Significant developments in Compassionate Communities (CC) across Canada have emerged following our inaugural ‘Mobilizing Your Compassionate Community’ Symposium in 2015. Pallium Canada invites you to Symposium Take 2 to celebrate and learn from these Compassionate Community advances proliferating across Canada since we last met.

This day will provide participants exciting opportunities to – Mobilize and Celebrate exemplary activities grounded in a Compassionate Community model crafted to Canadian realities. We will network with like-minded visionaries, illuminate local projects with a National audience, and discuss a potential blueprint to build and support a broader compassionate country called Canada.

Facilitator: Bonnie Tompkins (BPH)


12:00-12:15pm – Arrival and working lunch (self-serve lunch)

12:15-12:30pm – Welcome: Kathryn Downer and Bonnie Tompkins

12:00 -2:00pm – Current examples of how to build a Compassionate Community/City (CC):

Compassionate City Charter

Provincial initiative –

  • British Columbia: Dr.Eman Hassan (MD, MPH, PhDc) – BC CPC
  • Ontario: Julie Darney – HPCO

Volunteer driven initiative –

  • Jim Nininger (Co-Chair, Compassionate Ottawa)
  • Jacquelin Holzman (Co-Chair: Compassionate Ottawa)

Hospice driven initiative –

  • Pamela Blackwood (BSW) – McNally House Hospice

Windsor Essex

  • Deborah Sattler (Director, Windsor-Essex Compassion Care Community)

2:00-3:40pm Knowledge Café: How CC is incorporated in a variety of areas (6 rotations of 15 min per table)


  • Passport skills for life – Lorraine Millette (Program Coordinator)
  • McNally House School initiative – Pamela Blackwood (BSW)


  • Carpenter Hospice – Jennifer Sharman PhD – Carpenter Hospice
  • Canadian Compassionate Companies – Kelly MacLaren (CHPCA)

Faith Communities:

  • Faith initiative in Burlington – Isabelle Cruz – Pallium Canada
  • Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops – Kyle Ferguson (Advisor: Ecclesial & Interfaith Relations)

Marginalized Communities:

  • PEACH – Namarig Ahmed (MN, RN, BsCN)
  • Vulnerable Persons Holistic Care Program – Maura Purdon (Director – PC, Erie St. Clair LHIN)

Indigenous Communities:

  • Erie St. Clair Regional Cancer Program – Audrey Logan (Aboriginal Navigator—ESC Regional Cancer Program, BA)
  • Centre for Education and Research on Aging and Health – Holly Prince (MSW)

“How to” Questions – Building a Compassionate Community:

  • Pallium Canada – Bonnie Tompkins (BPH)
  • Windsor Essex – Deborah Sattler
  • BC Centre for Palliative Care – Eman Hassan (MD MPH PhDc)
  • Compassionate Ottawa – Jim Nininger

3:40 – 4:00pm – Coffee break/Networking

4:00 – 4:30pm – Example of Evaluation for CC initiatives 

CC Initiative Evaluations

  • BC CPC: Dr.Eman Hassan (MD, MPH, PhDc)
  • Jack Bonnici –Compassionate Community Lead (Health Promotor) Evaluation

Pan-Canadian Evaluation plans

  • Bonnie Tompkins

4:30-5:00pm – Examples of CC Volunteer programs

Good Neighbour Partnership

  • Brock Nicholson (New Westminster)

On the Ground

  • Jennifer Sharman PhD

5:00 – 5:30pm – Update and thoughts for Canada: Dr. Allan Kellehear (PhD, FAcSS)

5:30-5:50pm – Pan-Canadian Support: Bonnie Tompkins

5:50-6:30pm – Celebrate & Wrap up

If you have any questions or if you are unsure if you should be attending this event, please contact our Compassionate Communities National Lead, Bonnie Tompkins or by phone 613-562-6262 ext.1733


Allan Kellehear,
Special Guest

Prof Allan Kellehear, is a medical and public health sociologist who is currently a 50th Anniversary Professor (End-of-Life Care) at the University of Bradford, United Kingdom. He founded the world’s first academic public health palliative care unit in Australia in the 1990s, wrote some of the first academic literature expounding the public health approach to palliative care, and co-founded (with Sallnow and Kumar) the Public Health Palliative Care Conference Series.

