Inside the 2023 CHPCA Conference: CHPCA Staff Reflect Part 1

A photo from a hotel ballroom mezzanine with two people on a stage speaking to a large group of people seated around multiple circular tables.
Conference attendees enjoying Dr. Hsien Seow and Dr. Sammy Winemaker's Friday morning plenary talk.

What happens when you gather over 400 passionate, innovative, thoughtful, and dedicated hospice palliative care professionals and volunteers from across the country to share and learn together? We got to find out at the 2023 CHPCA Conference in October!

Throughout the conference, CHPCA challenged participants to be a part of the Palliative Revolution, to innovate and explore new paradigms, to challenge their preconceived beliefs, and to connect with their peers. The response and energy everyone showed knocked our socks off! From speakers, to panelists, to volunteers, everyone at the conference took on the challenge with zeal. Now that the conference is wrapped up, the CHPCA team wanted to join the fun and share what they learned from the experience. Here’s what we took away from the occasion:


CHPCA’s very own Conference-planner extraordinaire!

At the 2023 Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association Conference, I had the privilege of witnessing an incredible gathering that offered so many invaluable insights. Here are my key takeaways: The conference’s remarkable ability to bring together over 400 individuals from across Canada, representing nearly all the provinces and territories, and even some international locales, highlighted the strength of a united palliative care community. Experts and newcomers with diverse backgrounds and experiences converged with a shared commitment to revolutionize palliative care. This unity emphasized the importance of collaboration, knowledge sharing, and collective efforts in advancing the field, aligning with the conference’s theme of “A Palliative Revolution.” The conference’s theme encouraged attendees to embrace change and innovation within the field. The event featured three plenaries, 5 Burning Issues Panels, and over 130 workshops, oral, and poster presentations that showcased new paradigms, innovative research, interdisciplinary collaboration, and passionate advocacy for systemic change. The conference left us inspired and motivated to become bold, vocal advocates for compassionate, accessible, and comprehensive palliative care. In summary, the 2023 Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association Conference showcased the unity within the palliative care community and the potential for transformation. It left everyone inspired and committed to driving positive change in palliative care across Canada and beyond.


Master of registration and behind-the-scenes star

This was my first CHPCA Conference and I was blown away by the passion, care, and kindness I always felt around me. It was really heartwarming to see old friends reunite and to see new friendships and bonds created. I so appreciated sharing space with a group of likeminded folks all working towards the same goals in the fight for a palliative revolution! It was an unbelievable learning opportunity to be in the presence of such powerhouses in the field. I only wish I could have been in 10 different places at once to take in all the different plenaries, burning issues panels, workshops and orals happening!


Alternate-Cheryl and detangler of logistical knots

The energy, compassion, knowledge, and expertise of the people working in hospice palliative care continues to awe and inspire. The conference reinforced the strength and value of relationships in the work that we do. That our peers are there to encourage, challenge and enrich our work as we strive to provide equitable access to quality hospice palliative care for all Canadians. And an important reminder that we are not all the same height as Zoom would have us believe.


CHPCA Ringmaster and networking virtuoso

It was an absolute delight to host our delegates in our nation’s capital. From all accounts thus far, we successfully ran a conference that had something for everyone who is involved with palliative care. The conference delegates reminded me that when you bring great people together, with a common goal, we get things done. Let the revolution begin!

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