Sunday Morning HIT Talks

HIT (Healthcare, Innovation & Technology) Talks
Sunday, April 22, 2018 – 9:45 am – 10:45 am

Addressing the Social Determinants of Palliative Care: Experience and Solutions in Providing Care for the Homeless and Vulnerably Housed
Namarig Ahmed, MN RN

Providing palliative care for all is essentially addressing and applying a social justice lens to the systematic barriers that some people in our society face when accessing services. Mainstream palliative care services are not always able to meet the complex needs of homeless and vulnerably housed individuals due to an array of issues including capacity, experience and resources. Considering the impacts of the social determinants of health, these patients lack adequate or any housing, social supports and have complex health related issues that require strategic and collaborative approach to increase access to appropriate palliative care supports. Since 2014, Inner City Health Associate’s has responded to the needs by initiating the Palliative Education and Care for the Homeless (PEACH) program, a mobile, shelter-based service that aims to provide early and supportive palliative care for the homeless and vulnerably-housed in Toronto.

This population has mortality rates that are 2.3 to 4 times higher than the average population. Studies have shown that those experiencing homelessness are 28 times more likely to suffer from Hepatitis C, five times as likely to suffer from heart disease, and four times more likely to suffer from cancer than the general population. This increased morbidity impacts the age at death for this population, which has been reported to be 34 – 47 years. The need for early, supportive palliative care is clear for this population, however so too are the barriers, stigma and discrimination that is faced by this population.

Through PEACH’s journey, a need for a hospice for the homeless was identified, and now in 2018 Journey Home Hospice will be opening. This Hospice will utilize PEACH’s model by ensuring interdisciplinary and collaborative partnerships to meet the complex range of needs for patients until their end of life journey. The homeless population needs and deserves quality hospice palliative care services; in Toronto, PEACH and the Journey Home Hospice is one of such services that has endeavoured to address the social determinants of palliative hospice care.

Granting Last Wishes and Creating Long Lasting Legacies through Virtual Reality
David Parker, BA

David Parker is founder and head-wish-granter at Wishplay, a non-profit that uses Virtual Reality to grant last wishes and unattainable experiences for the dying and disabled. David will share the positive benefits of using Virtual Reality to grant last wishes, reduce pain, and improve the mood of patients. He will show the specific methodology for a safe patient program that can be applied to family and caregivers as well. Using the results from a palliative specific pilot at Mount Sinai and Bridge Point the audience will learn about the various types of Virtual Reality solutions including a very powerful and long-lasting legacy program that can immediately be implemented at any organization. Following the theme of Equity, David will present how a Virtual Reality program and findings can be applied to a wide variety of disciplines within the health care spectrum.

Sunday Afternoon Keynote

Dr. Shane Sinclair, PhD, The Carmelita Lawlor Lectureship in Palliative Care 
Sunday, April 22, 2018 – 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

Compassion within Healthcare

Shane holds the University of Calgary Cancer Care Research Professorship within the Faculty of Nursing and has published extensively on psychosocial and spiritual issues within palliative care. Shane was selected specifically for his international expertise on the topic of compassion within healthcare. His pioneering work to delineate between patients’ perspectives of sympathy, empathy and compassion has led to the reconceptualization of compassion fatigue and self-compassion. Shane is past president of the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology and has presented extensively at the international level on this unique and important area of expertise. Dr. Sinclair holds a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity Western University, a Master of Divinity from Regent College, and a Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Calgary.

Monday Morning Keynote

Jeffrey Turnbull, MD, FRCPC
Chief of Staff, The Ottawa Hospital Chief, Clinical Quality, Health Quality Ontario
Monday, April 23, 2018 – 9:00 am – 10:15 am

Challenges in Palliative Care: Are we Serving our Most Vulnerable

During this presentation, the importance of developing health equity within health and healthcare will be emphasized. Specific challenges in serving vulnerable populations will be addressed and specific examples of palliative care for the homeless community will be provided. The lecture will end with a challenge to leaders and providers in providing more appropriate care to the vulnerable around us.

For full bio and details, click HERE!

Tuesday Morning Keynote

Michael Anderson, MD, MSc, FRCSC
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 – 9:00 am – 10:00 am

Striving for Equity in Palliative Care for Indigenous Peoples: Decolonizing Death and Dying

Indigenous communities have a long history of practicing palliative care. While the final walk of one’s journey to the spirit world presents challenges, it remains an auspicious opportunity for healing. Healing, from an Indigenous worldview, is a process aimed at restoring balance among the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical realms of self. This is not simply about healing the individual but also encompasses healing “all my relations.”
Improving palliative care for Indigenous people must begin with an effort to appreciate that Indigenous worldviews are relational and thus differ fundamentally from that of the dominant biomedical system. To realize the opportunities for healing, Indigenous culture, knowledge, and constructs of community need to be respected and valued. The path to decolonizing palliative care can be approached by building meaningful relationships which support harmony between Indigenous and biomedical worldviews. Death is not a medical event. It is about culture and community.

For full bio and details, click HERE!

Tuesday Closing Keynote

Meg Soper, Motivational Humorist, Speaker, Author
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 – 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Bring it On…Strategies for Personal Resiliency

Get ready to laugh, be inspired and have a blast! You won`t want to miss Meg Soper, one of Canada’s leading motivational speakers. Megs laugh-out-loud and engaging keynote, Bring it On…Strategies for Personal Resiliency, offers a dynamic mix of stand-up comedy and motivational humour. Meg provides a light-hearted perspective on the stresses of every day life. Join us as she demonstrates the powerful role that humor can play in helping us all manage our emotions, communicate more effectively and so much more!  

For full bio and details, click HERE!