Dr. Eman Hassan

At BC Centre for Palliative Care, Dr. Eman Hassan (Director of the BC Public Health Initiatives) leads the BC Compassionate Communities and Advance Care Initiatives. Dr. Hassan has significant experience in population health and received notable awards for her work. Eman is the author of a White Paper describing the different public health palliative care models including compassionate communities.

Dr. Hassan will provide an overview of the BC Compassionate Communities Initiative that aims to engage and improve the abilities of local communities to be more “compassionate”; recognizing their social responsibilities to help people affected by serious illness, frailty, dying and loss and providing the practical, social and emotional supports to those in need.

Dr. Jim Nininger

Jim Nininger is a native of Ottawa. From 1978 to 2001, Dr. Nininger was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Conference Board of Canada and has been actively involved in community service throughout his career. He is now the Co-chair of Compassionate Ottawa.

Compassionate Ottawa is a community led initiative which promotes a social model of care by helping communities identify their needs and create strategies to support people with life threatening illnesses. The initiative was founded in December, 2016.

Jacquelin Holzman

Jacquelin Holzman entered politics in 1982 after 25 years of voluntary service in the community. She served until 1997, the last 6 years as Mayor of Ottawa. She is one of the founders and now Co-chair of Compassionate Ottawa.

Deb Sattler

Deborah Sattler is currently the lead for the Windsor Essex Compassion Care Community, funded by the Erie St Clair Local Health Integration Network and Greenshield Canada Foundation. Formerly, she was a team manager in the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. She has a proven track record delivering large-scale, complex, multi-partner system transformation projects in areas including palliative care, home and community care and integrated care delivery. She specializes in “Big Collaboration” and co-design projects involving multi-level partnerships.

Using a Healthy Communities framework, the county-wide Windsor-Essex Compassion Care Community movement intends to ensure seniors and people with life-altering conditions and their caregivers live well from diagnosis to death. Our intersectoral approach is designed to strengthen community action, develop personal skills, create supportive environments, reorient health services and to enable, mediate and advocate for all people who could benefit from holistic care, and their caregivers to optimize their quality of life, deal with loss, and improve population health. We have developed and are testing a unique measurement system to track community progress and calculate the value that mobilized communities bring.

Lorraine Millette

Lorraine Millette Ph.D. (c) is the coordinator and trainer for the mental health programs; Zippy’s Friends and Passport : Skills for life at the Centre for Research and Intervention on Suicide, Ethical Issues and End-of-Life Practices (CRISE).

Zippy’s Friends for 6-7 year-olds:
Recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and by the Public Health Agency of Canada, Zippy’s Friends increases social and coping skills in children 6-7 years old. Running in more than 30 countries, this programme has been assessed in various cultural settings. These evaluations have shown that this programme helps children handle everyday challenges. To date, over 1.3 million children have benefited from the programme worldwide (32 countries).
Six stories introduce challenges and issues that are familiar to young children: positive and negative feelings, making and breaking relationships, resolving conflicts, dealing with change and loss (bereavement), and more. Sessions begin by the teacher reading a story. Then children participate in fun activities like drawing and role-playing to help them explore and understand their feelings and behaviour.

Passport: Skills for Life for 9 to 11 year-olds:
Developed by CRISE-UQAM with funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Passport: Skills for Life is a new programme that increases coping and social skills in children 9 to 11 years old to help them deal with life’s trials and tribulations.
An original comic strip featuring Olya and Milo, two children who journey into a magical universe with a friendly dragon, serves to introduce the various themes of the programme: friendship, bullying, fairness, changes and loss (bereavement), and more. Through a variety of fun activities, including group discussions, role-playing and a giant board game, children get to identify, practice and rate different coping strategies with the goal of adopting new and helpful ways of coping.

