New Project: Pan-Canadian Compassionate Community Evaluation Framework/Toolkit

Compassionate Community initiatives have shown promise in the United Kingdom and Europe, where evaluation has demonstrated significant successes but are only recently emerging in Canada and have not been rigorously evaluated here.

In 2018, Pallium Canada, BC Centre for Palliative Care and Hospice Palliative Care Ontario partnered together to create a ready to use evaluation toolkit for Compassionate Community initiatives and make this toolkit accessible to Compassionate Communities’ Champions throughout Canada. This partnership stimulated a dialogue between national and provincial organizations around pan-Canadian perspectives of what existing Compassionate Communities in the different jurisdictions look like, with the goal of reaching a consensus on a common definition and approach for evaluation of this important community work. The project’s design fosters networking and connections to accelerate sharing of knowledge and resources.

Find out more here.

iCAN-ACP Newsletter and Podcast

Did you know we are a research partner for iCAN-ACP?
iCAN-ACP is a 3-year national study aiming to improve the quality of life for older patients with serious illness by introducing and evaluating Advance Care Planning (ACP) tools that we hope will result in more, earlier and better conversations between adults, families and the healthcare team.

Our research partners at iCAN-ACP have recently published their second newsletter, which as well as including updates about the achievements and progress of the research project and research team, includes a partner profile for the BC Centre for Palliative care.

You can read it here.

They also have a new podcast!! Check it out here, their first episode includes an interview with project lead John You.


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.

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