iCAN-ACP Newsletter and Podcast

The 2nd iCAN-ACP newsletter is out, you can read it here! They also have a new podcast, check it out!

Advance Care Planning public workshop listed as a top 30 innovation

We’re proud to share that our Peer-Facilitated Advance Care Planning Public Workshop is among the Top 30 selected innovations for the Frailty Matters Innovation Showcase in Toronto on Sept. 20.

We partnered with two community organizations — Comox Valley Hospice Society and Vancouver Coastal Health’s Community Engagement Advisory Network (CEAN) — to develop a community-based public education model to promote Advance Care Planning (ACP). The goal is to bring and have ACP conversations where people live, and to have their wishes known and respected.

The peer-facilitated ACP public workshop includes:

  • An online and in-person training curriculum for volunteers to equip them with the knowledge and skills to become peer facilitators for ACP sessions;
  • A start-up toolkit that includes resources for community organizations interested in adopting this model for facilitators and for the public.

The model was adopted by 24 community organizations across B.C. Evaluation of over 40 sessions indicates that the model is effective at all levels.

Click here to learn about the Top 30 Frailty Innovations.


Finding palliative care services

The BC Centre for Palliative Care is a centre of excellence with a mandate to integrate palliative care into the health system.

We focus on the process to integrate palliative care into the health system — for direct services around palliative care, there are many resources in BC. If you are a caregiver or want general information about services available, Service BC can help you! Call Service BC Monday to Friday 7:30am to 5pm:

Victoria: 250-387-6121
Vancouver: 604-660-2421
Elsewhere in BC: 1-800-663-7867
Outside BC: 1-604-660-2421

Here are some other helpful resources:

These resources are not intended to replace the information or advice of your health-care provider.

We’ve launched a YouTube Channel

We’re proud to announce that we now have a BC Centre for Palliative Care YouTube channel.

We currently have five videos that we’ve produced. The five offer insights on the challenges of living with serious illness (featuring Dr. Doris Barwich), palliative care systems in India (featuring Dr. Rajagopal), and how compassionate communities can address gaps in palliative care.

Enjoy these educational and informative videos.

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

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 administrative abilities as well as many other notable achievements in the areas of clinical palliative medicine, research, and palliative medicine education.  

Besides her current role as the inaugural Executive Director of the BC Centre for Palliative Care, this award recognizes her contribution to the CSPCP Board, including a term as CSPCP President. As well she helped to develop and lead the Fraser Health Authority End of Life Care Program (EOLC) between 2001 – 2014, an internationally-acclaimed regional palliative care program. 

“I am honored to be recognized in this way and look forward to ongoing partnerships to promote integration of palliative care and compassionate communities in Canada” said Dr. Barwich. 

The award, jointly sponsored by the Division of Palliative Care Medicine at the University of Alberta and the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians, celebrates the legacy of Dr. Bruera, an internationally recognized palliative care physician and researcher, during his tenure as director of their palliative care program.   

The Centre is also proud to acknowledge Dr Leah Norgrove, winner of the CSPCP Humanitarian Award. This award is given to a CSPCP member who significantly improves the lives of under-served populations nationally or internationally. Dr Norgrove has been involved in leading the Journey Home initiative, which included a specialized LEAP for First Nations (Learning Essential Approaches to Palliative Care), partially funded by the BC Centre for Palliative Care. 

The winners were recognized during an awards evening in conjunction with the Annual Advanced Learning in Palliative Medicine Conference in Toronto on Friday, June 1, 2018.  

More detailed profiles are available at


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