Alice Christensen - RN, BScN
I became at nurse in 1989 graduating from the VGH School of Nursing and I began my career at the Smithers hospital. After a couple of years, I travelled to Saudi Arabia where I worked for 2 years, I then took a few years off to travel. I obtained my Nursing degree in 1996 from UVic and began work in Public Health, first in the Northwest Territories, then in Terrace and returned to Smithers in 2008. After 10 years in Public Health, I needed a new challenge. I returned to university, completed the ONDEC program and started my career in Smithers Cancer Service. I love my job and feel privileged to get to know patients and families at this critical time in their lives.
Having worked in oncology for 9 years, I thought I might be able to offer something regionally and I am now working as the Regional Oncology Educator for Northern Health. I fully appreciate the need for good palliative care not only for the individual but for the caregivers and families. I hope to be able to work in partnership with the Regional Palliative Care team here in the north to ensure good palliative care is available and accessible.
- Northern Health Authority
Amanda Beernink - RN
Amanda Beernink is a Registered Nurse in Vancouver, BC. She has worked for the Providence Health Authority at both St. Pauls Hospital and Mt. Saint Joseph Hospital since 2007. Her previous nursing background includes; HIV medicine, Palliative Care, Cardiac Medicine, Cardiac ICU and most recently, nursing mentorship or Clinical Resource Nurse. In both her personal and professional life, the topic of Palliative Care and End of Life care, has been a relevant and sometimes conflicting concept in which to educate others. Her "passion", or at the least a personal desire, is to gain more knowledge on how to integrate the wealth of information on Palliative Care with her friends, family and colleagues. Amanda looks forward to both learning from and sharing with other experienced iPANEL Affiliates.
- Providence Health Care
Anne Bruce - RN, PhD
Anne is an Associate Professor with the School of Nursing at the University of Victoria. Her approach to nursing education embraces a belief that academic preparation makes a difference in serving patients and families competently, compassionately, and justly. Anne believes that scholarship underpins nursing as an academic discipline. Her research interests include cultural constructions of death and dying; contemplative practices in health and nursing education; mindfulness; narratives of living with serious illness; and interpretive inquiry (narrative inquiry, grounded theory, philosophical inquiry).
- University of Victoria
Camara van Breeman - RN, MN, CHPCN (C), NP (F)
Camara van Breemen is a nurse practitioner (family), providing pediatric palliative care assessment, consultation and education in a variety of settings: within Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, at BC Children's Hospital and the community. She teaches neonatal and perinatal palliative care workshops and co-instructs the online course Palliative Approach in Nursing Practice in the specialty nursing program at BCIT. Her areas of interest include pain and symptom management, mindfulness practice for professional caregivers, communication and advanced care planning and expression through art and play.
She has recently co-authored a chapter in Perinatal and Pediatric Bereavement in Nursing (2015) called Bereavement in Young Children in Pediatric Palliative Care, and another chapter in Palliative Care for Pediatric Life-Limiting Condition (2014) called Communication in Pediatric Palliative Care (2014).
She obtained her BSc in Nursing in 1991, Masters in Psychology and Certification in Play Therapy in 1999, and Masters in Nursing in 2007.
- Canuck Place Children's Hospice
- BC Children's Hospital
- British Columbia Institute of Technology: Specialty Nursing Program
- Education in End of Life and Palliative Education (Pediatrics) - Master Trainer
- Associate member of the Division of Palliative Care Medicine, UBC
Carolyn Wilkinson - RN, MSN
Carolyn has been involved in palliative care since the start of her nursing career in 1993, working in pediatric oncology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. In Vancouver, Carolyn worked in palliative care in the home setting while she completed her MSN with a focus on advanced practice in palliative care. Carolyn worked as the CNS at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice before moving back to the community as a Community Practice Resource, focusing on End of Life, cardiology, respiratory, and oncology support for Home & Community Care Clinicians across Island Health. Presently she works as a Clinical Nurse Specialist with Victoria Hospice .
