New Sharon Carstairs-OutCare Foundation Fellowship for Hospice Palliative Nursing Launches at Bruyère

January 30, 2023 – Ottawa, ON

The Sharon Carstairs-OutCare Foundation Fellowship for Hospice Palliative Nursing was created to provide nurses at Bruyère an opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge, and expertise in palliative care and advance a project in their clinical area that will help to promote and advance a palliative approach to care.

The OutCare Foundation established this new endowed fellowship in recognition of the Honourable Sharon Carstairs, PC, CM for her thirty years of leadership in the field of palliative care in Canada.

“We chose to partner with Bruyère because of their reputation and expertise in palliative care not only in our community, but nationally.” – Christine Irvine, Chair, OutCare Foundation.

The 12-week Fellowship will be awarded in January 2024 and will provide the selected fellow with salary replacement and registration in the Learning Essential Approaches to Palliative Care (LEAP) Core course, as well as clinical mentorship.

“Only about 30% of those who need palliative care can access it. And that’s simply not enough. This program will help us to increase the number of frontline health care professionals properly trained to provide a palliative approach to care to our population.” – stated Sharon Carstairs.

Palliative care is often thought of as end-of-life care, occurring in the last weeks or months of life, when there is no treatment left to explore and the focus of care transitions from cure to comfort. However, people diagnosed with a life-limiting illness can live many years with their condition. A palliative approach to care supports a better quality of life, reduces anxiety, and improves pain and symptom management at all stages of life in people living with life-threatening illnesses.

The 2021 census shows that by 2046, the population aged 85 and older could triple to almost 2.5 million people. As Canadians are living longer, they are often living with multiple chronic illnesses for many years of their lives.

“Palliative care is about helping someone to live as well as possible for as long as possible. Bruyère is working towards offering a palliative approach to care to all our patients and residents. This endowment fund is helping us to get there. We look forward to the important benefits that will follow, and the enhanced experience of our patients and their loved ones.” –  Paula Doering, Senior Vice-President, Clinical Programs, Chief Nursing Executive and Allied Health Professionals

The $140,000 endowment fund was established with the funds raised at OutCare Foundation’s annual Black Tie Bingo event, and a personal contribution from Sharon and John Carstairs. Bruyère will also contribute financial support annually to the Fellowship.

Bruyère Media Contact:  Anick Sabourin

How You Can Contribute

To contribute to this important initiative, please visit our donation page.

Click here to make a donation.

About the Honourable Sharon Carstairs, PC, CM

Sharon Carstairs was a pioneer in the public discussion about palliative care. She passionately believes that quality end-of-life care is the right of every Canadian.

Upon retirement from the Senate, she served as Chair of OutCare Foundation, was instrumental in the establishment of the Canadian Virtual Hospice and currently serves as Chair of the International Centre for Dignity and Palliative Care.

Her compassion, advocacy and support have built awareness of the need for palliative care and quality end-of-life in Canada. Since her retirement from the Senate, she joined the Board of OutCare Foundation and served as Chair for 3 years, and currently chairs the International Centre for Dignity and Palliative Care.

About Outcare Foundation

OutCare Foundation has been providing funding for health care and related community programs since 2001, but their history of health care support goes further back. They were originally created as the Riverside Hospital Foundation in 1984. After several Ottawa hospitals integrated in 1997, the Foundation continued as a distinct entity and was rebranded as OutCare Foundation in 2001 to reflect a focus on “out (of hospital) care” programs. For the next few years, they provided financial support to a wide range of community programs in Ottawa and throughout our community. Over time, they recognized an unmet need for “end-of-life” palliative care. As a result, OutCare Foundation refocused in 2005 to increase community awareness about this need and to provide financial support for the community palliative care programs. OutCare Foundation advocated for more dedicated palliative care beds in the Champlain Health Region and raised public awareness of the need for these out-of-hospital hospice services.

About Bruyère

Bruyère plays a unique role in the region’s health care system providing specialized hospital care, primary care, long-term care, and assisted and independent living for seniors. Bruyère includes four campuses: Élisabeth Bruyère Hospital and Élisabeth Bruyère Residence in the Byward Market area; Saint-Vincent Hospital in Centretown; Saint-Louis Residence and Bruyère Village in Orleans, and now Greystone Village, transitional care unit in Ottawa East.

Bruyère is an academic health care organization training the next generation of health care leaders and using research and industry partnerships to improve care. The Bruyère Research Institute focuses on finding our next generation of care for aging Canadians and vulnerable populations.