Lakehead U: Region is in spotlight at upcoming palliative care online summit

Press Release

This year’s Northwestern Ontario Palliative Care Online Summit, which will be on Thursday, Oct. 28, highlights the strength and resilience of the Thunder Bay region’s palliative care professionals in adapting to devastating situations and continuing to provide high-quality care.

Coordinated by the Centre for Education and Research on Aging & Health (CERAH), Lakehead University, the summit will spotlight the approaches that regional health-care providers have taken to continue delivering a high standard of palliative care to the people of Northwestern Ontario during these challenging times.

Palliative care health-care providers have been through many changes in health-care delivery during the pandemic and in many cases, the situations they’ve faced have been especially difficult. For example, visitation restrictions have caused much moral, ethical and emotional distress to health-care workers, patients and their families, and have resulted in many people dying without loved ones by their side.

“Like many other areas, Northwestern Ontario health-care providers have been challenged by COVID-19,” said Stephanie Hendrickson, Summit coordinator.

“While the pandemic has certainly highlighted gaps in our system, we are grateful for the resiliency of our health-care providers who have continued to provide the high level of care we have come to expect. Moving forward, we will continue to support our health-care providers through education and our Summit is key to this,” she said.

“We will be highlighting how our region has continued to build effective approaches to identifying and supporting people who would benefit  from a palliative approach to care despite these barriers to care.”

Dr. Amy Montour from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, a palliative-care physician, will help set the stage, highlighting how health-care workers can recover and even thrive and grow together as demonstrated by the continued work to improve access to high-quality, culturally safer palliative care despite the pandemic.

Dr. Montour will also explain the Two-Eyed Seeing approach to palliative care for Indigenous people, and how health-care workers can incorporate a trauma-informed perspective to the practice of palliative care.

Regional health-care providers from Kenora, Nipigon, Manitouwadge, and Thunder Bay will discuss achievements and developments in the palliative care delivered in Northwestern Ontario – such as the implementation of Indigenous Transition Facilitators throughout the region, which have helped patients and their families receive the sensitive and responsive support they need at the palliative and end-of-life phases in their illness journey.

Health-care providers, administrators, educators, volunteers, and students are invited to attend. This virtual event takes place on Thursday, Oct. 28 from 9 am to 5 pm (EDT). Cost is $50 per person and the deadline to register is Monday, Oct. 18.

This event is organized by CERAH and the 2021 Northwestern Ontario Palliative Care Online Summit Committee, made up of health-care organizations from Thunder Bay and the region. For more information, visit the Summit website at


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