Sunday, April 24 to Tuesday, April 26, 2022    

HPCO will  host thought leaders, service providers, health system planners, researchers, policy makers, administrators, front-line practitioners and volunteers from across the healthcare spectrum to come together for a three-day conference to collaborate and integrate hospice palliative care in all settings. Safety is Our Top Priority, and we are committed to producing a safe conference for our attendees, exhibitors, suppliers, and staff.

Conference and Program Advisory Committee Co-Chairs:

Nadine Persaud, BSW, MSW, RSW, PhD© is currently the Executive Director of the Kensington Hospice Senior Director of Client Services at the Kensington Gardens, and The Second Mile Club of Toronto. Nadine has been working in the hospice palliative care field for the past 16 years. She is a trainer for the Core Concepts Hospice Palliative Training for three of the hospices in Toronto and is a facilitator through Palcare for the hospices in York Region. Nadine was instrumental in redeveloping the Palliative Care Certificate Program through Durham College. She also sits on the Accreditation review panel for Hospice Palliative Care Ontario and is on the board of directors for the Hazel Burns Hospice. Nadine received her Bachelor of Social Work and minor in Psychology at Ryerson University, a Master of Social Work at York University and is currently awaiting her defense for her PhD in Palliative Care through Lancaster University in England. Her research interests include maximizing supports that are available to healthcare providers working in the field of hospice palliative care, the methods in which the provision of palliative care can be improved at a community, provincial and national level, the supports that are available to adolescents and young adults living with advanced cancer at the end-of-life and the importance of equity, diversity and inclusion within palliative care. This is Nadine’s 15th year attending the conference.  


Christopher A. Klinger, PhD is an Assistant Professor (Part-Time, Status) at McMaster University’s Department of Family Medicine, Division of Palliative Care and a Research Scientist with Pallium Canada. He chairs the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly’s (NICE) End-of-Life Issues Theme Team and is the Co-chair of the Quality End-of-Life Care Coalition of Canada’s (QELCCC) Research and Knowledge Translation Committee. His research interests are in health systems and policy, with a focus on hospice palliative care. He has presented at numerous national and international conferences, and regularly teaches courses on aging, health systems/policy, research methods, and knowledge translation.




Conference Program Advisory Committee:

Michael Anderson, MD, MSc, FRCSC,  is part of the urban Indigenous community in Toronto. He is Mohawk (Bear Clan) and English with family roots in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. He practices surgical oncology and palliative care medicine and is the Indigenous Strategy Lead at the University Health Network. He previously served as the Indigenous Cancer Lead in the Toronto Regional Cancer Program. At the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (U of T), he is a PhD candidate and senior researcher with interests in Indigenous epistemologies, Indigenous approaches to implementation science, ethical Indigenous community-healthcare research partnerships, dialogue, and Indigenous conceptualizations of death and dying.


Andrea Binkle, RN MA, is Executive Director at Lisaard & Innisfree Hospice and a Senior healthcare leader committed to strengthening patient, family and staff experience through engagement, partnership and collaboration.  Registered Nurse with a breadth of leadership experience across the Ontario healthcare system.  For the past 15 years, Andrea’s work has been in the hospice palliative care realm at the local, regional and provincial level.




Pamela Blackwood, with more than 30 years in not-for-profit management, Pamela Blackwood has brought her social work background and passion for excellence in patient and family support to her role as Executive Director of McNally House Hospice. Prior to joining the McNally House Hospice team in 2008, Pamela was a Sessional Professor at Mohawk College in the Social Service Worker program and the Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Brantford & District. Entering her 11th year with McNally House, Pamela holds leadership roles as the chair of the HPCO Residential Hospice Interest Group, as a member of Palliative Care Regional Council for the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand and Brant LHIN and as an HPCO reviewer for the residential and visiting hospice accreditation program. 


Cherie Kok, MA, Executive Director, Hospice Northwest. Born and raised in Thunder Bay, married 24 years, mother of three.  Cherie has experience working in both the for profit and non-profit sectors with an emphasis on program and community development.  Her MA is in Philanthropy and Development and she has over 15 years experience with fundraising and not-for profit management.   Cherie has been employed by Hospice Northwest for 3 and ½ years.  In addition, she is a Hospice Northwest volunteer and has worked with palliative, caregiver and grief clients.


Amanda Maragos, MHCM, CVRM,  is the Director of Client Services & Volunteer Programs for Philip Aziz Centre for Hospice Care & Emily’s House Children’s Hospice in downtown Toronto. She is an experienced professional in Hospice Palliative Care supports and Volunteer Management (in both the healthcare and social services sectors) and Healthcare Management, for 15 years. She currently manages and develops programming that oversees a volunteer team of over 350 people, and the allied health team, for both community and onsite hospice services. She also provides volunteer and staff education and consultation to various Toronto not-for-profit organizations; offering insight and best practices for programs that often support vulnerable people.  She is also a volunteer – contributing her time to serve her community as a board director, client support volunteer and standards advisor for 3 separate organizations. She loves to see compassion and connectivity lead to acts of kindness and personal growth for all.

Jitin Sondhi, HBSc, MD, CCFP(PC), Regional Clinical Co-Lead for the South West Hospice Palliative Care Network, Co-Lead Physician for Oxford Palliative Outreach Team, Sakura House Hospice; Chief of Hospitalist Program, Alexandra Hospital; Pediatric Palliative Care Consultant, Victory Hospital for Sick Children; Adjunct Associate Professor Family Medicine, Associate Professor for Department of Pediatrics, University of Western Ontario.

Nadine Valk, BA, MPA, has almost 30 years of experience working for charities and non-profits at the local, provincial and national levels, and is a passionate advocate for palliative care and community health. She is the Executive Director of Champlain Hospice Palliative Care Program, where she has the opportunity to help “engage people in palliative care so that they are seen, supported and connected” (Our team why) and to facilitate conversations about death, dying, grief and, most importantly, quality of life.