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Palliative Care Providers Benefit from Leading Experts at CERAH-Hosted Regional Palliative Care Conference

From November 3-5, Lakehead University’s Centre for Education and Research on Aging and Health (CERAH) will host Passport to Palliative Care: Journeys and Destinations, its 2010 palliative care conference.  

The event will be held in Thunder Bay at the Travelodge Airlane Hotel and will bring together more than 150 interdisciplinary palliative care providers and researchers to share new developments in end-of-life care. The conference is also an opportunity to facilitate networking and team building among communities across the region and beyond.

Among interesting conference presenters are three speakers of note:

Pre-conference workshop
November 3 from 9:00 a.m. - 12 noon

Alongside Dr. José Pereira and members of the Quality Palliative Care in Long-Term Care Alliance, Dr. Mary Lou Kelley facilitates a workshop about long-term care (LTC) as a major location of death for people in Canada. Formal palliative care programs in LTC homes that aim to relieve suffering and improve the quality of living and dying for residents are rare.  A five-year research program, Improving the Quality of Life of People Dying in Long-term Care Homes, has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) through its Community University Research Alliance Grant Program.  This interactive pre-conference workshop, entitled Developing Palliative Care in Long-Term Care (LTC) Homes using the Square of Care, provides an overview of the research process that can assist organizations in developing a holistic palliative care program that follows the norms of practice of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Associations’ Square of Care.

Lakehead's Dr. Mary Lou Kelley is a recognized expert in rural palliative care and palliative care in First Nations. 

Opening Keynote Address
November 3 from 1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Dr. Pereira provides the conference’s Opening Keynote Address, Two Sides of the Same Coin?, that focuses on the increasing recognition that patients with non-cancer terminal diseases such as end-stage heart and lung diseases require as much in terms of palliative care services as those with cancer diagnoses. Using the end-stage heart and lung disease models, Dr. Pereira’s session will explore the implications for palliative care services and questions whether palliative care services are prepared for this burgeoning area.  A question and answer period will follow.  

Dr. Pereira is a leading international expert in palliative care and is Medical Chief of Palliative Care Programs at the Ottawa Hospital.

Closing Keynote Address
November 5 from 10:30 a.m. – 11:55 a.m.

Many palliative care providers are motivated by the reward and satisfaction of caring for others, while some make a career of caring for others because of a high need for compassion satisfaction.  However, the reward of compassion satisfaction can easily turn into compassion fatigue, and prolonged compassion fatigue can eventually outweigh the reward of compassion satisfaction and result in harm.  Accepting and understanding the probable risks of compassion fatigue is the first step in reducing that risk.  In this presentation, entitled So many patients die after we get close to them:  how do we heal ourselves?,Dr. Chaney will help delegates  learn how to easily assess their current satisfaction status and risk of compassion fatigue, as well as specific self-care strategies.

Dr. Chaney is a practicing psychologist who works with the Alaska Native Medical Centre and has been recognized for his cross-cultural contributions.

PLEASE NOTE: Dr. Chaney will also present a free public lecture, entitled The Invisible Hazards of Helping Others, on November 4 from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm at the North West Community Care Access Centre (961 Alloy Drive).  Dr. Chaney’s lecture is also available  by video conference and web cast.  Those who wish to attend must register with CERAH’s Linda Pisco at 807-343-7269 or  Please contact Linda Pisco for more details. 

MEDIA: If you are interested in arranging interviews with any of these speakers, either leading up to their talks or on the day of, please contact Heather Scott, Communications Officer, Lakehead University, at 807-343-8177 or

Last updated November 01, 2010

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