“The end of life is an opportunity for profound meaning, healing, comfort and growth. The end of life is a sacred time. None of this is possible without expert care.” – Betty Ferrell, speaking at the 20th International Congress of Palliative Care
When Wanda MacKay and Cindy Cameron, both nurses in the Aberdeen Hospital’s Palliative Care Unit, heard that the 20th International Congress of Palliative Care would be taking place in Montreal they knew it would be an incredible opportunity to participate in what is considered the leading conference in their industry.
“The Congress provides the opportunity to hear internationally recognized speakers, learn leading methodologies in “whole-person” care, and gain insight into our work by being introduced to cross cultural views and practices in palliative care giving,” says Wanda.
Wanda and Cindy were so committed to going they were prepared to use their own vacation time to make it possible to attend. The only challenge was finding funding for the costs of attending. They applied for and received support from the Aberdeen Health Foundation’s Bain Langley Palliative Care Unit Endowment.
“The conference surpassed all our expectations. We were able to network with practitioners from more than 60 countries in the world, hear from leading practitioners in the field, and make history by signing an important declaration to call on the United Nations to add palliative care to its report entitled Sustainable Development Goals for Health for 2030” says Cindy.
The “Montreal Declaration” was drawn up after a rousing speech at the conference by Stephen Lewis, Distinguished Visiting Professor from Ryerson University. Lewis drew the audience’s attention to the fact that palliative care was omitted from this important international document.
Wanda and Cindy left the conference inspired in their work, with a deeper understanding of quality of life care, and embracing the needs of the whole person.
The Aberdeen Health Foundation’s Bain Langley Palliative Care Unit Endowment is pleased to provide support to nurses like Wanda and Cindy who are continually striving to deepen their knowledge and improve their skills.
The fund was established to provide care, support, and access to continuing education to palliative care practitioners. Those who work in palliative care come from many disciplines, and everyday face the medical, social, and emotional aspects of death and dying. It is imperative that these dedicated individuals have access to educational renewal, so that they may in turn continue to support patients and their families when they are faced with the final of life’s challenges.