- Victoria Hospice
- Island Health - Home and Community Care
Coby Tschanz - RN, MN, PhD (c)
Coby is currently an Assistant Teaching Professor and PhD candidate with the University of Victoria School of Nursing Program. Her interests include hospice palliative nursing education and practice; nursing theory-guided practice, education, and research; nursing philosophy; and human health experiences such as bearing witness, having faith, feeling pulled in different directions, and feeling confident. She also works on a casual basis, as an RN, with the Victoria Hospice Society Palliative Response Team. Coby finds nursing practice in these educational and community settings immensely inspiring!
- University of Victoria
- Victoria Hospice Society
Dawn Dompierre - RN, BSN
Dawn works for Island Health as a seniors’ health nurse and is also the Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment project lead for Island Health. Her work also involves supporting the public and health care providers on advance care planning (ACP). Dawn’s past experience includes working as an end of life coordinator for renal services, which involved improving patient’s quality of life through implementation of pain and symptom tools across the renal program, and advance care planning. Dawn has a real passion for end of life issues, implementing a palliative approach to chronic disease management and acting as a change agent.
- Island Health
Deanna Hutchings, RN, MN, CHPCN(C)
Deanna Hutchings has been involved directly and indirectly in palliative nursing practice for 30 years in practice, education, research and publication. Her practice experience includes 10 years as a staff nurse with the Victoria Hospice Society, an experience which laid the foundation for a deep and abiding interest in hospice palliative care. Deanna has studied hospice trends in the United Kingdom and at St. Christopher's Hospice in London and is certified in hospice palliative care nursing. She frequently teaches hospice palliative nursing for the undergraduate nursing program at UViC School of Nursing. She was the regional Clinical Nurse Specialist for End of Life Care in Island Health for five years and the Lead for Advance Care Planning until 2015.
She is currently the Support Coordinator for Sessional Instructors in the School of Nursing at the University of Victoria.
- University of Victoria School of Nursing
Deborah Radhuber - RN, BSN
Hello! I’m Deborah Radhuber, RN BscN and I work at the Kidney Care Clinic in Nanaimo and live in Ladysmith. This is a new position for me and I love my job!
Under my belt, I have 16 years of experience in hemodialysis. I worked in the Nanaimo Community Dialysis Unit and participated in its expansion from 4 chairs to 12 chairs. My career began at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver including research with Dr. A. Levin. I have attended End of Life conferences with Dr. Gaylene Hargrove for the past 4-5 years. I am curious and compassionate about executing End of Life care in the renal program. I look forward to continue working in the Renal Program here on Vancouver Island.
- Island Health
Elizabeth Beddard-Huber - RN, MSN, CHPCN (C)
Elizabeth Beddard-Huber, RN, MSN, a graduate from the University of British Columbia has worked in the field of palliative care as a clinician, instructor and researcher. She has worked as a Registered Nurse at the BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver and Auckland General Hospital, New Zealand. She was the Palliative Care Coordinator for a rural community in BC, a nursing instructor for the University of Victoria, an Advanced Practice Nurse with the Vancouver Cancer Centre Pain and Symptom Management/Palliative Care Team and a Clinical Nurse Specialist with the Palliative Care Program at Vancouver General Hospital. Currently she is a member of the Advisory Committee for Patient Centred Care with the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and the Vancouver Coastal regional Director with the BC Hospice Palliative Care Association.
- Adjunct Professor, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia
Gina Gaspard - RN, MN, GNC (C)
Gina Gaspard is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Gerontology supporting the Fraser Health Residential Care, Assisted Living & Specialized Populations Program. Gina has a special interest in caring for older adults and their families to promote function and quality of life through research, education and system change. Gina has published on topics such as palliative care, bathing people with dementia and dementia education. She is a frequent speaker on a palliative approach to dementia care.
