Candlelight and culture at the CHPCA conference

Categories: Education.

Addressing delegates at the brunch social on the final day of the conference, Laurie Anne O’Brien, incoming president of CHPCA, thanked delegates for their participation in a “jam packed 3 ½ days, with a tremendous amount of learning and networking.”

Sunday morning’s challenge panel featured Deborah Randall-Wood, Nadine Henningsen and Leanne Kitchen Clarke, focusing on the palliative approach to care and integrating hospice palliative care across settings. The central theme of the conference also focused on integration, a key issue in palliative care in Canada.

On the evening of the second day of the conference, a group of palliative care supporters braved the icy wind as they were led by a bagpiper in a march up to parliament hill. The group congregated around the Eternal Flame in front of the parliament buildings in remembrance of loved ones who had died. Rev. Dr Peter Barnes led the group in prayer, while the Canadian police choir provided a stirring musical backdrop to the thoughts and prayers of remembrance.

The conference gala dinner celebrated Canada’s diverse history and culture, featuring a blessing by Rosella Kinoshameg, palliative care nurse and first nation spiritual leader.

Steve Hynd, editor of the Africa edition of ehospice, said: “The gala dinner was a wonderful opportunity for palliative care workers to come together and celebrate the impact of palliative care in Canada. It was lovely to see the blessing at the start of the event coming from the first-nation community – an integral part of what makes Canada what it is today. The gala was great for all the international delegates to learn about Canada and its diverse culture.”

Conference sessions explored everything from advance care planning, to new research and clinical practice. As one conference participant noted: “The diversity of sessions was wonderful. I enjoyed having the opportunity to pick and choose sessions that directly related to challenges I face in my daily practice.” To view the entire conference program and speakers, visit the conference website.

Dr Larry Librach, a hospice palliative care champion who passed away earlier this year, was remembered fondly by many of the speakers for his kindness and vast contribution to hospice palliative care in Canada.

The conference provided a focal point for a number of additional activities, including the board meeting of the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance, and the annual meeting of the ehospice editors and management committee, bringing people from Kenya, India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Australia, the US and the UK together in Canada .