Awards, Scholarships, and Bursaries

HPCO honours individuals and organizations that provide or support excellent hospice palliative care in Ontario. Awards and Scholarships are presented annually at HPCO’s conference.  Awards are an opportunity for you to nominate a colleague for recognition of their outstanding work. Please refer to the nomination criteria for each award. The 2022 Award, Scholarship  and Bursary nominations are  closed. 

Past recipients of HPCO awards are listed here.

Awards of Recognition

The Dorothy Ley Award of Excellence in Hospice Palliative Care 

The late Dorothy Ley was one of Canada’s first champions for quality care at the end-of-life. She brought a unique individuality to the field of hospice and palliative care, and maintained a highly visible and vocal presence during her distinguished career until her death in 1994. Dr. Ley was a pioneer and she broke new ground in fields of medicine and health care in general. The Dorothy Ley Award of Excellence, established in 1996 by the Ontario Palliative Care Association, now Hospice Palliative Care Ontario, is a perennial reminder of her truly great legacy. The award is presented annually in recognition of an individual or team effort to advance and improve the quality of palliative and end-of-life care. Click Here for Nomination Criteria.


The Dr. S. Lawrence Librach Award for Palliative Medicine in the Community

This award honours Dr. Larry Librach who began his medical career in 1970, and became an early presence in the field of palliative care in 1978 and was instrumental in shaping the Canadian approach to palliative care and palliative medicine.  Throughout his 35 years in palliative care, Dr. Librach was a teacher and mentor, an encouraging and enthusiastic colleague and friend who embraced every opportunity to give of himself,  and who consistently inspired others to do the same.  The award is a $2,500 cash award bestowed annually to a physician who demonstrates excellence and leadership in palliative care and advances palliative care in their communities through mentorship of family physicians. Click Here for Nomination Criteria.


Hospice Palliative Care Ontario Outstanding Philanthropist Award

This award is designed to recognize and show our appreciation for those individuals, families, corporations, foundations, and community and service organizations who best exemplify vision, financial support and dedication towards fostering the true spirit of hospice palliative care in Ontario.  While the financial support offered by these philanthropists is important to our cause, it is the encouragement and validation of our efforts that means so much to us as individuals. They are truly the “unsung heroes” of hospice palliative care in Ontario. Click Here for Nomination Criteria.


HPCO Award of Excellence in Paediatric Palliative Care

This award recognizes individual excellence, innovation, leadership and outstanding contributions in the field of paediatric hospice and palliative care.  Awarded biennially. Click Here for Nomination Criteria.


Mount Pleasant Group Hospice Innovation Award

In recognition of the constant of innovation, Hospice Palliative Care Ontario has partnered with the Mount Pleasant Group to offer the Mount Pleasant Group Hospice Innovation Award.

This is a geographically based award open to hospices physically located in either Durham Region, Peel Region, Toronto or York Region. Hospices in these regions will be sent the application details via an email to the Executive Director.

June Callwood Circle of Outstanding Volunteers

The June Callwood Award was established in 1994 by the Hospice Association of Ontario, now Hospice Palliative Care Ontario, to acknowledge and thank outstanding hospice volunteers throughout Ontario. The award was named in honour of the late June Callwood, the Award Patron, and long time advocate of hospice, community activist, author and recipient of the Order of Canada. June was the inaugural recipient of of award since then, 855 hospice volunteers have been inducted into the Circle of Outstanding Volunteers. Volunteers are special people – a view strongly held by Ms. Callwood and expressed by her on many occasions, during interviews on TV and radio, remarks at annual conferences, and through her writing. Her book, Twelve Weeks in Spring, captured the spirit of hospice and emphasized the importance of the many and varied contributions of a team of volunteers. In all her years as a journalist, author, broadcaster and humanitarian, June Callwood’s name became synonymous with integrity, talent and passion for social justice. She has touched the lives of generations of Canadians by giving that passion expression through her words and through her work in the service of those in need. Click Here for Nomination Criteria.


The Richard R. Walker Visionary Award

The Richard R. Walker Visionary Award recognizes significant and exceptional contributions in advancing the hospice palliative care movement. The award is named in honour of Richard Walker, known as “Dick” to his family and friends. Dick was the founding chairman of the Community Hospice Association of Ontario, which became Hospice Association of Ontario, one of the predecessors of Hospice Palliative Care Ontario. Mr. Walker passed away in October 2009.  The Richard R. Walker Visionary Award is bestowed by the Board of Directors of HPCO occasionally when merited, to an individual or organization that has through their actions, made a significant and exceptional contribution to advance the hospice palliative care movement in Ontario. Nominees for this award are selected by the Board of Directors of HPCO.


The Joan Lesmond HPCO Scholarship

The Joan Lesmond Scholarship honours the memory of our friend, colleague, and former Board member. Joan was a nurse, educator, mentor, and life-long learner. The scholarship reflects Joan’s commitment to life-long learning, mentorship, and community-based hospice palliative care, as well as her commitment to mentoring Black nurses as one of the first mentors in the Black Nurses Network. In 2020, the scholarship was focused to benefit Black nurses and promote diversity and inclusion within the hospice palliative care field.

The Joan Lesmond Scholarship is valued at $2000. It includes a full registration to the annual Hospice Palliative Care Ontario conference, accommodations at the conference hotel, transportation costs, and a modest cash award. The scholarship is awarded as a package and may not be broken into its component parts or cashed out. The scholarship is non-transferrable. Click Here for Nomination Criteria.


The Life and Death Matters Personal Support Worker Hospice Palliative Care Scholarship 
(Sponsored by Life and Death Matters)

This scholarship is given annually to a Personal Support Worker nominated for excellence in hospice palliative care. The award celebrates Frances Montgomery and her commitment to caring for the dying within her family and extended community. This award acknowledges the invaluable contribution of Personal Support Workers in providing excellent care for the dying, support for families and loved ones, and helping to move quality hospice palliative care forward in Ontario. Click Here for Nomination Criteria.



Conference Bursary Program for Indigenous and Black Health Care Workers

As part of Hospice Palliative Care Ontario’s commitment to working to improve inclusion and eliminate barriers for Black and Indigenous people working in hospice palliative care, we are expanding our bursary program. HPCO’s First Nations’ bursary was introduced in 2018 and we have since added a bursary for Black health care workers. Applications are encouraged from Nurses, Social Workers, Social Services Workers, or Personal Support Workers working in, or with an interest in hospice palliative care in Ontario. Click Here for Nomination Criteria.