NHPCO Welcomes New Fullbright Fellow, Lenka Vanova!
Hello everyone, my name is Lenka Vanova and I come to NHPCO as a Fulbright Fellow for the next four months. My educational background is in humanities and cultural management, which I did for more than five years, organizing exhibitions and other cultural events. At the same time, however, I was interested in the ways architecture and design can help people to age in place (and thus lessen the burden on public finance) and devoted my Ph.D. thesis to this topic. After graduation I found a position combining all of my various interests and qualifications and I started to work for a major hospice (a mobile palliative care unit) in Prague, called Cesta domu, as a public affairs coordinator.
Cesta domu is one of the oldest and largest hospices in the Czech Republic and besides providing direct care services to patients, we publish books, run the only Czech public library specialized in palliative care and last but not least, advocate for hospices and palliative care on the national level. And advocacy is what I want to learn here at the NHPCO as I admire the consistent work and comprehensive tools and support it provides to the hospice community. In the Czech Republic, hospice care is only being started to be covered by the public health insurance (as of January 1, 2018, in fact). While this was a major success, plenty is yet to be done. I believe that with an experience from NHPCO, I will be able to help advocate for US policies, but then take that experience home to help the Czech hospice and palliative care community to achieve its goals.