On Saturday October 19, over 40 participants representing 20 hospice palliative care groups from across Alberta gathered in Red Deer, Alberta for the Imagine 2019 conference. AHPCA hosts this annual event to strengthen connections between groups with the intention of creating a robust, well-informed palliative care community in Alberta. This conference furthers AHPCA’s goal of supporting and promoting quality hospice palliative care for ALL Albertans.
Very good conference – very informative and a great opportunity to network.Imagine 2019 Attendee
Imagine 2019 attendees were welcomed by AHPCA’s brand-new board chair, Elaine Klym. This was Elaine’s first duty as board chair as she had been elected just the Friday night before at AHPCA’s Annual General Meeting.
Jason Stephan, MLA for Red Deer-South opened the day by bringing greetings from the Alberta Government and an invitation for attendees to further his learning by contacting him with any palliative care roadblocks they may encounter. Be sure to take Jason up on his offer by contacting his office at RedDeer.South@assembly.ab.ca.
The conference then heard from Michelle Peterson Fraser, AHS Director, Palliative and End-of-Life Care, Community, Seniors, Addiction and Mental Health. Michelle updated attendees on AHS’s Rural Palliative In-Home Funding Program: how it was developed to spread across the province, what it entails and how to access additional resources that will allow patients to remain in the home to die, if that is their wish.
I love coming yearly. Always new things happening to learn about.Imagine 2019 Attendee
The conference keynote speaker was Sarah Walker, health consultant and former Hospice Calgary Executive Director. Sarah spoke about providing end-of-life care at home and supporting the home in that endeavour. What do people want to experience at end-of-life and where are we now? How can communities support patient and family needs? One way is building organizations and programs. While the goal may be common, each community is unique and each program will reflect its community.
In the afternoon, Imagine 2019 heard local stories from six community groups, all of whom have developed unique ways to support families and patients who prefer to die at home. Attendees heard stories of innovative programs and partnerships from Wheatland & Area Hospice Society (Strathmore), Compassionate Care Hospice Society (Rocky Mountain House), Olds and District Hospice Society, St. Albert Sturgeon Hospice Association (SASHA), Cochrane Hospice Society and the Red Deer Hospice Society.
It was a great conference, I really enjoyed that many areas were touched on.Imagine 2019 Attendee
AHPCA is grateful for the support of the Eldon and Ann Foote Foundation which makes the annual Imagine conference possible. Thank you to Chelsie Deschamps of Lava Lily Designs for supplying our beautiful door prizes. Thank you also to all attendees who purchased tickets for the St. Lazarus Raffle; St. Lazarus Calgary and St Lazarus Edmonton are important supporters of AHPCA and we are pleased to help them in their endeavors.
It was a meaningful day spent learning, sharing new ideas, forging new and strengthening old connections.
See you at Imagine 2020!