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Prof Downing appointed as a Visiting Professor at University of Belgrade

12 May 2017
  • Prof Julia Downing, 2nd from left, was made an honorary professor at the University of Belgrade

Prof Julia Downing was recently appointed as a Visiting Professor at the University of Belgrade in Serbia.

Wednesday 10th May saw the inauguration of Prof Julia Downing as a Visiting Professor at the University of Belgrade in Serbia. Julia, the Chief Executive of the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) and Professor at Makerere University in Uganda, worked in Serbia for 3 ½ years on an EU funded project: ‘The Development of Palliative Care Services in the Republic of Serbia’ (managed by a consortium led by Oxford Policy Management) and is delighted that she has the opportunity to continue to work with her colleagues in Serbia.

The inauguration took place at the Hotel Zlatnik in Zemun. The inauguration was undertaken by the Vice Dean of the University Prof Dr Tanja Jovanović and following this Julia gave her inaugural lecture on ‘Key Principles of Palliative Care and Symptom Assessment’. The lecture was part of a study day looking at different aspects of palliative care in different settings, and included talks on: Pain assessment and management by Prof Dragana Jovanovic, (Head of Thoracic Oncology and ILD Dept. University Hospital of Pulmonology Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade), the management of neuropathic pain by Dr Snezana Bosjnak (Clinical Oncologist, Institute of Oncology and Radiology (IORS), Belgrade) and psychosocial issues in pain management by Dr Snezana Mijalkovic, (Consultant Psychiatrist), along with others. The day was supported by Avitas and organised by Prof Dr Dragana Jovanovic and Dr Zoran Andric on behalf of Respiratory Society of Serbia, and attended by over 150 participants, including members of the multi-disciplinary teams, those working in hospitals and in Dom Zdravija and home case teams. Julia was excited to be able to meet existing colleagues and hear how they are progressing with the implementation of palliative care in their workplaces. 

During her visit in Belgrade, Julia took the opportunity to meet with others involved in palliative care in Serbia, including Vera Madzgalj and Mijodrag Bogicevic from BELhospice and was encouraged to hear about the summer school taking place this week on Divcibare Mountain facilitated by colleagues Dr Natasa Milicevic and Dr Leonida Mirilo. Julia also had the opportunity to be able to talk with Tamara Kilkovic (University of Psychology) and Dr Lejla Paripovic about the ongoing need to develop children’s palliative care and how ICPCN can support them in this endeavour over the coming months.

Following her inauguration Prof Downing commented “I feel privileged to have been appointed as a Visiting professor at the University of Belgrade, and am delighted that they have been committed to the integration of palliative care into their programmes and look forward to continuing to work with them in the future. It has been a great opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues and to hear about the ongoing development of palliative care in Serbia.”

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