Palliative Care ATLAS: Towards a Brighter Future (2023-24)


Across Canada, there are significant variations in many areas of palliative care. These include access to palliative care teams and services, the integration of the palliative care approach into all care settings, inclusion of palliative care in curricula of health professions, and community engagement.

There are many examples of excellence across the country, but also many opportunities for improvement.

To date, there has been no single reporting source or data repository or mapping of the state of palliative care in Canada. Without this map, it’s not possible to identify successes or gaps and create a plan to move toward enhanced quality of life for people living with life-limiting illness.

About the project

The Canadian ATLAS of Palliative Care – British Columbia Edition aims to map out the current state of palliative care across various domains and elements in the province and its health regions. It uses a similar approach and graphical presentation method as ATLASes that have been produced for Europe, Africa, South America, and the Middle East over the last decade.

The British Columbia Edition of the Canadian ATLAS will be part of the larger ATLAS being developed for the whole country, which will include all the provinces and territories, and their health regions.

A collaboration between Pallium Canada, the BC Centre for Palliative Care, and the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, the BC Edition of the Canadian  ATLAS of Palliative Care will provide valuable insights for policy makers, palliative care leaders, educators, researchers, and advocates. From this baseline, decision-makers and healthcare leaders will be better equipped to plot a course for timelier, more effective, and compassionate palliative care across BC.

Importantly, the ATLAS highlights successes and areas of excellence for the purpose of spread (through adoptions or adaptation) and scale-up in other jurisdictions where gaps may exist.

Project components

The project employs a mixed-methods approach of data collection from publicly accessible sources, questionnaires, key informant interviews, and focus groups. It explores the state of palliative care across multiple domains, that include policy, funding, services, education, professional activities, focused populations, and community engagement. The research results will then be translated into powerful and visual user-friendly tools to foster improvements in the timeliness, access to, and availability of palliative care in BC.

The role of BC Centre for Palliative Care in the development of the ATLAS is to support the customization of the data collection process to the BC context, and to lead effective strategies to engage key stakeholders in the project. We are leveraging our knowledge of the palliative care realm in BC and our strong relationship with a wide network of stakeholders across the province as we understand how crucial this is to the success of the project.

Regional and Provincial Health Authority palliative care program leaders, palliative care professionals, university and college educators of health professionals, and additional stakeholders will be invited to participate in the data collection process.

Project partners

  • Pallium Canada
  • BC Centre for Palliative Care
  • The Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller-Vancouver Commandery (SOSJ)
  • Dr. Joshua Shadd – Pallium Canada Research Hub at McMaster University

Project Team

BC Centre for Palliative Care Pallium Canada
Eman Hassan, Executive Director Jeffery B. Moat, Chief Executive Officer
Della Roberts, Special Projects Manager Christopher Klinger, Research Scientist
Carolyn Tayler, Strategic Advisor Dawn Elston, Research Coordinator

For more information

Contact Della Roberts, BCCPC project Lead at

Watch this short video to learn more, click here. (4:11)

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Check the project announcement on Pallium Canada’s website

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