Our Speakers

We have assembled a group of palliative care experts from across Canada and Europe. They will be sharing their views on how to rethink their disciplines of the palliative care matrix.

Please see below for our speakers' backgrounds:

Photo of Daren Heyland

Dr. Daren Heyland

Rethinking Advance Care Planning

Dr Daren Heyland is a Critical Care doctor and a Professor of Medicine at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario Canada.  He also serves as the Director of the Clinical Evaluation Research Unit (CERU) at the Kingston General Hospital which functions as a methods center for multicenter clinical research.  For over a decade, he chaired the Canadian Researchers at the End of Life Network (CARENET) which has a focus on developing and evaluating strategies to improve communication and decision-making at the end of life. More recently, he has developed the Plan Well Guide and My ICU Guide, which are web-based tools to aid lay people in decision-making related to serious illness.  Overall, Dr. Heyland has published approximately 400 peer-reviewed papers, raised more than $115 million in external grant support and given > 350 international presentations.

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Dr. Marian Krawczyk

Rethinking Systems

Dr Marian Krawczyk is a medical anthropologist with a research focus on the end of life and end-of-life care.  She is currently a Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Fellow at the University of Glasgow, working with the End of Life Studies Group in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies.  Dr Krawczyk is also the program lead for the world's first fully online End of Life Studies Masters' Program currently being developed at the University.  She graduated from Simon Fraser University in 2015, and her PhD research on how palliative clinicians negotiate prognostic uncertainty in acute care contexts was nominated for the Governor General's Academic Medal.  Her recent work centers on the evolution of end of life care; experiences of suffering in advanced life-limiting illness; and mapping the history of anthropological research in hospital end-of-life care.  She is currently designing an international study on the end of life doula movement and its practitioners, and believes that they may represent a radical turning point in care at the beginning of the 21st century.  You can find out more about Dr. Krawczyk here.

Photo of Jane Webley

Jane Webley

Rethinking What's Important

Jane has been involved in end of life care since the start of her nursing career in 1982, working in pediatric palliative care, adult oncology, hospice and elder care. Ethical and legal implications within healthcare created a need for better understanding, and in 2007 she graduated with a post graduate degree in Law from the University of London. She moved to Canada with her husband and 2 children in 2008, as Manager for Palliative Care and Oncology at Lions Gate Hospital on the North Shore, commissioning and opening the North Shore Hospice. In 2012 she transferred to managing Kiwanis Care Centre to develop a project to embed a palliative approach in residential care and the project has been successfully implemented at 48 homes within Vancouver Coastal Health, and within 6 provinces/territories across Canada in collaboration with the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI). In 2015 she commenced her current position as Regional Leader for Palliative Care and End of Life, responsible for coordinating strategic initiatives, planning, and quality improvement across all programs and communities of care within Vancouver Coastal Health. She is passionate about healthcare: the people who use our services, and the people who provide them.

Photo of Dr Heather Mohan

Dr. Heather Mohan

Rethinking Bereavement

Dr. Heather Mohan is the Founder of the Camp Kerry Society, a Registered Clinical Counsellor and Accredited Music Therapist with more than 20 years of experience working with children, youth and families who are facing illness, grief and loss. She has created and facilitated Counselling and Expressive Arts Therapy programs at a number of places including; Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, Lions Gate Hospital Palliative Care Program and Delta Hospice.

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Donna Flood

Rethinking Hospice Care

Donna has been a nurse for 36 years and had an opportunity to nurse in various countries around the world. Her most memorable and life changing experience was her work in Calcutta where she worked in Mother Teresa’s Hospice and instructed her nuns on nursing practice. This developed her passion for providing care in a different way. Focusing on the individual and understanding that care and compassion are key elements in supporting all people with serious illness. Donna is currently the Executive Director of the Prince George Hospice Society. She has been in that position for 5 years. Donna is the current president of the BC Hospice Palliative Care Association (BCHPCA) and is a Director on the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Board.

Photo of Margaret Easton

Margaret Easton

Rethinking the Dying Experience in the 21st Century

Margaret Easton holds master's degrees in Liberal Studies and Gerontology from SFU and is currently a PhD candidate in Graduate Liberal Studies. Her doctoral research is multidisciplinary and explores models of “successful aging” and “successful dying” in psychology, sociology, gerontology, and the humanities.

Margaret has explored ageing from multiple perspectives. She has worked with the prevention of financial abuse of older adults and has participated in research projects addressing residential care of older adults and Alzheimer drug therapies. She has also taught Adult Development & Aging at the University of Calgary and Theories of Successful Aging in Liberal Studies 55+ at SFU.  She is also currently assisting SFU’s 55+ Continuing Studies department with the development of courses in End of Life Studies and has taught Introduction to End of Life Studies, Bereavement, Grief, and Mourning: Interdisciplinary and Cultural Perspectives, and Bill C-14: The Long History of Suicide, Euthanasia, and Assisted Dying.

