Palliative Institute
News Release
News Release

Palliative Institute brings together renowned international speakers for  Building Compassionate Communities Forum

A virtual forum focused on palliative care and advanced care planning.

EDMONTON, March 8, 2022 – The Covenant Health Palliative Institute is hosting an online forum focused on the international Compassionate Communities movement, featuring a global cast of speakers and panelists.

Entitled “Building Compassionate Communities”, the forum is intended to bring together palliative care providers, hospice workers, healthcare professionals, financial and legal advisors and caregivers from across Alberta and beyond to raise awareness of palliative care, advance care planning and the importance of community collaboration in providing quality care.

The virtual forum will be held via Zoom from 8:30 am to 3:45 pm MT on March 19. Registration is free and open to the public on compassionatecommunities.care until Friday, March 18 or until all available spots are taken.

“Compassionate Communities underpins much of our work at the institute,” says Palliative Institute Scientific Director Dr. Konrad Fassbender. “We’ve learned so much from others. Imagine living in a community where everybody recognizes that we all have a role to play in supporting each other in times of crisis and loss. People are ready, willing and confident to have conversations about living and dying well and to support each other in emotional and practical ways. That is the goal of the Compassionate Communities movement as well as a major focal point of our awareness-raising initiatives.”

The forum will feature keynote speaker Dr. Allan Kellehear, founder of the international Compassionate Communities movement in the UK, as well as palliative care experts from across Canada and representatives of the All-Ireland Hospice Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC) and Palliative Care Queensland in Australia.

Additionally, institute staff will be facilitating a virtual World Café session with several breakout rooms focused on the roles of different professions in developing Compassionate Communities, including law, financial planning and insurance, hospice and palliative care societies, libraries, faith communities and organizations serving senior citizens.

The forum will also include workshops focused on specific public awareness tools being developed by the Palliative Institute. These tools include an original advance care planning toolkit as well as several adaptations of existing best practices from across Canada and in other countries.

“Compassionate Cities are communities that recognize that all natural cycles of sickness and health, birth and death, and love and loss occur every day within the orbits of its institutions and regular activities,” states the official Compassionate Communities charter. “A compassionate city is a community that recognizes that care for one another at times of crisis and loss is not simply a task solely for health and social services but is everyone’s responsibility.”

More information on the forum is available on compassionatecommunities.care. You can also read about the Palliative Institute’s ongoing public awareness initiatives on the Palliative Institute website.

About Covenant Health

Covenant Health is Canada’s largest Catholic health care organization and a key partner in Alberta’s integrated health system. Covenant Health launched the Palliative Institute in October 2012, envisioning a future where every Albertan can make informed choices about their care and where caregivers have the knowledge, expertise and resources to support them. It is the institute’s role to serve as a knowledge broker and problem solver for patients and families, clinicians, policymakers, caregivers and researchers, and to lead informed public conversation about palliative issues.

About Compassionate Communities

The Compassionate Communities movement focuses on the importance of supportive community networks in providing palliative care. At its core, the movement is about improving the quality of life for people with life-limiting illnesses and their families by encouraging people and community groups to provide assistance and practical support to people who are sick, dying, caregiving or grieving. Covenant Health was awarded the designation of a Canadian Compassionate Company (CCC) by the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) in September 2021 in recognition of Covenant’s policies to support employees involved in caring for a loved one.

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Media Contact
Benjamin Freeland, Communications Advisor                                                    
Covenant Health Palliative Institute                       
Phone or text: 780.886.3255
Email: benjamin.freeland@covenanthealth.ca