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Honouring Palliative Care patients, families, and caregivers at St. Boniface Hospital

May 7-13 is National Hospice and Palliative Care Week

Every day, people come to St. Boniface Hospital with weeks, days, or even hours to live. For patients and their loved ones, this is a deeply emotional and challenging time.

At any given moment, more than two dozen patients are living out their last days in palliative care at St. Boniface Hospital.

The first hospital in Canada to develop a Palliative Care Program, St. Boniface’s unit offers terminally ill patients a home-away-from-home with private rooms for each patient and accommodations for family members. Launched in the fall of 1974, the Program was part of the Extended Care Unit ­– now, more than forty years later, Palliative Care at St. Boniface Hospital is part of a wider Winnipeg Regional Health Authority program that sees about 1,300 patients a year.

Volunteers at St. Boniface Hospital regularly organize tea time for patients in palliative care, giving them a welcoming place to gather with loved ones.

“For many of our patients, tomorrow is an uncertainty, so we must provide the right comfort and care they need today,” says Jason Hillier, Program Director, Family Medicine, Rehabilitation Geriatrics and Palliative Care at St. Boniface Hospital.

The care providers in the Palliative Care Unit are dedicated to meeting the needs of patients in their final days with compassion and dignity. Treating patients and their loved ones with respect and offering a constant source of support helps provide the comfort they so desperately need.

To honour the patients, family members, and caregivers who experience palliative care at St. Boniface Hospital, hosts of The Health Report on CJOB, Greg Mackling and Kris Gutierrez, held a special conversation surrounding palliative care this past Sunday. Missed the weekend broadcast? You can learn more about palliative care, as seen through the eyes of the professionals who work on the unit and the families who experience care at St. Boniface Hospital here: http://www.thehealthreport.ca/report-archive.cfm

You can help offer our patients the best care during the most difficult time of their lives: http://www.saintboniface.ca/giftsofhope/en/product-category/gifts/palliative-care/