The Canadian Pallium Project (the Project) was first established in 2001 with an initial focus on rural palliative care delivery, primarily through the education of rural physicians, nurses and pharmacists. That initial phase, referred to as Pallium Phase 1, lasted from 2001-2003 and received $250,000 of funding from the Alberta envelop of Health Canada’s Rural Transformation Program.

Working from a central hub in Edmonton, Alberta, the Project’s strategy was to develop a community of practice across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. It was based on the principle of building capacity through collaboration, coordination and communication between palliative care providers and educators across the three provinces. The two main deliverables of Pallium Phase 1 were the development of a strong palliative care network across the provinces, and the development and implementation of a standardized two-day interprofessional Palliative Care course for family physicians, nurses and pharmacists in the community. Numerous courses were presented in small communities throughout the rural areas of the three provinces and hundreds of health professionals were educated.