2020 Learning Institute Program

Please click the link below to download a PDF copy of the Syllabus.

2020 CHPCA Learning Institute Syllabus

Program Details


Thursday, November 12, 2020 – 10:00 a.m.

The Impact of the COVID‐19 Pandemic on Palliative Care in Canada: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Presented by Dr. José Pereira

Dr. José Pereira is Professor and Director of the Division of Palliative Care in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University. He is co-founder and Scientific Officer of Pallium Canada. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he has led several initiatives at both Pallium Canada and in the Hamilton region related to responding to the pandemic. These included several national webinars, drawing on insights of many colleagues across the country as they experienced the pandemic.


The Serious Illness Conversation Guide is an important component of advance care planning that supports a palliative approach to care, improves care for all persons with serious illness, and encourages conversations that facilitate “early planning, not early decisions”.

Thursday, November 12, 2020 – Session 1&2 (Full Day) - 11:15 a.m.

Train the Trainer Workshop

Adapted by the BC Centre for Palliative Care based on the program at Ariadne Labs, Harvard Medical School.

This full day (invitational for approximately 40 participants) Train the Trainer workshop, facilitated by Master Trainers and Coaches, is designed to train multi-disciplinary facilitators across Canada to run core workshops on the use of the Serious Illness Conversation Guide within their provincial jurisdictions.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To explore teaching methods that motivate adults to improve communication skills.
  2. To identify components of the Serious Illness Conversation Program.
  3. To facilitate a skills practice session on the use of the Serious Illness Conversation Guide.
  4. To respond confidently to clinician concerns and barriers about using the SICG in clinical practice.
  5. To discuss strategies for implementation of the SIC Program within your program.


  1. Kathleen Yue, RN, BSN, MN, CHPCN (C), Clinical Lead, Education BC Centre for Palliative Care.
  2. Dr Gillian Fyles MD CCFP (PC) Medical Lead Serious Illness Conversation Initiative BC-CPC.
  3. Elizabeth Beddard-Huber RN, MSN, CHPCN (C) Clinical Lead Serious Illness Conversation Initiative BC-CPC.
  4. Master Trainees as Facilitators TBA.

Friday, November 13, 2020 – Session 3 - Option 1 - 10:00 a.m.

Serious Illness Conversation Clinician Workshop

New facilitators from Day 1 will have an opportunity to co-teach the Day 2 Session 3 (Option 1) workshop. Participants for the half-day clinician workshop will need to register their intent to attend. Priority would be given to those who have completed or attended Day 1 from another Stream.

See Stream 3 – Session 3 for more details about this workshop.

Friday, November 13, 2020 – Session 3 - Option 2 - 10:00 a.m.

Adapting the Serious Illness Conversation Guide for Patients from Diverse Communities: Practical Considerations to Enhance Culturally Sensitive Communication

This session will be open to all interested participants from Stream 3 (ACP in Canada: New tools in community care) and those from Stream 1 who are not selected to co-facilitate Day 2 Session 3 (Option 1) – Serious Illness Clinician Workshop.

The Serious Illness Conversation Guide (SICG), developed by Ariadne Labs, has gained increasing acceptance as a primary palliative care clinical tool to enhance the quality of advance care planning for patients with serious illness. The guide was developed in a population of predominantly white, well-educated, urban patients in the Northeastern U.S. and tested with African Americans with low education and health literacy in the Southern U.S. for acceptability.

In this workshop, leaders from the BC Centre for Palliative Care, First Nations Health Authority and Ariadne Labs will engage participants in discussions and activities that help consider the rationale and practical considerations for adapting any number of clinical tools, using experience gained with adaptation of the SICG. Participants will gain exposure to the SICG, including the rationale of its various components; will learn about the specific processes used to engage the BC First Nations communities; will consider and discuss pitfalls and opportunities in adaptation from academic and pragmatic perspectives; and will participate in inter-professional small groups to learn concrete strategies for adaptation of this primary palliative care tool to respectfully support people of diverse backgrounds to express their views, values and experiences.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explore the importance of providing culturally safe health care within the context of Advance Care Planning and Serious Illness Conversations
  2. Participants will gain insight into the rationale and process of adapting clinical tools to enhance cultural appropriateness for use in diverse communities, with a focus on an adaptation for First Nations.
  3. Through interactive exercises and small group discussion, participants will gain first-hand experience with strategies to engage end-user feedback virtually through multiple data collection methods