- Fraser Health Authority (FH)
Ibolya Agoston - MSN
Ibolya works as Fort St John/NE Lead for Primary Health Care Community Programs Integration. It’s a long title describing working on a team to implement integrated primary care interprofessional teams in the North East region of Northern Health. In the new NH idealized primary care model, nurses working in departments such as Mental Health and Addictions, Public Health, and Home and Community Care will become Primary Care nurses having a “generalist” role. The palliative approach to care will enhance the knowledge base of Primary Care Nurses and assist them when working with priority populations such as frail elderly and people with one or more chronic conditions.
Ibolya's MSN thesis was based on iPANEL research and is entitled “Rural Northern Nurses Self-Perceived Competence in Addressing Spiritual Needs of Patients with Life-Limiting Conditions using a Palliative Approach.”
- Northern Health Authority (NHA)
Jacki Morgan - RN BScN CHPCN(C)
Jacki has been a registered nurse since 1977 when she graduated from the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, AB. Her love for palliative care began shortly after this when she worked for one year in the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton. Here she had the opportunity to provide palliative care to some of the patients in her unit. After this, Jacki did postgraduate work in critical care and then worked in a variety of intensive care units and emergency departments across BC and Alberta. In 1994 Jacki completed a BScN from the University of Alberta, and then began working for Interior Health Authority in community nursing where she was able to expand her interest in and commitment to end-of-life care.
Jacki has held a number of leadership and education positions within Interior Health Authority since 2005. She is currently a regional knowledge coordinator for clinical and end-of-life care for Home Health.
- Interior Health
Jane Webley - RN, LLB
Jane has been involved in end of life care since the start of her nursing career in 1982, working in pediatric oncology, adult oncology and geriatrics. As a student nurse Jane was fortunate to attend a lecture by Dame Cecily Saunders, igniting her passion for palliative care. Being unable to gain entry into the competitive Macmillan Nurses field, Jane worked closely with them, developing and enhancing end of life care in nursing homes in the south of England.
Ethical and legal implications at end of life created a need for better understanding and in 2007 Jane graduated with a post graduate degree in Law from the University of London. A year later Jane moved to Canada, working as the manager for palliative care and oncology at Lions Gate Hospital, and commissioning the first owned and operated hospice within VCH.
In 2012 Jane moved to Kiwanis Care Centre, a 192 bed complex care facility, to develop a project to embed a palliative approach in residential care. The "Daisy" project received a quality award from BCPSQC and a People First award from VCH. Since July 2015 Jane has been working as the Regional Leader, End of Life Care for VCH and is embedding the Daisy program into all contracted and VCH residential care sites within Coastal CoC.
- Vancouver Coastal Health
Jenica Burns - RN, BSN, CHPCN (C)
Patient/Nurse Educator - Palliative Care Outreach & Consult Team, Residential Care
Providence Health Care
Jennifer Ferguson - RN, BScN, CHPCN(C)
Jennifer is a Palliative Care Nurse Consultant for Northern Health providing support and consultation to front line palliative care providers in all care settings of the Northern Interior region and is based out of Prince George. Jennifer has been involved in Palliative Care since 1998 when she began working as a Home Care Nurse in a semi -rural area of Ontario. Since moving to BC she has worked on the Palliative Care Unit at St. Paul’s Hospital, Christine Morrison Hospice as well as Rotary Hospice House in Prince George. Prior to her current position, Jennifer was a Clinical Nurse Educator for Home Care Nursing in Prince George where she focussed her efforts on sharing her passion for palliative care and increasing the capacity of the Home Care Nurses to provide quality palliative care to their clients in the community.
- Northern Health Authority
Joan Pham - RN, BSN, CHPCN (C)
Joan’s foundation in hospice palliative care nursing began with 5 years of work at the St. Paul’s Hospital Palliative Care Unit and Marion Hospice. Presently she works as part of the Palliative Outreach & Consult Team at Providence Health Care serving Residential Care Sites. Her clinical focus is at Holy Family Hospital where she is exploring how to integrate a palliative approach into long term care settings. She also has a passion for facilitating honest, resonant conversations about death and dying. Joan is enthusiastic about exploring ways to evolve conversations about death and dying in pop culture using the powerful tools of art and social media. She curates and shares creative expressions, stories and experiences related to death and dying in her BLOG - click HERE to view. Joan hopes that the meeting of academia and art will lend itself to innovative approaches to research, advocacy and applications that provide quality palliative care in long-term care for elders and their families.
