Canadian expertise about care of the seriously-ill and dying released on iTunes, YouTube

As part of World Hospice & Palliative Care Day the Canadian Pallium Project has launched no-cost, social media applications on Apple iTunes and YouTube under the Conversations on Caring banner.

Online PR News – 11-October-2011 – – October 8, 2011 – Edmonton and Ottawa, Canada – As part of World Hospice & Palliative Care Day the Canadian Pallium Project has launched no-cost, social media applications globally on Apple iTunes® and YouTube® under the Conversations on Caring banner.

An initial set of ten Conversations on Caring Classics are being released as a series of 40 to 50 minute audio and video podcasts on Apple iTunes®. With the growing convergence of internet-based media in the home and workplace, including internet SmartTV options on the newest flatscreen televisions, the Classics sessions are being simultaneously released on the Canadian Pallium Project’s YouTube channel. Simultaneous release on YouTube enables real-time, global online access via personal- and tablet-computing devices, smart phones, and internet-enabled television.

Conversations on Caring Classics are practical, interactive sessions conducted by recognized Canadian authorities from medicine, nursing, psychosocial, and other disciplines about enduring themes of serving the seriously-ill and dying in community-based settings. Topics include supporting families during advanced-illness and dying; engaging in dialogue with families; mitigating burnout and compassion fatigue in work with the dying; using hope as a resource; collaborating effectively with community-based physicians; supporting the bereaved during the holiday season, and others.

As more Canadians expect to live and die well in community settings including their own homes, there is a growing emphasis on leveraging the insights and wisdom of Canada’s most experienced palliative and end-of-life care expert practitioners and scholars. World Hospice and Palliative Care Day was chosen for the release of Conversations on Caring Classics as it is a unified day of action to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world, especially at the community-level. The World Day 2011 theme is Many diseases, many lives, many voices - palliative care for non-communicable conditions.

Dr. Jose Pereira, a senior Canadian palliative care physician based at the University of Ottawa and a Canadian Pallium Project co-founder, notes “Canada has been an early leader in investing in palliative care research and practice. Taking what we learn, making it accessible, and creating daily benefits for patients and families has become a critical accountability of public-funded research. Conversations on Caring moves insights out of the peer-reviewed journals making them readily accessible to our colleagues in the community.”

Dr. Pereira further notes “extending the wisdom of our colleagues who care for the dying in specialized palliative care programs and translating it into practical solutions of broad benefit to patients and families is crucial to addressing public confidence about Canada’s health systems.”

Michael Aherne, a former chair of the Quality End-of-Life Care Coalition of Canada’s, Professional Education Committee and Canadian Pallium Project co-founder, who served as design lead on the Conversations on Caring concept notes “today’s full-service community-based professional is expected to be more of a knowledge manager. They need to know how to recognize issues and formulate problems in their practice, then access the resources they need to address an issue.” Mr. Aherne notes “full-service community practitioners can’t possibly be experts in all things they encounter, but we can expect them to account for knowing how to formulate problems, find the resources to address issues, and apply that learning to inform solutions that are timely, effective, and ethical.” Conversations on Caring is one more tool in that toolbox of resources and in time it is expected to be cross-promoted with partners such as Canadian Virtual Hospice.

Mr. Aherne further notes “our colleagues in rural Canada often don’t have ready access to specialized palliative expertise and many providers in rural and smaller centres can be doubly challenged when patients are their friends or extended family.” Several of the Classics contain content specific to the challenges that volunteers and community-based professionals face in smaller centres, including engaging local family doctors to support the dying on an ‘as needed’ basis and other special considerations in smaller centres. A guide to inform how the new tools can be used to support local training is also underway.

A monthly Conversations on Caring session will be re-launched in early 2012 for community-based health providers, including Canada’s voluntary sector as well as a new generation of health science students now replacing an aging health workforce. Both the Conversations on Caring Classics series and the new Conversations on Caring monthly pan-Canadian professional development event are being made possible by a gift from the estate of the late, prominent Ottawa-area businessperson, Patrick Gillin.

The $400,000, Patrick Gillin Memorial Gift is being jointly-administered by the Ottawa-based Bruyère Foundation and the Pallium Foundation of Canada. It has been directed by the family of the late Patrick Gillin to support a series of curriculum renewal and program development re-investments first made possible by a $4.3 million investment from Health Canada in the Pallium Integrated Care Capacity Building Initiative, a one-time national investment from the Government of Canada’s, $800 million Primary Health Care Transition Fund (PHCTF), that ended in 2007.

The Canadian Pallium Project is a community of academic, health services delivery, voluntary sector, government and citizen leaders working together across Canada to build sustainable health delivery systems and healthy, secure communities. The Canadian Pallium Project was founded at the University of Alberta, Canada in 2000 as a university-extension and palliative care medicine collaboration in partnership with colleagues from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and NWT. It has evolved over the last decade with two one-time investments from Health Canada [$250,000 from the National Initiatives envelope of the one-time Rural and Remote Health Innovations Initiative (RRHII); $4.317 million from the one-time National Envelope of the Primary Health Care Transition Fund (PHCTF)], and is engaged in a renewal strategy.

The term pallium is the latin word meaning ‘to cloak or shelter.’ It’s the base word that Canadian physician Dr Balfour Mount used in the 1970s to coin the term palliative care. Canadian Pallium Project creates an environment for collaboration among local champions in order to help shelter patients and families from the burden of undue pain or suffering associated with serious-illness or dying with local use of best practice in chronic, supportive, palliative, and end-of-life care.