From his early years as a pediatrician, Dr. Miguel Bayona realized that his career was about improving the quality of life of his patients. During one of his first rounds, he assessed a patient with a bone tumor that was causing her severe pain, and when he was unable to find a way to alleviate it, he discovered that pediatric palliative care could be the field of medicine that could help relieve the suffering of his patients and their families.
Bayona received his medical degree in 2004 from the Rafael Nuñez University in Cartagena, Colombia. He completed his training as a pediatrician at the Universidad Surcolombiana in Neiva, Colombia, in 2011, and then obtained his Masters in Pediatric Palliative Care at the University of La Rioja in Spain in 2018.
He is currently the leader and founder of the Pediatric Palliative Care Team at the Hospital Universitario Hernando Moncaleano Perdomo in Neiva, Colombia; a highly complex institution with an area of influence of approximately 3 million people, serving vulnerable populations such as low-income, displaced and indigenous people. It is the only institution in the region that cares for pediatric oncology patients.
Bayona is also a guest professor in the Postgraduate Course in Pediatrics at the Universidad Surcolombiana and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Asociación Cuidados Paliativos de Colombia - ASOCUPAC for the past two years.
His interest in the Masters in Global Child Health program at St. Jude stems from his desire to improve the quality of life of his cancer patients, where he believes that through a supportive and palliative care perspective it is possible to identify and influence those social and other determinants that can improve their survival. Similarly, through the creation of health networks (patients, caregivers, volunteers, government agencies and health institutions) it is possible to improve the incipient pediatric palliative care currently provided in Colombia.
Hometown: Bucaramanga, Colombia
MSc – Pediatric Palliative Care, Universidad de la Rioja, España (2018)
Pediatrics Degree – Universidad Surcolombiana. Neiva, Colombia (2011)
Medical Degree – Universidad Rafael Nuñez. Cartagena, Colombia (1997)