Presented by: Hilary Mettam, Jill Marcella
Northwestern Ontario, Canada, is a large, sparsely populated geographic area with many small rural and remote communities. Most health services are delivered by primary care generalists. The goal of the North West LHIN Regional Palliative Care Program (RPCP) with St. Joseph’s Care Group is to create an integrated system of palliative care accessible to all individuals in Northwestern Ontario who would benefit from a palliative approach, regardless of location, prognosis, or diagnosis. To achieve this goal and increase access to palliative care at the primary care level, the RPCP has used the Kelley Community Capacity Development Model to guide their process of developing palliative care programs in 8 different rural communities. In each community, a local community facilitator is identified and a palliative care committee is established. Subsequently, other community members and health care providers with an interest in death, dying, loss, and bereavement are engaged in a local workshop to discuss their community’s strengths, identify areas of improvement, and develop a plan to implement their local palliative care program. Throughout, the RPCP team acts as a resource for the Kelley capacity development process, introduces tools and resources that have been created to support this work, and shares lessons learned from other communities. At the conference, rural community facilitators will share their experiences engaging their communities and highlight accomplishments in developing palliative care. Participants will discover how the Kelley community capacity building approach can mobilize rural, remote, and northern communities and improve access to a palliative approach to care.