- Providence Health Care
Joanna (Anna) Fritch - RN
Currently, Anna works in the HIV acute medical ward at St Paul's Hospital, where she is actively engaged in applying Palliative Care principles to the practice of acute medical nursing. Since graduating in 2005, she has spent most of her careeer working in acute medicine. She loves her work and considers that the core of nursing practice is to "re-humanise" the patient through honesty, partnership, and mutual trust. A passionate advocate for patients, Anna was honoured to receive the CRNBC Rising Star award in 2010.
Anna's grandmother, Merle, a retired RN, was her first mentor in Palliative care nursing, and also her first patient. When Merle was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2008, the Palliative outreach team at SPH gave Anna a crash course in palliative care concepts, and she helped bring her grandmother home for her last weeks. Anna honours her grandmother's memory in each of her patients.
- Providence Health Care
Karen Cook - RN, PhD, RCC
I am a nurse, researcher and family therapist. My clinical experience includes palliative home care for adults and children, specialized pediatric hospice care, and community bereavement programming.
My current research and practice is focused on developing a public health palliative approach to care for young adults with progressive and life limiting conditions that will support their dreams, and maximize their opportunities to achieve their goals. Working with a team of young adults and community partners, we have launched L3: Let’s Live a Little! to develop social and community support for these young adults. It is my hope that developing a compassionate community of care for these young adults will sustain their resilience to overcome extraordinary challenges.
- Faculty of Health Disciplines, Athabasca University - Assistant Professor
Kate McNamee-Clark - RN, MSN, CHPCN (C)
Currently Kate is working as part of a Palliative Outreach and Consult Team (POCT) at St Paul’s hospital, Providence Health Care. The focus of her recent graduate research is the utility of a ‘goals of care companion card’ to support clinicians to have meaningful conversations with individuals and families living with life limiting illnesses. She has worked in palliative care clinical practice at both acute and long term care settings since 2005. Her specific areas of interest are palliative care for homeless or at risk adults. In her professional life Kate strives to normalize talking to patients about living with life limiting illnesses and meeting individuals goals for a peaceful, dignified death. Kate obtained her basic nursing education in Liverpool, England in 1989, BSN and MSN at UBC in 2002 and 2013, respectively, and original CHPCN certification in 2006.
- Providence Health Care - Palliative Outreach & Consult Team
- University of British Columbia - School of Nursing, MSN
Kath Murray - RN, BSN, MA, CHPCN (C), FT
Kath is founder and director of Life and Death Matters. The mission of LDM is to improve care of the dying and bereaved in Canada through educational resources for personal support workers/health care assistants and support for college and workplace educators. She is committed to developing resources that are user friendly, engaging, current, delicious and digestible so instructors are comfortable teaching the material and students feel more comfortable and are more competent in providing excellent care for the dying. Kath’s book “The Essentials in Hospice Palliative Care” and companion multimedia resources are being integrated in Health Care Worker and Practical Nurse programs and care facilities across Canada. LDMOnline offers independent self-study courses for individuals, and interactive online courses for groups. Kath loves the concept of ‘integrating a palliative approach” and shares the iPANEL resource via social media, online courses, presentations and workshops.
- Life and Death Matters (Founder, Director)
Kathleen Yue - RN, BSN, MSN
Kathleen Yue is a nurse specializing in supportive care who has worked in cancer care at the BC Cancer Agency, and in palliative home care with Vancouver Costal and Island Health. During her UVic Master of Nursing program, she focused on continuity of care and collaboration amongst health care professions and across care delivery settings. Her thesis was aimed at understanding the experience of well-being of people with advanced cancer.