  1. Justin J Sanders, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Ariadne Labs, Boston, MA
  2. Elizabeth Beddard-Huber, RN, MSN, CHPCN(C), BC Centre for Palliative Care
  3. Nicole Wikjord, RN, MN, CHPCN(C), Clinical Nurse Specialist, First Nations Health Authority
  4. Kathleen Yue, RN, MN, CHPCNG(C), BC Centre for Palliative Care


Thursday, November 12, 2020 – Session 1 - 11:15 a.m.

Using a Framework for Conducting Psychosocial Assessments

Social workers, Counselors, and Social Service Providers are increasingly core members of inter-professional teams offering psychosocial support to individuals facing advanced illness, palliative care and end of life. The delivery of person-centered care services, to an increasingly diverse population at a time of great social and demographic change, presents a complex challenge in assuring assessments reflect the needs of individuals with advanced illness and their caregivers, families and friends.

This session is intended for psychosocial professionals involved in all care settings (home care, community organizations, hospital, residential care, hospice, palliative care).

Workshop will include:

  • Outline skills and practice with evidence-based holistic assessment tools, expertise and interventions supporting the inter-professional team’s person – centered approach to care.
  • Address key questions in the specific domains of assessment using case studies.
  • Identify and discuss elements of ethical practice, theories, policies, and legislation relevant to psychosocial assessment, such as ACP, MAID, Elder mistreatment, and caregiving.
  • Promote a Canada –wide standardized assessment practice with consideration for diversified, underserved and vulnerable populations.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Apply competencies and tools in conducting psychosocial assessments.
  2. Reflect on complex care issues and plan out assessment focus areas.
  3. Ensure a holistic palliative care approach in every setting.
  4. Improve access to care for vulnerable populations and support informed choices.
  5. Address caregivers’ needs during the illness trajectory and post-care.


  1. Zelda Freitas, SW, Coordinator, Area of Expertise – Caregiving, CREGÉS, CIUSSS West-Central Montreal

Thursday, November 12, 2020 – Session 2 - 2:45 p.m.

Bereavement and Complicated Grief

This workshop is directed at moderate to advanced psychosocial care providers who are working with bereaved individuals.

Workshop will include:

  • A brief summary of several foundational frameworks for understanding grief.
  • Presentation of an eclectic, integrated, pluralistic approach to working with bereavement.
  • Introduction of and practice with a variety of bereavement assessment tools and interventions.
  • Overview of complicated grief (CG) and approaches to treatment, including review of risk factors, diagnostic criteria, treatment options, and a brief overview of how CG intersects with trauma.
  • Didactic and collaborative learning opportunities, through the use of video, case study, and practice with select tools and interventions.

Learning objectives:

  1. Be introduced to an integrated understanding of bereavement based on foundational and new frameworks for understanding grief.
  2. Have the opportunity to learn about and practice a variety of grief assessment tools and interventions.
  3. Gain a deeper understanding of CG and how to approach assessment and intervention.


  1. Marney Thompson, M.A., Registered Clinical Counsellor, Director of Psychosocial Services, Victoria Hospice

Friday, November 13, 2020 – Session 3 - 10:00 a.m.

Key Conversations

Social workers are faced with having to navigate challenging conversations every day in their work with patients, families, and healthcare teams within the context of palliative and end of life care. This session will deal with goals of care discussion and other sensitive issues in the provision of palliative care.  Planning for location of death and funeral arrangements will be explored from the angle of the care recipient and the caregiver.

Workshop will include:

  • An overview of the diverse conversations that social workers may encounter (how to introduce palliative care to patients, family and caregivers, transitions in the health care continuum, etc.).
  • Critical discussion of some communication theories.
  • Overview of some of the key conversations facing social workers today: ACP, levels of care, organ and body donation, MAiD, IPC, funeral arrangements.
  • Didactic and collaborative learning opportunities, through the use of videos, case study, and role play.

Learning objectives:

  1. Actively engage in case study discussion.
  2. Have the opportunity to learn about and practice communication skills using role play.
  3. Receive support and validation from other social workers navigating these key conversations.


