Board Members

Dr Margie Venter

Chairperson

is a clinical oncologist who after completing the Palliative Care Diploma at UCT in 2016, transitioned to working solely in palliative care. She coordinates a palliative care network in Stellenbosch, bringing together the required multidisciplinary team, caring for patients with advanced illness. She has a special interest in communication around serious illness.

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Dr Louise Walker

Vice Chairperson

is a medical officer in the Greys Hospital oncology department in Pietermaritzburg. She works within the structures of the oncology clinic to provide oncologic care integrated with palliative care and runs a dedicated palliative care clinic for oncology patients once a week. 

She completed her MSc in Palliative Medicine through Cardiff University in 2018 with her research focusing on cross-cultural and cross-language communication, specifically breaking bad news. 

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Dr Jayne Cunnigham

Secretary

is a medical doctor working within the State sector in the Helderberg region. She qualified from WITS University and then went on to obtain post graduate diplomas in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, The Management of HIV and in Palliative Care (2016).

She currently works in her local hospital in the HIV OPD as well as coordinating  the provision of Palliative Care to in hospital patients. She also volunteers at Helderberg Hospice in Somerset West.

Her passion is teaching undergraduates some of the skills necessary for providing good Palliative Care.

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Dr Julia Ambler

TREASURER

has been working in paediatric palliative since 2003. In her current role at Umduduzi – Hospice Care for Children in Ethekwini, KZN she provides care and support to children with serious illness and their families. She is also a sessional lecturer in the paediatric department Nelson Mandela Medical School, UKZN.

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Dr Teresa Swart

BOARD MEMBER

is an experienced  GP in Durbanville. She completed her Masters in Palliative Care in 2011. She  works with a multidisciplinary team to provide comprehensive palliative care to patients in Durbanville and surrounds.

She is passionate about educating patients, families, students and health care workers about palliative care and the positive impact it can have on  a patient’s experience of their disease.

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Dr Mfanelo Sobekwa

BOARD MEMBER​

is a general practitioner working at the Gauteng Centre for Palliative Care at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital and as a Palliative Care lecturer at the University of Witwatersrand’s Faculty of Health Sciences. He completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Palliative Medicine and currently pursuing his Masters. He has great passion for clinical palliative care, teaching and research. 

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Dr René Krause

BOARD MEMBER​

is a Family Physician with a masters degree in Palliative Medicine and a postgraduate diploma in Health Professional education. She is currently a senior lecturer in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health (University of Cape town) and convenor of the postgraduate diploma in Palliative Medicine. She is also a new elected board member of APCA, the African Palliative Care Association.

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Dr Mark Hosking

Board member

is a family practitioner who has provided Palliative Care in the Helderberg Basin for over 20 yrs. He works closely with all Specialists and can co-ordinate care under the umbrella of Helderberg Palliative Care Centre   (Hospice).

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Dr Colleen Cox

BOARD MEMBER​

is a clinical oncologist in KZN who has studied further in palliative care. She has a particular interest in the provision and co-ordination of holistic patient-centred care to patients with advanced cancer and their families. She works mainly in private practice in Durban North/ Umhlanga but also supports palliative care services in the state sector and in her community, as well as being on the provincial and local district task teams to promote the Department of Health’s rollout of palliative care in KZN.

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Dr Raksha Balbadhur

BOARD MEMBER​

completed her MPhil in Palliative Medicine in  2017. She masters thesis was on “Understanding the Dignity Experience and Exploring the Impact of Dignity Therapy and Guided Imagery on Patients with Advanced Disease – a South African Perspective.”
 
She fulfils the following roles:
  • Steering Committee Member of Palnet KZN
  • On the Task team for Ethekweni Palliative Care Initiative in KZN (PETT)
  • Chairperson of the Values in Healthcare Association of SA
She is also a meditation teacher.
 
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Dr Thiloshini Govender

BOARD MEMBER​

is a Public Health Medicine specialist and runs the Occupational Medicine Service at King Dinuzulu Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal. 

She completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Palliative Care in 2015 at the University of Cape Town. Since then she has been actively involved in promoting Palliative Care at her institution, district and Provincial levels. This has been achieved by integrating Palliative Care in the management of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis at the KwaZulu Natal Provincial Treatment Centre and is a member of the District and Provincial Palliative Care Task Teams. She has been involved in Palliative Care training and advocacy work.

She is currently pursuing her PhD in the Integration of Palliative Care and Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis at the University of KwaZulu Natal.
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Dr Susan de Bruin

BOARD MEMBER​

is a Palliative Care Practitioner at Sungardens Hospice in Pretoria. In 2009 she completed the palliative medicine diploma and been practising palliative medicine full time for the last 10 years.

She prefers seeing patients in their own homes and has a special interest in pain management and emotional care of the patient and family members.

She likes working with colleagues from smaller towns (country side) to guide them in caring for their palliative patients.

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Dr Daleen van Jaarsveld

BOARD MEMBER​

is a Clinical Pharmacologist with special interest in Palliative care and rational drug use in palliative care patients. She obtained a Masters in Palliative Medicine in 2018. Currently she is an affiliate lecturer at the UFS, Department of Oncology. She works as palliative clinician, seeing patients in the private and public sector in Bloemfontein and advises colleagues all over the Free State on symptom management.

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Dr Pelisa Ford

BOARD MEMBER​

is a clinical oncologist and palliative care physician in an independent private practice in Port Elizabeth. With most of her career having been in public service until 2018, she is still very much connected to the greater healthcare community in the region, and provides support wherever she can.

She disseminates the palliative care philosophy through participation on the NMU health faculty, health industry ethics boards, industry seminars and institutional committees. She is a champion for equitable and affordable access to pain management.

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Dr Shannon Odell

BOARD MEMBER​

has completed her MPhil  in Palliative Medicine at UCT and is currently working as a palliative medicine physician in private practice in the Southern suburbs of Cape Town. She has several years experience in an inpatient hospice/ step-down setting and is also a part-time lecturer at UCT for the postgraduate diploma in Palliative Medicine. 

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