BC’s Compassionate Care Alliance takes root

Videos now available on our YouTube channel covering Dr. Rajagopal’s Alliance talk and Q&A.

It’s not every day that a Nobel Peace Prize (2018) nominee comes to BC.

So, it was, with great pride, that the BC Centre for Palliative Care, along with Victoria Hospice, hosted internationally acclaimed palliative care physician and Chairman of Pallium India, Dr. M.R. Rajagopal of Kerala, India, April 10-11, 2018.

During his two days in Vancouver and Victoria, thousands of British Columbians were exposed to his messages and keynote addresses around the value and importance of a palliative approach to care – Dr. Raj’s work in pain management and community engagement in palliative care in India has been recognized by the World Health Organization as a model project.

As well, an award-winning documentary film, Hippocratic: 18 Experiments in Gently Shaking the World, was publicly screened attracting more than 600 people. The film features the life and work of Dr. Raj in India, and his call for compassionate care among those suffering serious illness.

In Vancouver specifically, the BC Centre for Palliative Care hosted a dinner for Dr Raj and his wife, Chandrika, with health care and community leaders in BC. The dinner was followed by the public-showing of Hippocratic which was attended by 313 people.

The Centre also hosted a breakfast meeting attended by 27 key BC community, health-care partners and interested stakeholders. Participants heard Dr. Raj give a keynote presentation on palliative care work being done in India. He emphasized the need to transform the health-care system to include a palliative approach to care for those with serious illnesses, and empower communities to help with the non-medical aspects of care.

Those in attendance made a commitment to work together to launch an official Compassionate Care Alliance in BC.

Representatives from the following key organizations participated:

ALS Society of BC
Alzheimer Society of BC
BC Care Providers
BC Centre for Palliative Care
BC Hospice Palliative Care Association
BC Lung Association
Canadian Cancer Society
Fraser Health Authority
Huntington Society of Canada
Parkinson Society of BC
Patient Voices Network
Paul Sugar Foundation
Providence Health Care — Holy Family Hospital
Simon Fraser University
UBC Hospital
University of Athabasca
University of British Columbia
Vancouver Coastal Health
Vancouver General Hospital
Victoria Hospice
Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Yaletown House

Key Media Coverage:

If you would like more information about the Compassionate Care Alliance, please contact Eman Hassan, Director of Public Health Initiatives, or call 604-553-4866 ext. 223

Have a voice with public consultation on palliative care

Palliative care will impact all of us at some point in our lives.

So, Health Canada has initiated a public consultation to collect input and ideas for developing a framework on palliative care.

This consultation will run from May to mid-July 2018. (more…)

Towards a more compassionate Canada, Eh!

National Hospice Palliative Care Week runs from May 6-12. The theme for 2018, “Towards a more compassionate Canada, Eh?” encourages Canadians to consider ways community involvement can support the dying and bereavement process.

For National Hospice Palliative Care Week 2018, the BC Centre for Palliative Care (BCCPC) and the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association are calling on Canadians to answer these questions:

* What makes a compassionate community?

* How can compassionate communities support end-of-life care?

Compassionate Communities in BC

A Compassionate Communities movement began in May 2015 with a stakeholder round-table facilitated by BCCPC.

In 2016, BCCPC launched a Seed Grant Program that provides funding, training, tools and coaching for community-based organizations interested in creating Compassionate Communities.

Currently, 68 Compassionate Communities ideas are being implemented in 48 communities across BC – 50% are happening in rural and remote communities.

The goal of the BC Compassionate Communities movement is to improve access to care and support as well as to enhance connection, meaning and belonging for people affected by serious illness, frailty and grief.

Here’s a link for more information and downloadable resources about BC Compassionate Communities.

National Campaign

“When we think about death and dying we often imagine a hospital setting, and that can be a very frightening image for people,” says CHPCA Executive Director Sharon Baxter. “When individuals are actively engaged in their communities they surround themselves with a network of caring allies who can support their end-of-life wishes and contribute to living well. Within a compassionate communities model, living and dying well becomes everybody’s business.”

For this year’s campaign, the CHPCA has created four downloadable posters that visually represent the different ways compassionate communities can support living well, as well as a backgrounder and resource list. In addition, Canadians throughout the health-care sector, as well as individuals, are encouraged to use the hashtag #MyCompassionateCanada to share their experiences with compassionate care, ideas for living well, and their thoughts on how we can come together to support each other now and at the end of life.

More information and downloadable promotional resources at National Hospice Palliative Care Week.


Making a difference recognized with national award in palliative medicine


The BC Centre for Palliative Care is proud to announce that Dr. Doris Barwich, our Executive Director, is the 2018 recipient of the Eduardo Bruera Award in Palliative Medicine. The Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians presents this award annually to a physician who demonstrates excellence in the field of Palliative Medicine as recognized by their peers.  

Dr. Barwich was honoured during the 14th Annual Advanced Learning in Palliative Medicine Conference June 2018 for her exemplary leadership and (more…)

Advance Care Planning session

Join Cowichan Hospice Society for an ACP session.

Call to register or find out more.

Advance Care Planning Workshop

Facilitated by members of Vancouver Coastal Health’s Community Engagement Advisory Network, this workshop will help you get the conversation started about Advance Care Planning.

Please register as space is limited. E-mail or call 604-714-3779

Advance Care Planning Workshop

Facilitated by members of Vancouver Coastal Health’s Community Engagement Advisory Network, these workshops help you get the conversation started around Advance Care Planning.

Please register as space is limited. E-mail or call 604-714-3779

Hike 4 Hospice

Peace Arch Hospice Society welcomes you on Sunday, May 6th  for a 1, 3 or 5 km walk (or run) around beautiful Blackie Spit Park in Crescent Beach to raise awareness and funds in support of our free programs and services.  Food, prizes, kids craft table and dog friendly too!  Fun for the whole family!  To register, visit

An introduction to Advance Care Planning

Planning for your future health care takes a team.  People close to you and your health-care provider would be involved in making health-care decisions for you if you cannot – this is your team.  Oceanside Hospice Society is hosting two information sessions.

Please register by calling 250.752.6227 or via email

Tea/Coffee/Cookies will be served.