  1. Kathy Kortes-Miller, MSW, PhD, Assistant professor, School of Social Work and Associate Director, Centre for Education and Research On Aging and Health (CERAH) at Lakehead University.
  2. Patrick Durivage, MSW, CREGES domain of expertise in palliative care, CIUSSS Centre-Ouest de l’Île de Montréal


Are you passionate about ensuring peoples wishes align with the care they receive? 

The goal for this Advance Care Planning stream is to bring together healthcare providers and community partners to learn about each other’s innovative practices and expertise.

Thursday, November 12, 2020 – Session 1 - 11:15 a.m.

Framework and Living Well, Planning Well Toolkit

Canada has taken further steps to support Advance Care Planning implementation and partnership networks with the development of a Pan-Canadian Framework and Live Well, Plan Well legal toolkit. Join us as we learn together and explore strategies to put frameworks and toolkits into actions that are relevant for you, your community, and those you support throughout the advance care planning processes.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Increase knowledge regarding the legal and medical nuances in various provinces and territories and how they differ.
  2. Learn strategies and skills to work with and use the Framework and Living Well, Planning Well toolkit.
  3. Learn to effectively communicate with individuals based on their health care priorities in conversations about the planning of their future care.
  4. Enhance communication skills and strategies when speaking to larger groups, general public and clinicians in their communities.


  1. Cari Borenko Hoffmann, BA BSW RSW, Advance Care Planning Lead, Fraser Health; Clinical Instructor, Department of Medicine, UBC.
  2. Lauren Thomas, RN, BSN, Advance Care Planning Nurse Clinician, Fraser South, Regional Advance Care Planning Team, Fraser Health

Thursday, November 12, 2020 – Session 2 - 2:45 p.m.

Challenging conversations around cultural differences and diversity – Navigating Cultural Diversity and Difficult Conversations around Advance Care Planning

In a multi-ethnic, multireligious society, like Canada, cultural barriers and lack of cultural competency are too often reported by clinicians as the reasons for not initiating ACP conversations with patients. Culture determines how individuals see themselves, view and value things in life, respond to illness, and make health-care decisions. In this session, the participants will be introduced to the perspectives of most prevalent cultural groups about participating in ACP and to culturally adapted ACP resources. Participants will also be engaged in a dialogue around the bioethics’ perspective of initiating ACP conversations with culturally diverse patients.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Further understand the perspectives of most prevalent cultural groups about participating in advance care planning conversations and discuss enablers and challenges
  2. Know how cultural adaptation of ACP can be achieved
  3. become aware of valuable advance care planning resources that are culturally and linguistically appropriate
  4. Learn about the bioethics perspective of implementation in culturally diverse communities


  1. Dr. Eman Hassan, Executive Director of BC Centre for Palliative Care.
  2. Bob Parke, Bioethicist.

Friday, November 13, 2020 – Session 3 - 10:00 a.m.

Serious Illness Conversation Clinician Workshop: Serious Illness Conversations Care Programs

The core two and a half hour SIC Workshop for clinicians will be led by Facilitators and Master Trainers from Stream 1 Session 1&2 (Thursday Full Day). The structured Conversation Guide helps clinicians elicit the patient’s understanding of their illness, their decision-making preferences, share prognostic information or functional status, understand goals and fears, explore views on trade-offs and impaired function, and identify wishes and next steps for family involvement. Participants will be given the opportunity to practice using the SICG through case-based role play.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Summarize the rationale for a systematic approach to improving conversations about patient values and priorities in serious illness.
  2. Define the structure of the Serious Illness Care intervention and its components.
  3. Practice using a structured, person-centered approach to goals-of-care conversations


  1. Trained Facilitators from the Train the Trainer Workshop on Day 1.
  2. Dr Gillian Fyles MD CCFP (PC) Medical Lead Serious Illness Conversation Initiative BC-CPC.


Compassionate Communities will be covered all day on November 12th and 14th both in Session 1&2.  The sessions will be both didactic and interactive with activities developed to make this a practical learning experience. Where possible, case studies (sharing examples) will be used to learn from the experiences (lessons learned) of the leaders in compassionate communities in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec.

