Mabel is a Brazilian psychologist working at INCA - Instituto Nacional de Cancer, the National Cancer Institute, in Rio de Janeiro.
INCA is a public service within the SUS network - SUS stands for Unified Health System. It's not a single hospital, actually, it's an institute that behaves as an organ of the Health Ministry. Meaning INCA not only offers health assistance, but also professional education and research, as well as build public policies in the field of cancer.
The institute has four units for direct health assistance. Mabel works in one of these units where they deal exclusively with palliative care cancer patients, meaning, the ones to whom the aggressive treatments have no further benefits because of the advanced stage of the disease and/or the frailty of the patient's organism. Mabel and her colleagues therefore manage symptoms and offer quality of life during the remaining period of their patients' life.
Apart from from her work as a psychologist among patients and their families, Mabel, also works as a lecturer in the health residence training programs.
In the wake of the corona outbreak in Brazil, Mabel initiated a hospital choir performing Brazilian music via remote call technology, bringing the staff together to participate in the life affirming expression of song and a celebration of human tenacity.
I met Mabel on the beautiful island of Crete during the Film Festival of Ierapetra that she was attending with her husband and filmmaker Leo Santos who was here on the show the week before. Mabel has one of the most resounding laughs I have ever come across, melting all ice. It is therefore my absolute pleasure to have her on the show today.
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