Getting started in Romania (Eastern Europe)
The first palliative care services in Romania were launched in 1992 by a non-governmental organisation called Hospice Casa Sperantei (HCS) in Brasov. Education was suggested as a way to spread the palliative care concept nationwide, reports Dr. Daniela Mosoiu. HCS decided to build its own educational centre, which was completed in 1997. It applied for an EU Phare grant to design the curriculum for a multi-disciplinary palliative care education in partnership with Ellenor Foundation, UK, and Greenwich University, UK, which were responsible for designing the curriculum and providing the trainers. A simultaneous Open Society Institute grant paid for furnishing the library, so that the building could become a real resource and study centre.
A modular, 12-week course was offered over a period of 18 months, with face-to-face training, self-study and personal reflection. Ten doctors and eight nurses, who were dedicated to and genuinely interested in palliative care, attended. Although the course was accepted by the Ministry of Health’s postgraduate training department, no official diploma was attached. For those interested, a train-the-trainer curriculum was also presented, Dr. Mosoiu says.
By 1999, the centre was equipped, trainers were prepared and curriculum was adapted, although there still was no official accreditation. HCS organized an advocacy conference in 1999, bringing together the trainers, supporters from two universities, representatives of the national post-graduate training center and the colleges of medicine, nursing and pharmacy, and the mass media. Workshops were organised around the three elements of the World Health Organization’s triangle: legislation, education and policy.
There were debates, especially on the legislative side, but there was also a strong commitment to recognise palliative care as a medical discipline. Timing was perfect, as it was before the renewal of the national catalogue for medical specialties and subspecialties. Palliative care was included in this catalogue as a subspecialty. In 2000, the first ten national diplomas were awarded to those who had completed the course and the first trainers were officially recognised. HCS’s study and resource centre was nominated as the national resource and training centre for the new subspecialty of palliative medicine.
Establishing a permanent base for operations and a tangible physical presence in the community can be hard when you are working with a volunteer board and do not have resources to set up and furnish an office for your association. There are, however, some simple and inexpensive solutions that you can do to make yourself available to the public.
Setting up an office
Setting up a new office is a challenging task that includes several steps, starting with finding the right location, identifying the right lease, designing a workplace, and deciding whether to buy or rent the equipment and services you'll need to run your organisation. Tips for telecommuting are also included. This webpage, offered by Inc.com, the daily resource for entrepreneurs, provides step-by-step guidance for the process of setting up an office and links to advice from Buyer's Guides and other tools from Inc.com.
Small organisations often share space with another business or organisation. This is often a cost-effective way to share an office, equipment and resources. However, there are pros and cons to the co-tenant arrangement, and those considerations are discussed in this section.
It is always important to consider your neighbours when moving into a space of your own. Strategic neighbours can help you achieve your goals by making mutually beneficial arrangements. This document gives tips on thinking about your space and how potential strategic neighbors, whether key service providers, an association management firm or even the office of one of your board members, can help.
Sharing Solutions - Considering Office Mates
This link offers discussion from an association management listserv, with advice from associations that share space with another organisation. This real-life information can help you decide the pros and cons of sharing office space and equipment.
Funding your association
There are several ways to fund your organisation. To learn more, please go to Next steps, Resources and fund development.