Kathleen Yue is currently consulting in two roles: developing and operationalizing an inter-disciplinary model for primary health care with the South Island Division of Family Practice, and coordinating health care provider education with the BC Center for Palliative Care (BC-CPC).
As Education Coordinator for the BC-CPC, Kathleen will facilitate development and implementation of a provincial plan for health care provider education, promoting an integrated palliative approach to care of people with life limiting illness in all settings. She will also collaborate with other leads within BC-CPC and provincial partners around research and public education to contribute to a community-based strategy for an integrated palliative approach.
- BC Centre for Palliative Care
Leah Liang was born and raised in mainland China and came to Canada on her own in 1999. With a desire to excel in the field of nursing, she started as a care aide, upgraded to a Licensed Practical Nurse, and then continued with her education to become a Registered Nurse in 2011. In November 2015 Leah graduated with a Masters in Nursing from Trinity Western University.
Her passion is to improve the quality of care for patients with life-limiting illnesses. In particular, she aims to focus on supporting culturally diverse patients with an integrated and comprehensive palliative approach. Her twelve years of experience working as an immigrant in Vancouver’s culturally diverse urban setting gives her a special insight into patients who have a disadvantage in accessing and utilizing health care services due to their language and cultural barriers.
- St. Paul's Hospital, Providence Health Care (PHC)
Lori Rietze - RN, MSc, PhD (C)
Lori is currently enrolled as a PhD Student at the University of Victoria and works as an Assistant Professor at Laurentian University in Ontario. Her research interests are related to the implementation of a palliative approach to care in the acute care sector, end of life decision-making, and organizational factors impacting nurses' roles in acute care settings.
- University of Victoria
- Laurentian University
Lorna Ross - RN, CHPCN (C), MA (in progress)
Clinical Team Leader, Seniors Health
Michelle Funk, RN, MSN
For the past seven years, Michelle Funk has been a nurse educator who combines her teaching with practice as a registered nurse at the Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Memorial Hospice Home in Kamloops, BC. She holds certification in palliative care from King's College in London (UK) and has trained through Harvard University's program, Practical Aspects of Palliative Care: Integrating Palliative Care into Clinical Practice.
- Thompson Rivers University
Necia Kaechele - RN MN
I became an RN in 1993 and worked for several years in North Vancouver on a palliative unit. I then received my BSN from UBC, and a few years later received my Masters in Nursing at UVic, focusing on palliative care. Although most of my career has been in palliative care, I have worked in rural hospitals, as a home care nurse, and as an HSCL (Health Services for Community Living) nurse. Presently I am the palliative coordinator in the Comox Valley. I love working in the palliative care field, directly with clients and families – it is so rewarding – as well as with supporting staff. I have a real desire to learn more ways in which I can support nurses who work in this field with their work/life balance.
- Island Health
Tasenka Kushner - RN, MSN, CHPCN (C)
Tasenka currently works as a Nurse Practitioner for the Fraser Health Authority. She previously worked as a home care nurse with a special appreciation for palliative care patients. Her special interests in palliative care include pain and symptom management and applying a palliative approach to care for older adults living with life-limiting illnesses. Tasenka strives to contribute more to the palliative care community through her new advanced practice role.
- Fraser Health Authority
Terry Webber - RN BSPN CHPCN(C)
Terry has a broad nursing background that includes many speciality areas, but it is palliative care that has captured her passion. She has developed and expanded her palliative care skills in hospital, hospice and community settings, providing direct care as well as clinical nursing support and leadership to staff caring for patients with palliative illness and their families. As a long term care case manager she witnessed the inequities of supports and services provided to patients with chronic illness and frailty who clearly could have benefited from the same caring philosophies characteristic of a palliative approach. Her volunteer community work includes development and implementation of children's bereavement support groups and family caregiver education, support groups and advocacy. Terry was honored to receive the 2014 CRNBC Award for Nursing Excellence in Clinical Practice.
