Dignity in Care is gaining momentum around the globe with the aid of international research and collaboration. The worldwide team includes distinguished researchers and champions of dignity based in Australia, Europe and the United States.
Linda Kristjanson, BN, MN, PhD, FAICD, FTSE
Emeritus Professor Linda Kristjanson AO is a leading academic and researcher with a career spanning four decades. She is internationally recognised as a pioneer in palliative care research, receiving a Bethlehem Griffith Research Foundation lifetime achievement award in 2012.
Professor Kristjanson has received competitive research funding from national bodies in Canada (National Cancer Institute of Canada), USA (NIH) and Australia (NHMRC) and has published more than 300 refereed publications. She was vice chancellor of Swinburne University of Technology from May 2011 until her retirement in August 2020.
Professor Kristjanson is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering. She is currently non-executive director of Seek and president of the National Stroke Foundation. She is a member of the Australian Council for International Education and a non-executive director of Skalata Ventures, Education Australia, MinEx CRC, AURIN and Global Citizen Australia. She is a member of the Advisory Board for the AI Group Centre for Education and Training. She previously served on the National Health & Medical Research Council (2006-2009).
In 2002, Professor Kristjanson was named the Australian Telstra Business Woman of the Year in recognition of her entrepreneurial work in health and science, and was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours list. She was recognised for her distinguished service to tertiary education through leadership and governance roles, strategic and innovative university reforms, and contributions to cancer research, palliative care and to women.
Professor Kristjanson was appointed the Chair of the VCCC Alliance in July 2016.
Liz Lobb, BAE, M.App.Sci, PhD
Liz Lobb is Professor of Palliative Care (Allied Health) based at Calvary Health Care Kogarah, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Notre Dame, Sydney and in the Faculty of Health, University of Technology. Professor Lobb obtained her PhD in Psychological Medicine from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Sydney in 2001. She has worked clinically as a bereavement counsellor and educator for 24 years. In addition, as a behavioural scientist, Liz has worked in psycho-oncology and palliative care research for 23 years. She has established national and international research collaborations and pursued independent multi-disciplinary clinical collaborations in oncology, haematology, cancer genetics and palliative care.
Professor Lobb’s passion for palliative care and end of life research is motivated by a desire to provide enhanced evidence-based communication and psycho-social care across the cancer continuum from diagnosis, through treatment, remission and survivorship or relapse, palliative care and bereavement support for families and caregivers.
Sue Hall, BSc, PhD, CPsy
Dr. Hall studied Psychology at the Polytechnic of East London (now the University of East London) where she was awarded a first class degree and received a PhD in Health Psychology at King’s College London. Her first academic appointment was on a study exploring quality of life for patients with high grade brain tumours. For most of the next 11 years, she worked with the Psychology & Genetics Research Group, King’s College London, running national and international studies focusing on adjustment to serious negative life events, behaviour change, and facilitating informed choice. During this time she spent a year at the Centre for Health Care Research, at the University of Brighton as Research Fellow and NHS R&D Consultant.
In March 2006, she joined the Department of Palliative Care, Policy and Rehabilitation as Herbert Dunhill Lecturer in Palliative Care. Since retiring in 2012, Sue has had an honorary appointment at the Institute.
Dr. Hall’s research program also includes a new publication for the World Health Organization, Palliative Care for Older People: Better Practices, as well as studies of symptom burden for older people in care homes and end-of-life care in care homes.
Irene Higginson, BMedSci, BM, BS, FFPHM, PhD, FRCP
Professor Higginson is Professor of Palliative Care and Policy, and the Executive Dean of the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care at King’s College London. She is the Founding Professor of the Cicely Saunders Institute at King’s College London, the world’s first purpose-built Institute of palliative care, integrating research, education, clinical services and support and information. In 2013 she was awarded the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences, for her contribution to the field. She has several active research programmes, setup and now contributes to the MSc, Diploma and Certificate in Palliative Care, supervises several PhD students and is active in teaching.
Prof. Higginson has published over 700 articles in peer-reviewed journals, plus several books; her research interests and publications are in the following areas: quality of life and outcome measurements, evaluation of palliative care especially of new services and interventions, epidemiology, clinical audit, effectiveness, psychosocial care, symptom assessment, breathlessness, cachexia/anorexia, and care for older people. She plays an active role in the clinical services, including on-call. Prof. Higginson is the Scientific Director for the charity Cicely Saunders International. She is internationally known for extending palliative care beyond cancer, and for pioneering developments in breathlessness management, outcomes and home care. She is dedicated to ensuring research influences and improves care and practice to benefit those who need care, where ever they are.
William Breitbart, MD
Dr. Breitbart was Co-Investigator of a NIH-funded randomized control trial of Dignity Therapy that took place in Perth, Australia, New York City, U.S., and Winnipeg, Canada. His research on psychiatric aspects of palliative care has focused on interventions for anxiety, depression, desire for death and delirium in cancer and AIDS patient.
Dr. Breitbart is Chairman, and the Jimmie C Holland Chair in Psychiatric Oncology, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY. Dr. Breitbart is also Attending Psychiatrist, Palliative Medicine Service, Department of Medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Weill Medical College of Cornell University.
Linda Emanuel, BA, MA, PhD, MB, MD
Dr. Emanuel’s work includes ways to include Dignity Therapy as a standard palliative care service, particularly in hospices. She is also is the Founder and Principal of the Education in Palliative and End-of-Life Care Project and the Patient Safety Education Project.
Dr. Emanuel is a psychoanalyst with a general practice, working with adults and children. She has a special interest in people coping with serious illness and loss. She lives near Boston and works for the most part by videoconference with people wherever they are. Dr. Emanuel has a special interest in people coping with serious illness and loss that continues from her many years working as an academic internist in palliative medicine. She is a member of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and a Professor Emerita of Medicine at Northwestern University’s Medical School. Dr. Emanuel was formerly Director of the Buehler Center on Aging.