Fondazione Penta, For the Treatment and Care of Children with HIV Onlus (PENTA)

Fondazione Penta, For the Treatment and Care of Children with HIV Onlus (PENTA)

Fondazione PENTA is a not for profit research organisation set up in Padova in 2004 to support activities aimed at carrying out research on HIV and related infectious diseases. Thanks to its considerable expertise in EU-funded project management, it set up a framework agreement with Padova Hospital and currently runs several projects involving the Hospital, providing the necessary administrative support. In GAPP project it will manage the project on behalf of the investigators belonging to the Regional Centre for Pain Therapy and Paediatric Palliative Care.
The Regional Centre for Pain Therapy (PT) and Paediatric Palliative Care (PPC) ensures medical support to all children living in Veneto, who need palliative care or specialist pain therapy interventions. The Centre organises and coordinates the Regional Network of PT and PCC that links all regional health care providers to guarantee optimal medical support specifically designed for paediatric patients. In 2007 the first Paediatric Hospice was established, where a dedicated team provides medical assistance 24 hours for families and patients affected by incurable diseases when support at home cannot be provided for logistic and clinical reasons.
The team of the Centre performs more than 200 clinical visits, 265 regional pain therapy consultations, 3126 procedures carried out under sedo-analgesia. 150 children from the whole region are provided care by the team working in the Network.
The Centre represents a pain therapy national and European reference and has collaborated with the Italian Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation to define highly efficient strategy and management models, through an accurate optimisation of existing resources. It is also a centre for academic excellence as it organises the only Italian Master’s Degree course in pain therapy and PPC. Its main research interests comprise European mapping of paediatric palliative care, cost-effectiveness analyses of paediatric pain therapy, analgesics.

Main tasks in the project

Within the project, PENTA will be leading the Scientific Coordination of the Project (WP2) and coordinating the Project Scientific Committee (PSC) ensuring the fulfilment of the study objectives. PENTA will provide its expertise in the management of paediatric chronic pain for the definition of the clinical trial protocols. PENTA will also participate as recruitment centre in both clinical trials and in all the commonly shared activities of the GAPP project.

Involved staff

Franca Benini is a Medical Doctor, specialised in Paediatrics, in Anaesthesia and Intensive care medicine, in Neonatology and in Pharmacology. She has considerable expertise in Pain Therapy and visited world-renowned universities such as McGill University (Montréal) and Columbia University Health Sciences Campus. She is responsible for the paediatric pain therapy and palliative care Unit at Department of Paediatrics of University of Padova. She is coordinator of the Regional Centre of Excellence in Pain Therapy and Palliative Care where the first paediatric hospice was opened in 2007. She has been member of several Commissions, has been collaborating with the Italian Ministry of Health on a variety of projects. Francawas the major promoter of the first law guaranteeing access to PCC and PT in Italy (legge 38, 2010).

Alessandro Mazza is a Medical Doctor, specialised in Paediatrics who is currently working in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Padova Hospital. Alessandro has participated in several cooperation projects in East and West Africa.

Giorgio Cuffaro is a Medical Doctor. Giorgio collaborated to patient recruitment within the Department of Paediatrics of the University of Padova thus acquiring extensive experience on clinical trials.

Rebecca Lundin is an Epidemiologist with her doctorate in Social Epidemiology from the Harvard University School of Public Health. Her masters at the Tulane University School of Tropical Medicine and Public Health focussed on infectious disease epidemiology. She is experienced in scientific coordination and project management of late phase clinical trials from her work as Associate Director of Epidemiology at Pfizer, and currently works on various projects involving pediatric patients through the PENTA foundation.

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