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Hospice award sends nurses to palliative care conference

Hospice Prince Edward Susan MacKay Award winners

In honour of the late Susan MacKay, Hospice Prince Edward is sponsoring two Prince Edward County nurses' attendance at the 2011 Hospice Palliative Care Association Conference. Shown are sponsorship winners Sarah Bishop and Sheri Mitchell with Angus MacKay (husband of the late Susan MacKay), Eleanor MacKay (daughter) and Joscelyn Matthewman, Palliative Care Co-ordinator for the Prince Edward Family Health Team and Hospice Prince Edward board member.

Hospice Prince Edward has given the opportunity of continuing education to two Prince Edward County nurses with the creation of the Susan MacKay sponsorship award.
Sheri Mitchell and Sarah Bishop from ComCare are winners of a draw to attend the Hospice Palliative Care Conference in April.
They will learn and understand more about palliative care through a variety of workshops led by professionals in various health care practices. The conference also features distinguished keynote speaker, Sharon Carstairs, P.C., speaking on the current state of palliative care in Canada.
“There have been more instances of palliative care in the home,” said Sheri Mitchell, who has been in the nursing field for more than 15 years, “This conference will provide us with education with a focus on palliative care.”

The Hospice Association of Ontario hosts the conference April 10-12 to update those involved in palliative care and to better equip them with the knowledge and understanding of patients facing a life limiting illness.

“This is a great opportunity because Sheri and Sarah will be able to share clinical experiences with other home care nurses in the province,” said Joscelyn Matthewman, Palliative Care Coordinator for the Prince Edward Family Health Team.

The sponsorship was created in memory of long-time Hospice Prince Edward board member Susan MacKay, who passed in 2010. Susan was part of the Hospice Prince Edward board of directors from 2005.
“Her hard work and dedication helped shape Hospice Prince Edward to what it is today – a compassionate, educational, and caring organization,” said Sharon Crane, Volunteer Integration Co-ordinator. “Both nurses happened to work with Susan during her nursing career.”

“Susan was really an inspiration for me to become a community nurse,” said Sarah Bishop.

Hospice Prince Edward is a local not-for-profit organization that assists people facing a life-limiting illness by providing comfort and care. Hospice also assists with educating families on different care practices and provides grief and bereavement support.
Visit Hospice Prince Edward website:

Hospice Prince Edward has been serving Prince Edward County since 1989, under the original name COPE. In September 2000, the Prince Edward County Palliative Care Association and COPE amalgamated to become Hospice Prince Edward. Hospice assists individuals, families and caregivers with understanding and coping with the challenge of a life limiting illness. Hospice also provides grief and bereavement support.

The Hospice Association of Ontario (HAO) was established in 1989 beginning with eight members and has grown exponentially since to 180 members. The HAO mission is for all of its members to deliver and provide the finest end-of-life care possible to individuals with life-threatening conditions. Members of the HAO are present in over 450 communities, with over 13,300 volunteers dedicating countless hours of service. Volunteers provide emotional, psychological, and spiritual support to help people with terminal illnesses live at home or in a home-like setting as fully and as comfortably as possible.

The HAO and Ontario Palliative Care Association are hosting the third annual Hospice Palliative Care Conference is taking place in Richmond Hill, April 10-12. The “One Voice, One Vision” conference provides educational and networking benefits to attendees, with workshops and discussions relating to the palliative care field.

Susan MacKay was born and educated in Ontario, graduating from Queen’s University in Nursing Science in 1963. She moved to Edmonton in 1981, and for 20 years held palliative care nursing positions in hospitals and home-care. Susan also served as the Palliative Care Nursing Consultant in the Capital Health Authority in Edmonton. She returned to Ontario in 2004 and joined the Hospice Prince Edward board in 2005. Susan was heavily involved in the revision of the Hospice Prince Edward Visiting Volunteer training manual. She also provided a Therapeutic Workshop for volunteers. Susan passed away in 2010, and is remembered by her husband, Angus, and three adult children. Hospice Prince Edward remembers Susan through this sponsorship and by providing a continuing education opportunity for local nurses.

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