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How do you start without boiling the ocean?

Health Care Professional – South East: 

Don’t rush! Plan and develop your philosophy and criteria before accepting referrals. Identify the needs of the program, and don’t implement more than you can logically do. Be sure the program philosophy is well understood by administration and the staff. Educate the medical staff and hospital staff. First and foremost, be sure to train your volunteers. Cleary define roles of team members, and lastly, but most importantly, promote the service within your community.

Helen Pyle – Lead Physician Ian Anderson House, Oakville, ON: 

Start small and add people and resources as needed. We started at about 8 [health care providers] and we are now up to about 20.


Palliative Nurse Practitioner – Niagara North: 

Dr. Dooler [palliative care physician] and I were already active in this community, and knew the key stakeholders and players in both the hospital and the community. I don’t think we were ‘starting’ anything per se, just filling an identified and unmet need.


Clinical Navigator – Niagara North: 

Research, research, and more research!!! The more information you can gather the better prepared you will be.

Health Care Professional:

Central: Complete a needs assessment. Begin with existing teams and experts. Develop a small team of interested and committed experts with a common goal and identify the critical roles and responsibilities of team members. Networking and profiling the program as it was developed was a key to our success.

Cheryl Moore, Director, Stedman Hospice: 

This was never a vision per say it really just happened. There was a desire to help patients with pain and symptom management after they were no longer cared for by oncologists.

Denise Marshall – Chair of Ontario’s Collaborative Palliative Care Clinical Council: 

Is there a critical mass of people with some readiness for something that they can articulate and what have you already got? Community development, start with whatever you’ve got, start with a readiness point.

Russell Goldman – Director, The Temmy Latner Center for Palliative Care:

 Scale is most important. Limiting catchment in the beginning – maybe starting it as a pilot.

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