Pamela Blackwood

With 25 plus years in not-for-profit management, Pamela Blackwood has brought her social work background, passion for excellence in patient and family support to her role as Executive Director of McNally House Hospice in Grimsby, ON. Prior to joining McNally House in 2008, Pamela was an Executive Director and national accreditor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and has been a sessional professor for 9 years at Mohawk College, Hamilton ON in the Social Service Worker program. Pamela currently holds leadership roles within the Ontario Provincial Residential Hospice Interest Group and the Regional Palliative Care Council for the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand and Brant LHIN.

Every year, more than 250,000 deaths occur in Canada and research states every death affects 5 people. Employers have an important role to play in supporting their staff facing caregiving, palliative care, death, dying, loss, grief and bereavement. Carpenter Hospice partnered with two of Burlington’s largest employers to pilot a workplace support program to provide management and staff with tools and resources to enable coworkers to better support their work colleagues.

Kyle Ferguson

Kyle Ferguson serves the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) as Advisor for Ecclesial and Interfaith Relations. He coordinates the eleven dialogues the CCCB sponsors (eight ecumenical, three interreligious), and assists efforts to promote palliative care – including local cooperation among Catholic agencies and national collaboration among ecumenical and inter-religious partners.

As part of Catholic reverence for the human person from conception to death, the CCCB assists dioceses in promoting palliative care and end-of life education in parishes, schools and hospitals. Church teaching on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy includes comforting the sick and dying, and complements the Compassionate Communities model.

Bonnie Tompkins

Bonnie Tompkins holds a Bachelor of Public Health, specializing in Palliative Care. She currently works with Pallium Canada as the Compassionate Communities National Lead which has her focusing on mobilizing compassionate communities across Canada. She has also lead two compassionate community initiatives in Burlington and Niagara West.

Namarig Ahmed

Namarig Ahmed is the Nurse Coordinator with Inner City Health Associates (ICHA) and the coordinator of their Palliative Education and Care for the Homeless (PEACH) program. In this role she coordinates care and liaises with community organizations and health institutions to support patients during their end-of-life journeys. Namarig recently completed her graduate studies in nursing from Ryerson University.

Inner City Health Associates (ICHA) Palliative Education and Care for the Homeless (PEACH) program is a supportive, consultation and palliative care service aimed to meet the pain and symptom, psychosocial and goals of care needs of homeless and vulnerably housed patients with life-limiting illnesses. Through grassroots partnerships and strategic collaborations PEACH addresses poverty, addictions, mental health and housing within a compassionate community’s framework.

Audrey Logan

Audrey Logan—Erie St. Clair (ESC) Regional Cancer Program: Aboriginal Navigator—is a Lunaapeex Kweew from the Delaware First Nation located in Southwestern Ontario. A natural leader in the delivery of health care programming. It comes as no surprise that she was able to work with the Kettle & Stony Point First Nation to deliver the first Core Pallium LEAP in Canada earlier this year.

Holly Prince

Holly Prince is an Anishinabekwe from the Red Rock Indian Band in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. She has a Master’s degree in Social Work and a Native Mental Health Worker diploma. She is the Project Manager at the Centre for Education and Research on Aging & Health at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Holly was also a co-investigator on a 5-year CIHR Aboriginal Health Intervention grant that focused on improving end-of-life care in First Nations communities. Holly’s research expertise is in Indigenous health and community-based and applied health services research using participatory methods.

First Nations communities have always recognized dying as a social experience one that is rooted in individual, family, community and culture. This discussion will describe how First Nations communities have engaged in a process to develop their own palliative care programs, celebrating cultural capacity in their communities while enhancing medical palliative care services in a way that respected and integrated with their community experiences.