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May 18, 2010

End of Life Care

Leading the Integration of Compassion - Winnipeg's Palliative Care Program

Palliative care programs work to alleviate pain and other symptoms for individuals with illnesses which are likely to take their lives in a relatively short period of time. The Winnipeg health region's Palliative Care Program is available to persons of any age with any life-limiting illness and strives to alleviate the stresses associated with this phase of life for both the patient and their family. Inpatient palliative care units are housed in three health care facilities in Winnipeg: St. Boniface General Hospital, Riverview Health Centre, and the Grace Hospice. The program also partners with Jocelyn House to provide hospice care through their facility.

"Although the inpatient units tend to be what people recognize as palliative care service, the bulk of our program activity is in the community. Inpatient unit beds are generally utilized for short term admission patients who are experiencing acute symptom issues. Once those issues have been resolved, we work with patients and families to develop a discharge plan
whenever possible. The most innovative part of our program is the integration across care settings," said Dr. Mike Harlos, Medical Director for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Palliative Care Program.

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Canadian Virtual Hospice Housed in Winnipeg

All Canadians have access to palliative care expertise on the Canadian Virtual Hospice website at www.virtualhospice.ca, a bilingual resource for those affected by life-threatening illness and loss, helping in understanding and approaching end of life care.

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