Skip to main content

Keynote speakers

Samar Aoun

Samar Aoun

Samar Aoun is Perron Institute Research Chair in Palliative Care at the University of Western Australia, Head of Palliative Care Research at Perron Institute, and Adjunct Professor at La Trobe University.
Samar advocates for a person-centred health and social care. Her research programs on supporting family caregivers at end of life and the public health approach to bereavement care have informed policy and practice at the national and international levels. Her work on social models in bereavement support has provided empirical evidence to strengthen the Compassionate Communities model of care. She co-founded the South West Compassionate Communities Network in 2018, and is leading the Compassionate Connector Program which has been embedded into practice by the health service.

Joachim Cohen

Joachim Cohen

Prof. Joachim Cohen is a social health scientist and a professor of the End-of-Life Care Research Group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

In the research group he is chairing a research program public health and palliative care.

He graduated in 2001 as a Master in Sociology and in 2007 as a PhD in Social Health Sciences.

His research has been awarded with the Kubler Ross Award for Young Researchers and the Young Investigator Award from the European Association of Palliative Care 2010. Both prizes were awarded to him, mainly because of his large-scale population-based and population-level cross-national research on end-of-life care.

Prof. Cohen has published over 150 articles in international peer reviewed journals, co-edited the Oxford University Press book: “A public health perspective on end of life care”.

Naheed Dosani

Naheed DosaniAs a palliative care physician and health justice activist, Dr. Naheed Dosani is dedicated to advancing equitable access to health care for people experiencing homelessness and marginalization. These efforts include founding the Palliative Education and Care for the Homeless (PEACH) at the Inner City Health Associates and serving as Medical Director for a regional COVID-19 Isolation/Housing Program in the Toronto area. He also serves as the Health Equity Lead at Kensington Health in downtown Toronto and as a palliative care physician at St Michael’s Hospital at Unity Health Toronto.
Dr. Dosani shares his passion for health equity through education and advocacy efforts that
include media, public speaking, social media and faculty appointments at the University of
Toronto and McMaster University. Dr. Dosani's research interests include care models for
people experiencing homelessness and access to palliative care among culturally diverse

Lena Sharp

Lena Sharp

Lena Sharp, RN, PhD, Head of Department at The Regional Cancer Centre, Stockholm-Gotland, in Sweden. She is past president and chair of the Advocacy working group of the European Oncology Nursing Society. Lena has been a cancer nurse since 1985. She has long experience in clinical cancer nursing, leadership, teaching and research.

Prior to taking up her post at the Regional Cancer Centre, Lena Sharp was the chief nursing officer and patient safety coordinator at the Department of Oncology at Karolinska University Hospital. Her focus areas in research are patient safety, communication, leadership, inequalities and cancer care organization.

Kate Lorig

Kate LorigProfessor Emeritus, Department of Medicine
Stanford University School of Medicine
Partner Self-Management Resource Center

Dr. Kate Lorig received her BS in Nursing from Boston University and her Doctorate in Public Health from the University of California Berkeley.  She is a faculty member at Stanford University School of Medicine and a partner in the Self-Management Resource Center.  She is also vice chair of the Evidenced Based Leadership Collaborative.
The focus of Dr. Lorig’s research has been the development, evaluation, and translation into practice of self-management programs in for people with multiple chronic diseases,  caregivers, diabetes, pain, and cancer survivors.  Programs are delivered by peers in small groups, via mail, and via the Internet.  Of special interest are factors in the development and translation of programs that make them available and used by large populations.    Dr. Lorig’s work is used widely in the United States and  more than 25 other countries. 

More information will follow soon!

Please contact:

Sarah Banks

Sarah BanksSarah BANKS is Co-Director, Centre for Social Justice and Community Action and Professor, Department of Sociology, Durham University, UK.  The Centre promotes participatory action research for social justice in partnership with community-based organisations. With the centre, she has developed ethical guidelines for participatory research and offers training/events for academic and community-based researchers. She has coordinated several participatory research projects, including research on debt, poverty and community development, and leads the Ethics Working Group of the International Collaboration for Participatory Health Research. She is co-editor of Ethics in Participatory Research for Health and Social Well-Being (2019) and Co-Producing Research: A Community Development Approach (2019), and co-author of Participatory Research for Health and Social Well-Being (2019).

Liesbeth De Donder

Liesbeth De DonderLiesbeth De Donder is Professor Adult Educational Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel where she teaches the course “Civil Society and Community Development” and three courses on “Research Methodology”. Her research focuses on social participation and inclusion of older adults, active caring communities, with a particular interest in participatory methodologies (peer-research, co-construction and action research). She is promotor of the Compassionate Communities Centre of Expertise and coordinates the research line “Community Development and Change” in the research group Belgian Ageing Studies. 


Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin

Since August 2018, Philip Larkin has held the Kristian Gerhard Jebsen Chair of Palliative Care Nursing within the Palliative and Supportive Care Service of the University Hospital Centre (CHUV). He also directs the Master of Science in Advanced Nursing Practice at the Institute for Higher Education and Research in healthcare (IUFRS), University of Lausanne.

An Irish national, Philip Larkin has over 30 years of experience in the palliative care sector, both clinically and academically. He has become an important figure in the field in Ireland and elsewhere: As Professor of Palliative Care at University College Dublin, he has led the development of the All Ireland Institute for Hospice and Palliative Care, a public health project bringing together The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to improves palliative care outcomes for all citizens. He was President of the European Palliative Care Association (EAPC) from 2015 to 2019.

His research has focused on access to palliative care for vulnerable populations, with a particular focus on patients with mental health issues, disability, children and palliative care needs in rural isolation, groups often marginalized in accessing palliative care. The place of compassion in palliative care is also part of his academic scholarship.

He currently leads a palliative care nursing research team at the CHUV and continues to lecture nationally and internationally on nursing care, palliative care and compassion in care.

Ruth Raes

Ruth RaesRuth Raes is a professional coach and consultant. As a guide in learning and change processes, the quintessence of her style is to trigger awareness. For over twenty years, Ruth also holds leadership positions. Today, she manages Netwerk Levenseinde, homecare network in palliative care. She is a transition coach in the change process in first line healthcare and welfare in Flanders and president of the ‘Eerstelijnszone Vlaamse Ardennen’. Co-founder of Villa Rozerood. Previous positions at Quintessence Consulting, Ogilvy Group, Alcatel and Vlerick Business School. Ruth holds a master-degree both in business management (Vlerick Business School) and public administration and management (UGent).

Merel Visse

Merel VisseMerel Visse (Ph.D.) advocates and contemplates care, the humanities and the arts. She serves as the Director of the Medical and Health Humanities Program at Drew University in the U.S.A, and she is also an associate professor of Care Ethics at the University of Humanistic Studies in The Netherlands. As a published author, examples of her books are Evaluation for a Caring Society (2018) and A Paradigm of Care (2021). She serves on the editorial board of Landscapes: the Arts, Aesthetics and Education (Springer). Together with Dr. Elena Cologni, she facilitates the Art & Care Sessions of their Art & Care Platform. Please visit