Phase 3: Working to Improve the Quality of Living and Dying in Canada Through Renewal, Revitalization, Expansion and Community Engagement

Categories: Policy.

To further strengthen Pallium initiatives across Canada a new National Academic Outreach (NAO) office has been established at the Bruyère Research Institute, Ottawa.  “The new NAO office, and the PFC initiatives, funded through the Gillin Family Foundation, will be the first point-of-contact and coordinating centre for communication, engagement, knowledge translation, organizational access to Pallium Project resources, academic continuing education program inquiries and other service requests for Pallium stakeholders and collaborators” said Dr. Pereira.

The NAO office will be led by the co-founding PFC Directors Drs. Pereira and Chary. After 11 years on the Project, Founding Director Michael Aherne has stepped down. The newly appointed National Director of the Pallium Program is Dr. Kathryn Downer. Dr. Downer brings over twenty years of professional expertise in adult education, research and administration across gerontology and hospice palliative care programs in Canada and the United States.

The Canadian Pallium Project (the Project) established in 2001 had an initial focus on rural settings, primarily through education of rural physicians, nurses and pharmacists. Pallium Phase 1 had two main deliverables; the development of a strong palliative care network across the western provinces, and the development and implementation of a standardized interprofessional Palliative Care course for family physicians, nurses and pharmacists in the community. Numerous courses were presented throughout rural areas of the provinces educating hundreds of health professionals.

In 2003, the Pallium Phase 2 received $4.2 million from Health Canada’s Primary Health Care Transition Fund to broaden its scope beyond rural regions and extend its catchment across western, northern and eastern Canada, including Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. The funding for Pallium Phase 2 (2003-2008) supported a total of 72 sub-projects.

Pallium Phase 2 projects included courses for primary healthcare professionals, education programs for chaplains, clinical decision support resources including the Pallium Palliative Pocketbook and the 99 questions for nurses on Palliative Care.  An online commons for resources was created and existing programs were enhanced including a Grief and Bereavement Program for children in rural Manitoba. Distributed learning opportunities were developed including monthly teleconference dialogues and pod casts across remote northern Canada.

One of the key Pallium Phase 2 sub-projects was documenting wisdom around death and dying from First Nations Elders. This project was lead largely out of northern Alberta and included a Pallium workshop for nurses and personal support workers (PSWs) working with First Nations’ peoples.

In mid-2011, the Pallium Project received generous funding of $400,000 over three years by the Gillin Family of Ottawa as part of the legacy for their deceased father, Mr. Patrick Gillin. This funding is dedicated to Pallium Phase 3 renewal;  the LEAP – Learning Essential Approaches to Palliative Care courseware, the Pallium Palliative Pocketbook and piloting new innovative programs including a compassionate schools program to support children and youth experiencing loss.

Pallium Phase 3 is focused on updating and revitalizing original educational initiatives and knowledge transfer strategies, including LEAP, developing LEAP+ courseware to support palliative care training, including LEAP+ Long Term Care, LEAP+ Acute, Emergency, Surgery, Hospital, LEAP+ Oncology, LEAP+ Non Cancer  (COPD, CHF, Renal, Neuro (ALS), Dementias) courses, plus a second edition of the Pallium Palliative Pocketbook. The Pocketbook is a resource guide for primary care practitioners providing tools and information to help address practical clinical issues in everyday practice. The Project will also support creating an electronic version of the Pocketbook for Ipads/Iphones.

Pallium Phase 3 activity to date includes the:

  • Pan-Canadian Open Consultation for LEAP renewal courseware which preceded the 2011 Inter-provincial/ Interprofessional key informant workshop.    
  • A Tie that Binds: Stakeholder Input and Proposed Directions for LEAP Renewal” reflects directions proposed and the new partnership between The Bruyère Foundation and The Pallium Foundation
  • Pallium, a member of the Quality End of Life Care Coalition of Canada contributed to the ad hoc Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care (PCPCC), toward  the federal report, Not to Be Forgotten: Care for Vulnerable Canadians
  •  Patrick Gillin Memorial Gift, Conversations on Caring Classics   launched on the website for professional, client and family member access
  • Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) endorsed LEAP as their lead  courseware across   Ontario, and has rolled out Mainpro C credited training across 10 regions
  • New LEAP + Long Term Care  courseware   piloted in Erie St. Clair and Thunder Bay, On
  • The Pallium Foundation is establishing a nationally based academic steering committee, with design and content working groups to support Pallium Phase 3 initiatives.

We would be pleased to speak with you regarding potential collaborations on these renewal initiatives and invite you to contact Dr. Kathryn Downer.