Our History

The European Association for Palliative Care was established in Milan, Italy in 1988 and was the initiative of Professor Vittorio Ventafridda and the Floriani Foundation.  There were 42 founding members.

The aims of the organisation were to:

  • Create  and increase awareness of palliative care throughout Europe and beyond by advocating and educating European and local policymakers and stakeholders
  • Increase awareness and promote the development and dissemination of palliative care at scientific, clinical and social levels
  • Promote learning, development and research in palliative care 
  • Support scientific and educational events promoting the development of palliative care
  • Promote and sponsor publications or periodicals concerning palliative care
  • Bring together those who study and practice the disciplines involved in the care of patients with advanced disease (doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, and volunteers)
  • Unify national palliative care organisations and establish an international network for the exchange of information and expertise
  • Address the ethical problems associated with the care of the terminally ill 

The founding members recognised the importance of education as a tool for developing palliative care throughout Europe and in one of their early meetings, they made the decision to host the first EAPC World Palliative Care Congress in Paris, France in 1990.  At this early stage, the board recognised the important role of nurses and noted their essential role and impact on the development of palliative care in healthcare systems across Europe. The development of palliative care and the EAPC continued to progress as documented by Ventafridda-De-Conna-and-Blumhuber-in-1993.

Led by their shared vision for greater access and improved palliative care throughout Europe, Professor Ventafridda and his early board colleagues: Elisabeth Killander, Derek Doyle, Charles-Henri Rapin, Franco De Conno, Xavier Gómez Batiste-Alentorn, Jeanne Gray Simpson, Frances Sheldon and Giorgio Di Mola, established the foundations of what is now a successful and sustainable Europe-wide membership organisation, which has lobbied and advocated for, and positively impacted on, the development of palliative care throughout Europe and beyond. 

We are very appreciative of the vision and hard work of the founding members of the EAPC, our past presidents, our first CEO, Heidi Blumhuber, and her colleague, Amelia Giordano, and encourage you to follow the links to read more about our history.

Professor Philip Larkin

Nurse (Switzerland)

EAPC Board president 2015-2019

Professor Sheila Payne

Psychologist (UK)

EAPC Board president 2011-2015
Winner of the EAPC Award, 2017

Professor Lukas Radbruch

Physician (Germany)

EAPC Board president 2007-2011 Member of EAPC Social Media Team

Professor Marilène Filbet

Physician (France)

Professor Stein Kaasa

Physician (Norway)

Professor Geoffrey Hanks

Physician (UK)

EAPC Board president 1995-1999
Winner of the EAPC Award, 2003
1946-2013 Obituary

Professor Vittorio Ventafridda

Physician (Italy)

EAPC Board president 1989-1992
EAPC Board president 1992-1995
The biennial Vittorio Ventafridda Lecture takes place at each Research Congress
1927-2008 Obituary

