Susan Le

The Caregiver
Former Pace University student, Susan Le

Palliative care, medical care that provides comfort and relief to people with life-limiting illnesses, is standard practice in the United States, but physician assistant Susan Le ’17 learned about the scarce access and health care challenges in South Africa during a Pace-led international rotation. Inspired by her work at Victoria Hospital, Le and her former Pace classmates are raising awareness and funds for Abundant Life, a primarily donations-funded palliative care program that has helped more than 2,000 patients.

“It was such an amazing opportunity to be able to see and experience real health care challenges that we would not have been exposed to on any other rotation,” says Le of her time working with the internal medicine team.

In the US, palliative care a basic aspect of any hospital system, but in many countries—South Africa included—it’s availability to patients is limited. Because the need for this type of care is so acute, it was vital to create what is now a thriving program that brings humanity to those that deserve it.

“This program is called Abundant Life at Victoria Hospital, and it was actually created by one of the hospital’s physicians, Clint Cupido, because he saw a huge need for it,” says Le. “Many of the patients present with terminal illnesses and they have a very limited amount of resources there.”

Originally begun as a way to support and care for patients experiencing organ failure, Abundant Life has expanded its care to those living with cancer, HIV, TB, and more. The organization focuses on providing holistic care for the terminally ill and their families, including medical, psychosocial, and spiritual support.

“We have been able to experience the impact that Abundant Life has on this community,” Le says. “We were so lucky to be able to experience the workings of this program first-hand.”

Former Pace University student, Susan Le

Palliative care, medical care that provides comfort and relief to people with life-limiting illnesses, is standard practice in the United States, but physician assistant Susan Le ’17 learned about the scarce access and health care challenges in South Africa during a Pace-led international rotation. Inspired by her work at Victoria Hospital, Le and her former Pace classmates are raising awareness and funds for Abundant Life, a primarily donations-funded palliative care program that has helped more than 2,000 patients.

“It was such an amazing opportunity to be able to see and experience real health care challenges that we would not have been exposed to on any other rotation,” says Le of her time working with the internal medicine team.

In the US, palliative care a basic aspect of any hospital system, but in many countries—South Africa included—it’s availability to patients is limited. Because the need for this type of care is so acute, it was vital to create what is now a thriving program that brings humanity to those that deserve it.

“This program is called Abundant Life at Victoria Hospital, and it was actually created by one of the hospital’s physicians, Clint Cupido, because he saw a huge need for it,” says Le. “Many of the patients present with terminal illnesses and they have a very limited amount of resources there.”

Originally begun as a way to support and care for patients experiencing organ failure, Abundant Life has expanded its care to those living with cancer, HIV, TB, and more. The organization focuses on providing holistic care for the terminally ill and their families, including medical, psychosocial, and spiritual support.

“We have been able to experience the impact that Abundant Life has on this community,” Le says. “We were so lucky to be able to experience the workings of this program first-hand.”