Covenant Health officially launches Palliative End of Life Care Institute
October 17, 2012
Organization builds on its history and strengthens leadership in research and education
The Institute will help respond to the growing need for end-of-life care in the province and will help ensure patients facing serious and complex illnesses have access to a full and comprehensive spectrum of coordinated health services. The number of Albertans who will require end-of-life care is expected to increase 33 per cent by 2020.
Covenant Health has been a leader in palliative care since opening its first hospital-based palliative care program at the Edmonton General Hospital in 1985. The program grew out of a need for a more holistic, multi-disciplinary approach, and better understanding of the complex/evolving nature of pain. Eduardo Bruera, a world-renowned expert in palliative care, was one of the founders of the Edmonton General program. He came back to Edmonton for the launch.
“The Palliative End of Life Care Institute is the best way to honour and maintain the leadership Covenant Health and Alberta have shown in the development of one of the most successful palliative care programs in the world,” says Dr. Eduardo Bruera.
“Providing quality care at end of life is core to Covenant Health's mission of serving with compassion, upholding the sacredness of life in all stages and caring for the whole person—body, mind and soul. Our approach to palliative care embodies a commitment to accompany one another and be present, to cure sometimes, to alleviate symptoms often and to care always," says Linda Revell, Covenant Health Senior Vice President Operations and Chief Operating Officer.
Melissa McCarthy’s father, Ken Lane, has spent the last couple of months on the Tertiary Palliative Care Unit at the Grey Nuns. Her hope is that the Institute will provide education and research so more people will receive the individualized care her family is receiving.
“My father entered the Grey Nuns in excruciating pain. Within a few weeks of being on the palliative unit, his pain was managed enough he was able to resume his sailing passion. The care he is receiving from the entire team has brought my family a great deal of comfort,” says Melissa.
Covenant Health has 81 palliative and hospice beds across the province, including the Mel Miller Hospice at the Edmonton General, a palliative unit at St Joseph’s Auxiliary Hospital and the Tertiary Palliative Care Unit at Grey Nuns Community Hospital.