  • Vittorio Ventafridda, Physician, Italy  (Chairman) 
  • Derek Doyle, Physician, United Kiingdom (Vice-Chair) 
  • Elisabeth Killander, Physician, Sweden replaced by Sonia Wallin, Nurse, Sweden (Vice-Chair)
  • Bernadette Woulters, Physician, Belgium (Vice-Chair)
  • Charles Henri Rapin, Physician, Switzerland (Secretary)
  • Rene Schaerer, Physician, France (Treasurer)
  • Javier Gomez Batiste-Alentorn, Physician, Spain replaced by Jordi Roca, Physcian, Spain
  • Frances Sheldon, Social Worker, United Kingdom 
  • Georgio di Mola, Physician, Italy
  • Renée Sebag-Lanoe, Physician, France
  • Stein Husebo, Physician, Norway replaced by Tor Jacob Moe, Physician, Norway
  • Jeannie Simpson, Nurse, United Kingdom
  • Supported by:
  • Franco De Conno, Physician, Italy
  • Vittorio Ventafridda, Physician, Italy (Chairperson)
  • Geoffrey Hanks, Physcian, United Kingdom (Vice-Chair)
  • Sonia Wallins, Nurse, Sweden (Vice-Chair)
  • Bernadette Wouters, Physician, Belgium (VIce-Chair)
  • Charles Henri Rapin, Physician, Switzerland (Secretary)
  • René Schaerer, Physician, France (Treasurer)
  • Michele Salamagne, Physician, France 
  • Frances Sheldon, Social Worker, United Kingdom
  • Tor Jacob Moe, Physician, Norway
  • Jordi Roca, Physician, Spain
  • Christian Deckers, Physician, Belgium 
  • Supported by:
  • Franco De Conno
  • Heidi Blumhuber
  • Geoffrey Hanks, Physician, United Kingdom (President)
  • Bernadette Wouters, Physician, Belgium (Vice-President)
  • Rene Shaerer, Physcian, France (Treasurer)
  • Friedeman Nauck, Physician, Germany
  • Tony O’Brien, Physician, Ireland 
  • Carlo Peruselli, Physcian, Italy
  • Verena Luchsinger, Nurse, Switzerland
  • Vittorio Ventafridda, Physician, Italy
  • Annette Welshman, Nurse, Italy
  • Charles Henri Rapin, Physcian, France
  • Michele Salamagne, Physcian, France
  • Jordi Roca, Physician, Spain
  • Carl Johan Furst, Physician, Sweden
  • Supported by Executive Officers:
  • Franco De Conno
  • Heidi Blumhuber
  • and assisted by Amelia Giordano
  • Stein Kaasa, Physician, Norway (President)
  • Xavier Gómez Batiste, Physician, Spain (Vice-President)
  • Charles Henri Rapin, Physcian, France (Vice-President)
  • Annette Welshman, Nurse, Italy (Vice-President)
  • Carlo Peruselli, Physician, Italy (Secretary)
  • Silvio Necchi, Accountant, Italy (Treasurer)
  • Friedeman Nauck, Physician, Germany
  • Tony O’Brien, Physician, Ireland
  • Annette Welshman, Nurse, Italy
  • Verena Luchsinger, Nurse, Switzerland
  • Michele Salamagne, Physcian, France
  • Carl Johan Furst, Physician, Norway
  • David Oliviere, Social Worker, United Kingdom
  • Marilene Filbet, Physician, France
  • Geoffrey Hanks, Physician, United Kingdom (Past-President)
  • Supported by Executive Officers:
  • Franco De Conno
  • Heidi Blumhuber
  • Stein Kassa, Physician, Norway (President) until 2005
  • Marilène Filbet, Physician, France (Vice-President) President 2005-2007
  • Philip Larkin, Nurse, Ireland (Vice-President)
  • Lukas Radbruch, Physician, Germany (Vice-President 2005-2007)
  • Andre Rhebergen, Sociologist, Netherlands (Secretary)
  • Silvio Necchi, Accountant, Italy (Treasurer)
  • Carlos Centeno, Physician, Spain
  • Francoise Porchet, Nurse, Switzerland
  • David Clark, Sociologist, United Kingdom
  • Tine de Vlieger, Nurse, Belgium
  • Augusto Caraceni, Pysician, Italy
  • Lucie Hacpille, Physcian, France
  • Pam Firth, Social Worker, United Kingdom
  • Katalin Hegedus, Psychologist, Hungary
  • Suppported by Exective Officers:
  • Franco De Conno
  • Heidi Blumhuber
  • Lukas Radbruch, Physician, Germany (President)
  • Sheila Payne, Psychologist, United Kingdon (Vice-President)
  • Andre Rhebergen, Sociologist, Netherlands (Secretary)
  • Silvio Necchi, Accountant, Italy (Treasurer)
  • Tine de Vlieger, Nurse, Belgium
  • Augusto Caraceni, Pysician, Italy
  • Pam Firth, Social Worker, United Kingdom
  • Katalin Hegedus, Psychologist, Hungary
  • Chantal Wood, Physician, France
  • Per Sjogren, Physician, Denmark
  • Michaela Bercovitch, Physician, Israel
  • Maria Nabal, Physician, Spain
  • Carol Tishelman, Nurse, Sweden
  • Esther Schmidlin Nurse, Switzerland
  • Franco De Conno, Physician, Italy (Honorary Director)
  • Suppported by Head Office:
  • Heidi Blumhuber
  • Amelia Giordano
  • Sheila Payne, Psychologist, United Kingdom (President)
    Per Sjogren, Physician, Denmark (Vice-President)
    Carlo Leget, Ethicist, Netherlands (VIce-President)
    Silvio Necchi, Accountant, Italy (Treasurer)
    Claudia Bausewein, Physician, Germany
    Michaela Bercovitch, Physician, Israel
    Marilène Filbet, Pyhsician, France
    Irene Murphy, Social Worker, Ireland
    David Oliver, Physician, United Kingdom
    Carlo Peruselli, Physician, Italy
    Tina Saarto, Physician, Finland
    Esther Schmidlin, Nurse, Switzerland
    Paul Vanden Berghe, Ethicist, Belgium
    Franco De Conno, Physician, Italy (Honorary Director)
    Supported by Head Office:
    Heidi Blumhuber
    Amelia Giordano
  • Philip Larkin, Nurse, Ireland (President)
  • Christoph Ostgathe, Physician, German (Vice-President)
  • Carlo Leget, Ethicist, Netherlands (Vice-President)
  • Catherine Walshe, Nurse, UK(Secretary)
  • Paul Vaunden Berghe, Ehicist, Belgium (Treasurer)
  • Mai-Britt Guldin, Psychologist, Denmark
  • Sebastien Moine, Physician, France
  • Daniela Mosoiu Physician, Romania
  • Irene Murphy, Social Worker, Ireland
  • David Oliver, Physician, UK
  • Joseph Porta Sales, Physician, Spain
  • Tina Saarto, Physician, Finland

Danilla Valenti, Physician, Italy
Franco De Conno, Physician, Italy (Honorary Director)
Supported by Head Office:
Julie Ling
Eleanor Blake