The Cowan Foundation donates $150,000 to Hospice Palliative Care Ontario

  • Rick Firth, President and CEO of Hospice Palliative Care Ontario; Michelle Colero, Development Manager of Hospice Palliative Care Ontario; Michael Lough, Vice President, Specialty Programs, Frank Cowan Company; David Outa, Commercial Account Executive, Cowan Insurance Group.

The Cowan Foundation generously donates $150,000 to assist with the development of media-rich content for Hospice Palliative Care Ontario’s (HPCO) online e-learning tool for volunteer training. This commitment will help grow volunteer capacity in hospice palliative care across the province.

Over 80 hospices in Ontario are using the e-learning tool to train hospice volunteers to provide emotional and physical care to the dying and emotional support and respite to family caregivers. Hospice Volunteers are also trained to provide bereavement support to both patients and families before and after death. Caregivers agreed that in the last three months of life, visiting hospice volunteers helped improve the quality of life by 44 per cent.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” explained Michael Lough, Vice President, Specialty Programs, Frank Cowan Company. “Hospices in Ontario have approximately 13,500 trained volunteers, and every year 2,000 new volunteers are recruited and trained. Through our donation, HPCO is able to develop additional content so volunteers have the knowledge and skills to provide quality end-of-life care for their patients and family members.”

“Volunteers are the cornerstone of the hospice model, and we felt it was important to step up to ensure they were equipped to handle this important community work,” continued David Outa, Commercial Account Executive, Cowan Insurance Group. “The donation from our Foundation will have a lasting impact and make a real difference in people’s lives.”

Each volunteer is required to complete a 30-hour course. The enhanced program will help Ontario hospices recruit, train and retain the volunteers they need.

“The demand for hospice palliative care services continues to grow. This partnership with The Cowan Foundation and their generous donation will help HPCO provide volunteer training for hospices across the province, build capacity and increase access to quality compassionate hospice palliative care,” said Rick Firth, President and CEO of Hospice Palliative Care Ontario.

The donation will allow the expansion of the online e-learning tool. It will allow HPCO to connect knowledge experts from across Ontario and improve access to hospice volunteers by expanding the online learning modules. The highly specialized content will be updated as new and revised policies and protocols are developed, meeting the needs of the hospices, caregivers and ultimately, patients.



About Hospice Palliative Care Ontario

Hospice Palliative Care Ontario (HPCO) is a provincial association which provides leadership on behalf of its members by informing policy and promoting awareness, education, knowledge transfer and best practices in the pursuit of quality hospice palliative care in Ontario. Our members include nurses, social workers, case managers, palliative care specialists, family physicians, therapists, palliative care educators, hospices, long-term care homes, palliative care programs and hospitals. HPCO envisions a future where every person and family of Ontario can quickly and easily access the finest standard of hospice palliative care when required.


About The Cowan Foundation:

The Cowan Foundation was started in 1995 in honour of Frank Cowan, the founder of Frank Cowan Company and Cowan Insurance Group. The Foundation is sustained by the ongoing success of the Princeton Holdings group of companies including Cowan Insurance Group, Frank Cowan Company, The Guarantee Company of North America, and Cowan Asset Management. Together they provide insurance, wealth management and risk management products and services for individuals, businesses, organizations and public entities as well as assist employers with their group benefits, retirement and health and disability management plans. The goal of The Cowan Foundation is to make a positive difference in the lives of Canadians and the broader well-being of our communities. Learn more at


For inquiries please contact:

Michelle Colero Development Manager
Hospice Palliative Care Ontario or 416-304-1477 ext 32


Maggie Hall
Marketing & Communications Specialist
The Cowan Foundation/Cowan Insurance Group 519-650-6363 ext 31333



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