Palliative Institute
News Release
News Release

Launching CompassionateAlberta.ca

With the support of the Government of Alberta, Covenant Health’s Palliative Institute is launching a website dedicated to raising awareness of advance care planning and palliative care.

EDMONTON, October 1, 2022 – Launched on the International Day of Older Persons, CompassionateAlberta.ca offers tool kits and resources to assist individuals with their life planning. It aims to improve understanding of personal, financial and estate planning for individuals and their families.

This initiative builds on Compassionate Communities, an innovative public health approach that regards the community as an equal partner in caring for those who are seriously ill, dying, caregiving and grieving. Compassionate Alberta recognizes the need for early awareness by community organizations and the public as a necessary foundation for building compassionate communities.

“As more of our seniors live longer, it is vital they have access to the information and resources they need to plan for the future. This is especially the case when a loved one has a serious illness. I encourage everyone to visit this website and learn about the actions you can take today and what resources are available to help.”

- Josephine Pon, Minister of Seniors and Housing

“Advance care planning is one of the most important parts of planning for future health and medical care. This new website will help Albertans better understand the importance of advance care planning and see how it can improve the quality of their life. With this website as a resource, I encourage Albertans to have advance care planning conversations with those close to them and their health-care providers.”

- Tyler Shandro, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General

“Providing care and comfort at the end of life is an important part of health care, and is essential in a compassionate society. This is why Alberta’s government made palliative and end-of-life care a priority. Advance care planning can help alleviate some of the stress that family and friends could face if they are asked to make important health-care decisions for a loved one with a life-limiting illness or in unforeseen circumstances.”

- Jason Copping, Minister of Health

“One out of every two Albertans does not understand terms such as ‘palliative care’ and ‘advance care planning.’ Preparing for the future requires an understanding of these terms, especially when you or a family member suffers from a serious illness. The good news is that you need not face this journey alone. Compassionate Communities is a public health approach whereby community organizations help to strengthen health care.”

- Dr. Konrad Fassbender, scientific director, Covenant Health Palliative Institute

“Covenant Health’s mission is to seek out and respond to the vulnerable population in need of palliative care. After having established an international reputation over two decades, Covenant Health launched the Palliative Institute in October 2012 with a strategic plan to be leaders in robust palliative and end-of-life care and advocate for it to be an essential part of the health system. This initiative is the latest example of our commitment to those who are ill and their caregivers.”

- Louise Kashuba, director, Covenant Health Palliative Institute

Quick facts
- More than 75 per cent of Albertans aged 65 or older report having at least one chronic health condition. Within the next 10 years, one in five Albertans will be a senior.
- Alberta’s senior population is expected to hit one million by 2035.
- In 2020, the Alberta government committed $20 million over four years to a number of initiatives related to palliative and end-of-life care.
- Through this funding, the province has provided more than $5.4 million in grants to Covenant Health to support its public awareness initiatives, including CompassionateAlberta.ca.
- More than $1.4 million for public awareness of palliative and end-of-life care.
- Almost $4 million to implement an action plan for advance care planning with the Office of the Public Guardian in the Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General.

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.

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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