She retired from the Fraser Health Authority in spring of 2015 but continues to do some hospice palliative care nurse clinician work there. Her most current role is with the BC Center for Palliative Care, where she is the community liaison with the Seed Grant Program and co-lead for the Center's Compassionate Community Initiative. Her passion is in education to promote person centered care for people affected by advancing serious illness, including their family caregivers. This includes utilizing the work of iPANEL to support her nursing colleagues, the general public and those affected by chronic illness and frailty.
- Fraser Health Authority
- BC Centre for Palliative Care
Tilly Schalkwyk - RN, MSN, CNS
Tilly is retired after 40 years of nursing - the last 25 years as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (MSN, UBC, ’88) in gerontology in Providence Health Care Elder Care Program - Residential Care. Tilly worked with practicing nurses and interdisciplinary team members to develop practice guidelines, competencies, and quality practices that won them recognition for excellence. Two of Tilly’s long term interests—how chronic illness is experienced and how palliative care can be delivered in residential care—led to a two year demonstration project applying the palliative approach in residential care. Understanding how individual clinicians and teams become expert care providers was key to supporting this translation of knowledge sustainably. Through short daily huddles we worked toward building habits of practice in a supportive practice environment so clinicians could build and own their growing expertise in using the palliative approach both individually and as teams. Tilly currently mentors a PHC research challenge group investigating how family decision makers experience health care decision making for an elder with advanced dementia.
Treena Cardiff - RN, MSN
Treena is the Program Head of the Neonatal Specialty Nursing Program at BCIT. Through my many years of working/teaching within the Neonatal field I have noticed that the concept of palliative care is often missing. I have a keen interest in learning how the palliative approach to care can be implemented within acute care settings. I was thrilled to partner with iPANEL in developing a Palliative Approach to Nursing Practice Course that is offered through BCIT.
- British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) - Program Head, Neonatal Nursing Specialty
Vanessa Martin - RN BSN
Vanessa Martin is a community health nurse providing home care nursing to adults and older adults in Vancouver. She received her BSN from the Langara/University of Victoria collaborative nursing program in ’06, and after several years of working at St. Paul’s Hospital in acute medicine, she decided it was time to venture out into the community. She enjoys the varied roles and responsibilities of a home care nurse, especially providing individualized care to patients and families with diverse cultural and social backgrounds.
Vanessa is currently pursuing her Masters of Nursing at the University of Victoria. Her focus is on advanced practice leadership in the field of palliative and aged care. She is interested in addressing issues of living and dying specific to older adults andadvocating for accessibility of a palliative approach to older adults with multiple comorbidities.
Vanessa lives in East Vancouver with her husband Daniel, their two sons, Finn and Elliot, and their dog Lucy. She loves kayaking, reading, and supporting live theatre.
- Vancouver Coastal Health - Home Health Program
- University of Victoria - School of Nursing, MSN
Yvonne Solway - RN, BScN, MSN, CHPCN(C)
Yvonne is a palliative registered nurse working at the Tri Cities Home Health Palliative Unit. Yvonne graduated with her Masters in Science in Nursing from Trinity Western University in 2015. Her knowledge translation (KT) project is entitled, "Empowering nurses on the acute medical unit to move forward with a palliative approach." Yvonne feels a sense of obligation to empower nurses on the medical unit to grow in their self-efficacy and to advocate for patients and their families around dignity and quality of life along their chronic illness trajectory. Yvonne's passion is supporting and empowering clients and their families towards their goals of care in the community.
During her many years as a nurse, Yvonne worked in a variety of settings, such as acute care, residential care, hospice, corrections and as a nursing instructor. In her spare time she plays an active role in her community, volunteering at Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN), Ethel Johns and iPANEL events; serving as the treasurer on the alumni board of directors at Douglas College; and volunteering as a camp nurse at Zajac Ranch.
- Fraser Health Authority
- Douglas College
- Trinity Western University