Program Advisory Committee

HPCO is grateful to the Program Advisory Committee for their leadership in planning HPCO2023 Now is the Time.  The annual conference takes a dedicated team of volunteers and staff. The team works throughout the year to plan and deliver a program that spotlights emerging research, innovations in care, and leading practice along with opportunities to reconnect with colleagues and to have fun while supporting your learning objectives. Kudos to a great team! 

Nadine Persaud, BSW, MSW, RSW, PhD is the Executive Director of the Kensington Hospice and 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 17 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. Nadine received her Bachelor of Social Work and minor in Psychology at Ryerson University, a Master of Social Work at York University and a 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. 

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.

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. 

Val Fiset, MScN, PdD, is the Director of the Champlain Hospice Palliative Care Program. Prior to taking on this role Val worked in the post-secondary nursing education sector in both Professor and Academic Administrator roles. Val completed her BScN at Queen’s University, and MScN and PhD at the University of Ottawa. Her CIHR-funded PhD research project was titled: “Nursing students’ use of guidelines for pain management in clinical practice – Context and influencing factors”.  Clinically, Val was an advanced practice nurse in palliative care, and worked in a variety roles and clinical settings in Ottawa and Montreal. Val is passionate about evidence-informed practice, gerontologic and palliative care nursing.

Cherie Kok, MAExecutive 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.