including tea towels, pens and posters, hosted screening of Paper Trails, the documentary of the life of Anne Deveson, followed by a Q&A with Director Sari Braithwaite.
In terms of assuring quality palliative care, PEPA (Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach) Program Manager John McMahon has placed 103 clinicians from from all disciplines on four day clinical placements with specialist palliative care teams and facilitated 15 tailored palliative care workshops.
Palliative Care SA’s pre election lobbying and advocacy saw palliative care philosophy, value and development discussed across all media platforms since Christmas last year.  We were very excited by the Liberal Government’s $16M investment over the next four years.  There is still much to do in properly resourcing palliative care service provision and we urge the government to implement the full manifesto recommendations.
The pallcare website continues to be our most persistent vehicle for information with a consistent new user rate steady at 75% of all traffic.
Community engagement continues to be at the heart of all our efforts and it was encouraging to see Die-alogue Cafe and Say if Forward (advance care planning) sessions fully subscribed.
Hosted every two years, The Heart of the Matter: person-centred care and the patient experience drew a capacity crowd again and feedback indicates it was ‘the best conference’ yet. We remain grateful to keynote speakers, sponsors and attendees for their support in making it so.
These are just a few of the highlights. You can keep up with all that is happening by joining our e-news database. Email your details to pallcare@pallcare.asn.au if you wish to do so, or by following us on twitter and face book.
Thank you for your continued support and helping bring better palliative care to more South Australians.
Best wishes for a joyful holiday season.
Tracey Watters
CEO