Plenary Speakers


Associate Director, Palliative Medicine, Research & Education, OhioHealth Columbus, Ohio, Member, International Affairs Committee, ASCO International Program

Dr. Ferris has 34+ years’ experience in Palliative Medicine. Since 2001, he has focused on developing leadership skills and palliative care capacity in the USA and over 40 countries. He has directed multiple palliative care courses with ASCO International Affairs, including in Argentina, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Paraguay, Russia. Dr. Ferris is now focused on developing the Palliative Care Interdisciplinary Curriculum (PCIC), the next generation of curricular materials that will be available open access in English and several additional languages. Dr. Ferris trained in Internal Medicine and Radiation Oncology before he completed a fellowship in Pain and Symptom Control. He first set up and worked at the Temmy Latner Center for Palliative Care at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. In 1999 he moved to the USA where he first worked with colleagues to develop the largest academic hospice in the world at San Diego Hospice. Most recently he led the education and research activities of the rapidly growing Hospice and Palliative Medicine Services at OhioHealth in partnership with Ohio University, Ohio State University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus Ohio. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine (FAAHPM) and a Fellow and Past President of the American Association for Cancer Education (FAACE).

Director of the WHO Collaborating Center at Trivandrum, the Chairman Emeritus of “Pallium India” and Adjunct Professor of Global Oncology, Queen’s University, Canada

Dr Rajagopal, an anasthetist by training, wears many hats- He is the director of the WHO Collaborating Center at Trivandrum, the Chairman Emeritus of “Pallium India” as well as Adjunct Professor of Global Oncology, Queen’s University, Canada. His initiatives to remove regulatory barriers in availability of oral morphine for pain relief have contributed to the amendment of the NDPS Act of India in 2014, a Government policy on Palliative Care in the state of Kerala in 2008 and Government of India’s National Program for Palliative Care in 2012.

The international organization “Human Rights Watch” honored Dr Rajagopal with Alison Des Forges award at Los Angeles in November 2014. In 2017, a documentary film titled “Hippocratic: 18 experiments in gently shaking the world” based on Dr. Rajagopal’s contributions to palliative care was released by Moonshine Agency, Australia ( He was named one of the 30 most influential leaders in hospice and palliative medicine by American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine in 2017. In 2018, Dr Rajagopal was honored with Padma Shri. Dr Rajagopal recently published his memoirs called ‘Walk with the Weary’ ( Dr Eric Krakeur, associate professor of medicine at Harvard University said the book was the “best writing on palliative care that I have ever read, and among the best writing on medicine”.

Consultant Palliative Medicine Physician, Head of Palliative Care Unit, Hospital Selayang

Dr Richard Lim is a consultant palliative medicine physician and the head of Palliative Care Unit at Hospital Selayang, Malaysia. Dr Lim graduated from University Malaya in 1996, after which he became a member of the Royal College of Physicians, UK. He subsequently trained in the medical subspecialty of Palliative Medicine at the Sydney Institute of Palliative Medicine, Australia, in 2006. In 2007, Dr Richard Lim was appointed as a National Advisor in palliative medicine for Ministry of Health Malaysia and the Assistant Secretary at Malaysia Hospice Council. He has also led several committees for the development of the cancer pain clinical practice guidelines in Malaysia as well as the advanced diploma in palliative care programme under the Ministry of Health. His main interests include education in cancer pain management, end-of-life care and communication. His current focus is on the development of palliative care services throughout Malaysia.

Consultant Medical Oncologist and Palliative Care Consultant at Monash Health Services, Melbourne

Dr Jaclyn Yoong is a Medical Oncologist and Palliative care Physician. She is also the adjunct lecturer in Monash University Victoria and is presently providing services as a Professor. Dr Jaclyn has authored and coauthored multiple peer-reviewed scientific papers and has presented works at many national and international conferences. Her excellent work has acclaimed many recognitions from honourable subject experts around the world. Her research interests include Medical Oncology and Palliative Care.

Chief Executive Officer, Hospis Malaysia

Dr Ednin Hamzah is the Chief Executive Officer of Hospis Malaysia- the largest community palliative care service in Malaysia, a position he held since 1997. Dr Ednin graduated with a degree in medicine from the University of Newcastle, United Kingdom in 1986 and worked in internal and family medicine in the United Kingdom prior to returning to Malaysia in 1997.

Dr Ednin Hamzah teaches palliative care in several universities at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He sits on the Boards of several National and International Organisations and is actively involved in palliative care advocacy and development as well as cancer pain management both nationally and on the global stage. Dr Ednin Hamzah is the current Chairman of the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network and a member of the Board of Trustees for the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance.

Palliative Care Volunteer, Kuala Lumpur

IN 2017, Mr Mok started as a Tzu Chi Foundation community Volunteer involved in the charity, recycling and medical outreach mission. In year 2009 to 2011, he began visiting Hospital Kuala Lumpur Wisma Kayu as moral support for bedridden patient every weekend. He registered himself at Hospital Selayang volunteer as mobility library volunteer and after a meet up with Dr Cindy Teoh (Palliative Specialist at Selayang Hospital), Mr Mok was inspired to sign up as a Palliative Care Unit (PCU) volunteer as well as Kasih Hospice Volunteer. He has been actively involved in numerous volunteer work and at present holds duties as an education trainer for Pusat Jagaan Jing Yuen, committee (trainer) for UKCBS Universe Kindness Caring Buddhist Society and Committee for Hospital Crop (Selayang).

