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Champlain Hospice Palliative Program creates Regional ACP Leadership team

Research has demonstrated that, while Canadians and their health teams recognize the importance of advance care planning, there remain a number of barriers to having those conversations. The Champlain Hospice Palliative Program, which serves a population of over 1-million in the eastern end of Ontario near Ottawa, has created an ACP leadership team to coordinate and plan a number of local initiatives to raise awareness of ACP and facilitate these important conversations in both the health care system and in the community.

Nadine Valk, the Executive Director of the Champlain Hospice Palliative Care Program, notes that the members of the Leadership Team represent the diversity of the region’s geography, as well as several health disciplines and organizations. “We’re excited to have such an amazing group of talented individuals working together on the project,” she says. “They bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise, along with a shared desire to better integrate advance care planning into our health system.”

The Leadership team has identified three primary priorities:

  • Public education – recruiting and training volunteer community facilitators to deliver public education sessions on how to approach difficult conversations about advance care planning, death and dying
  • Health Care Provider education – partnering with Pallium Canada to modify their “Crucial Conversations” training module to extend to all health care providers
  • Standardizing Goals of Care documentation – planning workshops with hospital and long-term care facilities to develop one common tool to document a person’s care plan and end-of-life wishes.

The team is also working with local researchers to support quality improvement initiatives and exploring how to partner with Ontario’s Healthlinks program to integrate ACP information into their programs.

Nadine says that the Leadership Team has already begun to inventory existing ACP initiatives across the region and is looking forward to working with partners and stakeholders to keep the work plan moving forward. “We are developing working groups and planning out a timeline for our various strategies,” she says. “Together, we can break down the barriers to ACP and get people talking.”

For more information regarding the Champlain Hospice Palliative Care Program, please visit their website.