Press Releases

Thursday November 10, 2011

Palliative care trailblazer Dr. Michael Harlos wins COACH Clinician Leadership Award

Winnipeg physician receives national honour

Winnipeg's Dr. Michael Harlos is a pioneer and a leader when it comes to using communications and information technology (ICT) in adult and pediatric palliative care through the Canadian Virtual Hospice (Virtual Hospice) and other innovative initiatives.

COACH: Canada's Health Informatics Association has recognized the widely respected palliative care physician, researcher and educator's outstanding achievements with its new Clinician Leadership Award. "Dr. Harlos has broken amazing new ground by pioneering effective clinical communication using ICT in the challenging field of palliative care, which is often fraught with complex symptom management and emotional distress," says COACH President Lydia Lee. "This award pays tribute to Dr. Harlos' many related achievements in patient care and education as well as his role in championing ICT with his peers and colleagues across a variety of disciplines."

Dr. Harlos is Clinical Team Leader, Virtual Hospice; Medical Director, Palliative Care Program and Pediatric Palliative Care Service, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and Professor and Section Head, Palliative Medicine, University of Manitoba.

Dr. Harlos was a key member of the team that conceived and designed Virtual Hospice, an internationally award-winning website that provides information and support about palliative and end of life care, loss and grief. He is the driving force behind the site's Ask a Professional (AAP) feature, which made Virtual Hospice the world's first web-based platform directly linking the public with healthcare specialists online. About 40% of AAP questions are from healthcare providers looking for input on difficult, complex cases. So, Dr. Harlos' responses are teaching tools, directly impacting quality patient care, supporting evidence-based quality end-of-life care that might otherwise be unavailable in certain care settings. 

"Dr. Harlos is a highly committed physician. He, in collaboration with his staff and colleagues, works toward improving availability and access to quality palliative care. He is very deserving of this recognition and we in the Winnipeg Health Region couldn't be more proud to have him as part of our daily health care team," said Arlene Wilgosh, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority President and CEO.

A self-taught web developer who is renowned for combining his expert medical knowledge with compassionate care, Dr. Harlos' many other accomplishments include:

"The Clinician Leadership award is a tremendous honour and I commend COACH for highlighting innovative uses of ICTs to improve quality care," said Dr. Harlos. "Our experience with Canadian Virtual Hospice demonstrates the power of ICTs to fill gaps in access to information and services in palliative care for patients, families and health care providers regardless of time and geography."

Bookmark Email Print Share this on Facebook SHARE Share this on Twitter Tweet RSS Feeds RSS
Make text smaller Make text bigger
Traditional Territories Acknowledgement
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority acknowledges that it provides health services in facilities located in Treaty One and Treaty Five territories, the homelands of the Métis Nation and the original lands of the Inuit people. The WRHA respects and acknowledges harms and mistakes, and we dedicate ourselves to collaborate in partnership with First Nation, Métis and Inuit people in the spirit of reconciliation.
Click here to read more about the WRHA's efforts towards reconciliation

WRHA Accessibility Plan Icon
Wait Times
View the Winnipeg Health Region's current approximate Emergency Department and Urgent Care wait times.

View wait times
Find Services
Looking for health services in Winnipeg?

Call Health Links-Info Sante at 788-8200

Search 211 Manitoba

Explore alternatives to emergency departments at

Find a Doctor
Contact Us
Do you have any comments or concerns?

Click here to contact us
The Winnipeg Health Region has a variety of career opportunities to suit your unique goals and needs.

Visit our Careers site
WRHA Logo Help| Terms of Use | Contact Us | En français