Photo of Anne Walker

Anne Walker

Rethinking Mindfulness

Anne Walker has worked in the health care field as a hospice/palliative/oncology care Social Worker for over 20 years.  She has taught Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction at St. Paul’s Hospital, Burnaby Hospital Cancer Centre, and at Delta Hospice. She currently runs the Camp Kerry Mindfulness Program for persons living with terminal illness, loss, and grief.

Creating safety, building resilience and holding possibility are important to her as well as compassion, laughter and mutual adventure in learning.

Photo of Christine Sutherland

Christine Sutherland

Palliative Massage - Friday Pre-Conference Event
Rethinking the Comfort of Touch

Christine Sutherland is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Massage Instructor. She is the co-founder of the Sutherland Chan School and Teaching Clinic in Toronto and the Director of the Canadian Institute of Palliative Massage. Christine is a keynote speaker with the BC Hospice Palliative Care Association.

Christine is the author of Dying in Good Hands: Palliative Massage and the Power of Touch. The book puts massage skills in the hands of everybody who wants to learn to be hands-on with their friends and loved ones who are dying or disabled. Dying in Good Hands shows the practicality of respiratory, digestive and circulatory palliative massage to relieve pain and discomfort, bringing love and affection through touch.

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Pallium Canada

LEAP Mini Training Session - Friday Pre-Conference Event

LEAP Mini is an inter-professional course that provides health care professionals with a condensed, one-day learning experience on the essential skills and competencies of the palliative care approach. LEAP Mini is taught by local experts who are experienced palliative care clinicians and educators.

LEAP Mini is ideal for any health care professional (e.g. physician, nurse, pharmacist, social worker, etc.) whose primary focus of work is not palliative care but who provides care for patients with life-threatening and progressive life-limiting illnesses.

This Group Learning program has been certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for up to 16.50 Mainpro+ credits. LEAP Mini is an Accredited Group Learning Activity as defined by the Maintenance of Certification program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada for 8.25 hours.

Upon completion of LEAP Mini, learners should be able to:

  • Identify patients who could benefit from a palliative care approach earlier in the illness trajectory
  • Promote and undertake Advance Care Planning discussions
  • Assess and manage pain; delirium; dyspnea; and nausea, nutrition, and hydration
  • Develop plans to address spiritual, religious, or psychosocial needs
  • Initiate essential discussions related to palliative and end-of-life care in daily work
  • Prepare patients and families for last days and hours

The course fee includes lunch, refreshment breaks, and an electronic copy of the best-selling resource, the Pallium Palliative Pocketbook.

For more information on LEAP Mini, please visit the Pallium website.

Photo of Josh Neufeld

Josh Neufeld

Friday Evening Feature

Josh Neufeld is a Vancouver-based photographer, writer, and documentary maker.  His uncle was in failing health, inspiring him to chronicle peoples' experiences with death and dying. His father and mentor coined the title of the documentary "Meeting Mortality". Little did Josh or his father know that soon his father would himself be diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Josh's normally private dad welcomed Josh's camera in for the last 11 days of his life. Josh beautifully captured the beauty and rawness of that time with a series of end of life photos (more information here).

Since the passing of his dad, Josh has gone on to found Grief Narratives, a forum where people can share their experiences on grief, and form a community of support.

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Threshold Choir

Saturday Morning Choral Welcome

Begin your Rethinking the End of Life Experience with the Vancouver Threshold Choir and their “Lullabies for the End.”

The Vancouver Threshold Choir is a choir of women who, since 2009, have been bringing comfort and compassion through song to those at the thresholds of living and dying, in hospice, hospital or at home in the Greater Vancouver area. When invited, they come in groups of two to four singers to a bedside to offer soft, soothing, restful harmonies. The Choir honours all spiritual paths and has no religious affiliation. Their hope is, through gentle songs, to create moments of grace in difficult times. Their songs are simple messages of love, life and heart. The Choir’s singing is offered as a gift; with there being no charge for their services.

The Threshold Choir, founded by Kate Munger,  has its roots in California. Over the last 20  years, their work has inspired the formation of many choirs in the U.S., Canada and abroad.

Jan Alexander is the director of the Vancouver Threshold Choir and has mentored 8 other Threshold chapters in B.C. including Surrey, Bowen Island, the Sunshine Coast, Campbell River/Quadra Island, Nelson, and more. Learn more at thresholdchoir.org

Registration Information

Each session includes an invitation to the Friday April 24 Evening Welcome Event. All events include a continental breakfast, lunch and refreshments.

Please register separately for each of the following events that you would like to attend, using the links below.  You can attend as many or as few events as you like.

LEAP Mini Registration

Friday April 24, 2020 from 8am-530pm
Cost $650 (register by March 27)

Palliative Massage Workshop Registration

Friday April 24, 2020 from 8am-530pm
Cost $150 (register by April 8)

Full Day Conference Registration

Saturday April 25, 2020 from 9am-4pm
Cost $150 (register by April 8)

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