Presented by: Eman Hassan
Like elsewhere in Canada, the British Columbia population is ageing and the number of people with serious conditions continues to rise. Although medicalized dying in hospital continue to be the norm, the health system lacks the capacity and resources required to address the social and emotional dimensions associated with serious illness, dying and loss. These dimensions are central to the well-being of patients and families. Research indicates that communities have the resources that can help patients and families feel supported and cared for close to home.
Based on international best practices, the BC Centre for Palliative Care has launched a provincial grassroots movement to foster the spread of Compassionate Communities across BC by engaging citizens and community groups to be part of a network of compassionate champions and ambassadors.
In Spring of 2016, the movement was sparked by a Seed Grant Program to mobilize proactive community support networks, under the leadership of local hospice societies, whose mission is to promote awareness around end of life issues and leverage opportunities to support seriously ill patients and their families. In the Fall of 2016, the BC CPC has widened its circle of focus to involve population health and community organizations and groups from all sectors and at all levels.
As a social change organization, we will share our experience with the BC Compassionate Communities movement and the progress of the Compassionate Cities initiatives that are underway in BC and the Centre is supporting.