Visiting Senior Consultant Anaesthesiologist and Pain Specialist Selayang Hospital

Dr Mary Suma Cardosa is a Visiting Consultant Pain Specialist at Selayang Hospital, Malaysia. Graduated with MBBS from the University of Malaya in 1983, Dr Mary Cardosa went on to obtain the Masters in Anaesthesiology from the University of Malaya in 1991, the fellowship of the Australia and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (FANZCA) in 1993 and then subspecialized in Pain Medicine, becoming a foundation fellow of the ANZCA in 1999.

After completing her Pain Fellowship at the Pain Management and Research Center, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Dr Cardosa returned to Malaysia to set up the first multidisciplinary Pain clinic in Selayang Hospital in 2000, the first in the Ministry of Health (MOH). She went on to do further pioneering work in developing Pain services in Malaysia, starting the first cognitive behaviour therapy-based pain management program in Southeast Asia in Selayang Hospital in 2002. She was the key person in the implementation of “Pain as the 5th Vital Sign”, and “Pain Free Hospital” programs in the Malaysian MOH.

Dr Cardosa ran the Pain Services in Selayang Hospital from 1999 until her retirement from government service in 2016 – this included managing patient with acute (mainly postoperative) pain, cancer pain and chronic non-cancer pain. After retirement, she continued to work in the Hospital Selayang as a visiting consultant in the Pain Clinic and continued to be actively involved in teaching pain management to healthcare providers in Malaysia and other Asian countries.

Dr Cardosa is the President of the Malaysian Association for the Study of Pain (MASP) and a Council member of the International Association for the Study of Pain.

Executive Director for St Joseph’s Home, Singapore

Sister Geraldine Tan, a trained registered nurse by profession, is one of the pioneers of palliative care in Singapore and the Executive Director of St Joseph’s Home. It is one of the largest integrated long-term care facilities in Singapore, offering hospice care, therapy services, dusk to dawn services for dementia sundown syndrome, and an infant and childcare centre. Essentially, her dedication is to help progressively ill patients improve their quality of life. “The emphasis is living well before death, regardless of the prognosis of the medical condition.” Her interests are in care pathways and models, which encourage and enhance quality of life in patients with advanced illness, as well as palliative care training and education. Sister Geraldine’s dedication is also augmented by extensive knowledge garnered through undergraduate studies in Health Science (majoring in Nursing), ancillary programs in Palliative Care and Clinical Pastoral Care, including Oncology Nursing.

Sister Geraldine Tan has been a member of the Canossian Daughters of Charity since 1982.

DR.TOH TECK HOCK                                                                                                                                                      Paediatrician and the Head of the Clinical Research Centre (CRC) at Sibu Hospital.

Dr Toh is a Paediatrician and the Head of the Clinical Research Centre (CRC) at Sibu Hospital. In 2004, Dr Toh was a Professor for the SEGi University and Sunway University for undergraduate teaching and post-graduate research supervision. He was also a member for the Special Olympics Global Medical Advisory Committee and Asia Pacific Regional Clinical Adviser in Health Promotion®, and Vice President for the National Early Childhood Intervention Council. Besides general paediatrics, Dr Toh work in developmental-behavioural paediatrics and community child health and research on one-health infectious diseases and vaccine trials. He has collaborated with researchers in international institutions such as the University of Texas Medical Branch and Duke University in United States of America (USA), Fudan University (China) and institutions in Serbia, Singapore, the Netherlands and Malaysia. Dr Toh has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters and had spoken at various scientific meetings and conducted training throughout Malaysia and internationally. Besides scientific papers, he had published parent-teacher handbooks on ADHD, language development, breastfeeding, Chinese literary prose and stories, and children reading/colouring books. Amongst his many achievements, Dr Toh received The Outstanding Young Malaysian Award in 2010, the Malaysian Medical Association Public Service Award in 2014, Special Education Network in Asia Advocacy Award in 2018.

Vice Chairman and Medical Director of Penang Hospice Society

Dato Seri Dr Devaraj was conferred the Honorary Doctor of Letters degree in 2022 in recognition for his exceptional contributions and services to the medical community, notably in promoting cancer awareness and palliative care. Dato Seri Dr. Deveraj began his career as a medical officer with the Ministry of Health, Singapore (1952-1954) and then with the Ministry of Health, Malaya as a medical Officer in Johor. He subsequently served as a consultant physician in Kuantan, Alor Setar from 1959-1979, and was the Honorary Consultant Physician at Penang Adventist Hospital from 1979-1991. In academia, Dato Seri Dr Deveraj was appointed Chancellor of International Medical University from 2011 to 2013. He is the pioneer and father of palliative care in Malaysia and is still actively involved in palliative care work. He is Vice Chairman of National Cancer Society (Penang Branch) which launched Hospice and palliative care in Penang in 1992 and is the medical director and vice Chair of Penang Hospice Society since its formation in 2001. Having led the Malaysian Hospice Council as Chairman for many successful terms, Dato Seri Dr T Deveraj is currently advisor to the Malaysian Hospice and Palliative Care council.