Compassionate Communities

Issue   Society is changing and current health care models are not fully meeting the needs of many Ontarians. At risk populations include people with serious illness, at end of life, the elderly, the disabled, people who are isolated and vulnerable, and caregivers. These groups benefit from whole person care that addresses physical, mental, social and spiritual needs, focuses on quality of life, acknowledges mortality and supports their caregivers – such care however is not routinely, seamlessly or continuously available through formal health services.   Continue reading →

Conducting a Reasonable Next of Kin/Claimant Search for an Unclaimed Body

Claimant Search for Unclaimed Bodies Purpose of Document This document provides a process for managing unclaimed bodies that were not investigated by a coroner across Ontario. The process ensures reasonable and timely efforts to locate persons who may claim a body in order to respect the dignity of a deceased person. When no claimant can be found, arrangements will be made by the Office of the Chief Coroner for the disposition of an unclaimed body pursuant to the Anatomy Act. This document includes:  Information Continue reading →

HPCO Provincial Strategy with Pallium

In 2018, Pallium Canada, BC Centre for Palliative Care and Hospice Palliative Care Ontario partnered together to create a ready to use evaluation toolkit for Compassionate Community initiatives and make this toolkit accessible to Compassionate Communities’ Champions throughout Canada. This partnership stimulated a dialogue between national and provincial organizations around pan-Canadian perspectives of what existing Compassionate Communities in the different jurisdictions look like, with the goal of reaching a consensus on a common definition and approach for evaluation of this important community work. The project’s design fosters networking and connections to accelerate sharing Continue reading →

Health Care Consent Advance Care Planning and Goals of Care E-Learning Modules

Hospice Palliative Care Ontario is very pleased to announce that the Health Care Consent Advance Care Planning and Goals of Care E–Learning Modules are now officially launched.  Registration can be accessed at–learning-module/. Description: The Modules are intended for Clinician Competency Training on HCC ACP GoC conversations where learners will move beyond advancing their knowledge & attitudes to develop clinical skills through: Interactive case scenarios Reflective questions Videos of both simulated & real clinical encounters Format: Five self directed online modules, each ending with a quiz, including: How do I have an ACP conversation with Continue reading →

HPCO Caregiver Support Modules

There are a vast number of resources readily available and provided for health care teams to support individuals in their palliative care and/or end of life journey. However, the individual’s informal caregiver is often underestimated during this process and can often feel as though they are not receiving adequate support, resources, treatment, and services to help them be the best caregiver they can be. The HPCO team has been working diligently to create a comprehensive set of caregiver modules with the goal of providing support Continue reading →

Medical Cannabis and Palliative Care

Seniors account for the fastest growing age group in Canada. It is expected by 2020 that 40% more deaths will occur. According to Canabo Medical Clinic, countries such as Canada are bracing for an expansion of the number of patients with catastrophic and chronic illnesses. Presently, cancer is the number-one cause of death in Canada, followed by heart disease and stroke, where these numbers are only expected to rise. Quality of life during this stage is at the heart of palliative care. As the numbers increase Continue reading →

Dan’s Law Passed First Reading

Dan Duma is the namesake for ‘Dan’s Law’ which is a bill in the Ontario Legislature designed to increase access for publicly-funded palliative care for Ontario residents who move out of province and then want to come home at the end of their lives. A new bill from Windsor West MPP Lisa Gretzky is aimed at changing that, called Dan’s Law. This law would remove the three-month waiting period for access to OHIP funded home and palliative care, for Canadian residents who move or return to Ontario. We Continue reading →

Should palliative care be rebranded?

Should palliative care be rebranded? BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 28 February 2019)Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l881 Kirsty Boyd, Macmillan honorary reader in palliative care1, Sebastien Moine, senior visiting fellow in primary palliative care1, Scott A Murray, emeritus professor of primary palliative care1, Deborah Bowman, professor of medical and clinical ethics and cancer patient2, Nicole Brun, master of education (research) student3.  Corresponding author: Kirsty Boyd Changing perceptions is more important than changing names Nearly 30 years after the World Health Organization first defined “palliative care,” we are no closer to agreeing Continue reading →

HPCO Accreditation Program (video included)

The HPCO accreditation program, based on the Hospice Standards framework, is specifically designed for hospices in Ontario.  Originally developed in 2003, the process was updated in 2015 to include a thorough evidence submission, comprehensive peer review, and detailed report with commendations and required improvements.  We are accepting registrations for Spring/Summer 2020 and beyond.  To learn more, please take a moment to watch our promotional video at Accreditation Video For more information about the HPCO Accreditation Program, please visit:

Celebrating the Success of HPCO’s Online Hospice Volunteer Training System

A big thank you to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and Saint Elizabeth for partnering with HPCO to create a dynamic online hospice volunteer learning environment. Over 1,150 volunteers enrolled in the first nine months! Saint Elizabeth CEO Shirlee Sharkey and HPCO CEO Rick Firth announced the partnership at HPCO Annual Conference in April 2016. The learning environment went live in August 2016 and in the nine months since, 82 Ontario Hospices have enrolled over 1,150 hospice volunteers and  over 21,300 learning Continue reading →