Message from the ILC Chairperson – Professor Alison Kitson

It has been a momentous year for the ILC in 2023. We completed our first full year of independent operation after being officially incorporated as an association in late November 2022.  We had a successful conference in Portland, Maine USA, with a wonderful host, one of our Founding Partners, Maine Medical Center. We were pleased to have 150 people in person and another 50 on-line for the conference. The feedback was positive and gave us ideas of improvements in the program.

I cannot thank Maine Medical Center’s Dr Devin Carr and his assistant Rosa Lapin, enough. They hosted a well-attended and productive conference and Leadership Program with a large contingent from Maine Medical Center, a good representation of Canadian and European colleagues, and the intrepid Australian and New Zealand ILC Members who made the big trek across the Pacific Ocean.

The Fundamentals of Care Leadership Program was held straight after the Conference with 30 participants. Once again, a great cohort of Maine Medical Center attended, and it was fantastic to see almost the entire leadership of a major hospital all discussing fundamental care and how they can transform the way they deliver care to their patients. There are some very exciting projects underway with mentors across the ILC global community providing wise advice and feedback.

The Portland, Maine Leadership Program was the second to be run, and the two and a half day intensive workshop format showed how effectively you can inspire, coach and support people to step up to a leadership role for fundamental care. So, when it came to an opportunity to run the program a third time in just 18 months in Australia this time (the first was in Oxford June 2022), the team delivered a polished and refined workshop to 53 people from Australia, New Zealand and Japan. We have now put 96 people through the ILC FoC Leadership Program. We have designed an evaluation to track our alumni for the next few years to gauge the impact of our program.

We have been steadily building our membership, with a good response to our Organisation Member offering. We are attracting health, disability and aged care organisations, and universities to join up.

After many months of planning and review, our new website was launched in November, improving the Member experience and introducing efficiencies for the ILC Support Team.

One of the most important initiatives of the ILC has been to establish our Regional Networks. These structures facilitate ILC members and others to share information, collaborate and advocate for fundamental care in their region. We have great plans to grow the Regional Networks and have them help produce tools and resources for Members to use in their advocacy, teaching, practice and research activities for fundamental care. Thank you to Convenors/Facilitators – Cath Aspinall (Asia/Pacific), Mette Groenjaer and Asa Muntlin (Europe, Africa, Middel East) and Devin Carr, Lianne Jeffs and Nely Amaral (The Americas) – and to all who hosted meetings or contributed during the year.

Our other key governance structure established during the year was the Strategy & Policy Forum. This replaces the Steering Committee as the main advisory and advocacy group for the ILC. The Strategy & Policy Forum will provide leadership in development of Position Statements and advocacy to achieve our vision of transforming care globally by valuing and prioritising person-centred fundamental care.

I am grateful to Prof Dave Richards, who initiated the establishment of the Research Special Interest Group. They have developed and implemented a survey to capture current and past activity in research on the fundamentals of care. We expect great things from this group of fundamental care researchers.

And lastly, I am delighted to have participated in the development of our first Strategic Plan during 2023. This important document will guide the work of the ILC for the next five years. You can see the plan here (link)

My fellow Interim Management Committee members, – Devin Carr, Tiffany Conroy and Jenny Parr – helped steer the fledgling association through many critical set-up activities with our ILC Support Team of Kathy Mott and Gen Moss. We now have elected of nine people, who are an international powerhouse for fundamental care and guiding the ILC through the next few years. Thank you to all my colleagues in the ILC, you have made this a truly incredible year for everyone involved in striving to embed person-centred fundamental care in practice globally through education, research, advocacy, and policy.

I am certain 2024 will be another amazing year for us as an organisation. We are growing rapidly and have much to accomplish over the next five years together, to see a significant shift in the delivery of fundamental care globally. A major initiative for 2024 will be the launch of our ILC Erik Sorenson Foundation Fellowship Program, named to honour our colleague Erik Sorenson who was so instrumental in furthering the cause of fundamental care in Denmark and internationally. Our first ILC Foundation Fellow will be Dr Rebecca Feo of Flinders University. Further information about the Fellowship Program is included in the newsletter.

Professor Alison Kitson