The following is the draft of the program still in development.

Thursday, November 12, 2020 – Session 1 - 11:15 a.m.

The Big Picture

This session will touch on the following topics with relation to Compassionate Communities within Canada.  This session looks at an overview of what Compassionate Communities are and informs the participant about what models currently exist within Canada.

Workshop will include:

  1. Overview of concept – theory (research base) to practice.
  2. Quick summary of Canadian environmental scan – where there are programs – early numbers.
  3. Building Community Capacity:
    • Asset based community development and collaborative partnerships
    • Ensuring flexibility and adaptability in response to changing environments
    • Case studies will be presented including BC, Ontario, and Quebec.
  4. Look at existing toolkits (BC, Pallium and others).

Learning objectives:

  1. Learn about the concept of and theory behind Compassionate Communities.
  2. Explore models used to build community capacity within Canadian communities – looking at both formal and informal or community and provider and bottom up models.
  3. Learn about Compassionate Communities across Canada based on environmental scan data and case studies involving different models used across the country.


  1. Eman Hassan, Executive Director, BC Centre for Palliative Care
  2. Deborah Sattler, Advisor, Compassionate Community Communities of Practice, Hospice Palliative Care Ontario (HPCO)

Case Studies:

  1. Xxx , BC Centre for Palliative Care
  2. Anitra Bostock, Community Development Project Manager, Montreal Institute for Palliative Care.
  3. Julie Darnay, Director, Education & Strategic Partnerships, Hospice Palliative Care Ontario (HPCO)
  4. Pam Grassau, Carleton University, Principal Investigator, Healthy End of Life Project (HELP) Ottawa, Help Ottawa, Compassionate Ottawa
  5. Jeff Moat, Chief Executive Officer, Pallium Canada

Thursday, November 12, 2020 – Session 2 - 2:45 p.m.

Moving Forward

This session will explore what makes a successful Compassionate Community and look at ways to design programs and measure their success.  During this session the following topics will be examined more in depth:

  1. 360 look at what makes a successful Compassionate Community.
  2. Co-design program exercise.
  3. Measure the impact of programs – how to evaluate your program.
  4. Obstacles and a “how to overcome” exercise.
  5. Sustainability of programs including volunteers and funding and partnerships.
  6. Scalability of programs – whether small or large initiatives — a look at different models.
  7. What’s next – not easy but worthwhile (open discussion).

Learning objectives:

  1. Explore what makes a successful Compassionate Community.
  2. Examine ways to measure the impact of programs, including how to scale the program within the community.
  3. Discuss what is next for Compassionate Communities, including ways to move the initiative forward.


  1. Nadine Valk, Executive Director, Champlain Palliative Care Program

Friday, November 13, 2020 – Session 3 - 10:00 a.m.

How to Become a Compassionate Leader

Compassionate leadership can simply involve helping staff to develop ideas for new and improved ways of doing things, be it providing delivery of health services and programs supporting patients and their families/friends/caregivers.  This can include change management and inspiring an environment of improvement.

This session will be both didactic and interactive with activities developed to make this a practical learning experience.  Case studies (sharing examples) will be used so we learn from the experiences.

Learning objectives:

  1. Learn about the concept of compassionate leadership including examining improved ways to support patients, families and their friends/caregivers.
  2. Explore case studies used to demonstrate compassionate leadership.
  3. Learn about change management as an environment to inspire change within the delivery of health services and programs.


  1. Sharon Baxter, MSW, Executive Director, Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association
  2. Susan Blacker, MSW, RSW, Senior Director, Cancer & Palliative Program Planning and Performance Sinai Health System


Friday, November 13, 2020 – Closing Plenary - 1:30 p.m.

Advocacy in Hospice Palliative Care

This session will explore what advocacy means in hospice palliative care.  We will dive into how to affect change across the field and take a look at how we share our voices across all settings of care.  The session will conclude by exploring what the future in hospice palliative care looks like and what each of us can do to be the drivers of that vision.

Presented by:

  • Sharon Baxter, MSW, Executive Director, Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association
  • Helena Sonea, Senior Manager of Advocacy, Canadian Cancer Society

Farewell thoughts:  Sharon Baxter, MSW, Executive Director, Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association