Joan Marston is based in South Africa and is presently an International Children’s Palliative Care Consultant with PaCCHI – Palliative Care for Children a Humanitarian Imperative; also ICPCN Global Ambassador for Children’s Palliative Care and Director of Education and Development for Sunflower Children’s Hospice in South Africa.
Joan’s background is in Nursing and Social Science and she has 22 years experience in palliative care for children – caring for children when the Executive Director of Bloemfontein Hospice and then founding the Sunflower Children’s Hospice in 1998 in Bloemfontein, South Africa, as well a regional network for life-limited children, the St. Nicholas Bana Pele Network, in 2009. As the national pediatric development manager for the Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa, from 2007 – 2010 Joan and her team developed a strategy for a national network of services , promoting the considerable growth of the number of children’s palliative care services for children in South Africa . During that time she was the Project Manager for a program to develop children’s palliative care Beacon centers in Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa.
In 2005 colleagues from 15 countries established the International Children’s Palliative Care Network, with Joan as the first Chairperson from 2005 – 2010, then become the first CEO from 2010- October 2016. The ICPCN now has membership in over 100 countries.
Joan was part of the group that developed the new Guidelines for Persisting Pain in Children, as well as Guidelines for Disclosure in Children, for WHO.
Married to Richard with two adult children living in the UK, and an active member of the Anglican Church, Joan is a Lay Minister in the Cathedral in Bloemfontein; and an Honorary Lay Canon of Blackburn Cathedral in Lancashire, England.
A committed advocate for children’s right to palliative care and pain relief, Joan believes that this can be achieved worldwide when people share knowledge and resources, and work together to expand access to palliative care for all children.