Who should be driving the palliative care bus? Putting the community in the driver’s seat!
While the majority of Canadians would prefer to die at home, this is often not possible due to limitations in personal finances, community and social services, family and community caregivers, or palliative care services. The audience will be challenged to think about how our society can best support a social model of palliative care that is community-focused and community driven, builds on the community’s vision, and incorporates existing natural helping networks and community resources. This bottom- up approach puts the community in the driver’s seat, offering an opportunity to seamlessly integrate formal and informal care services around the patient and family and build more integrated care systems. The contribution of Social Workers in community palliative care will be highlighted. For over 25 years, Dr. Mary Lou Kelley has championed approaches to improving quality and access to palliative care services for marginalized populations through community capacity development, education, research and advocacy. This presentation offers her lessons learned and advice for the next generation of palliative care champions.
About the Speaker
Mary Lou Kelley, MSW, PhD, is a Professor Emeritus in the School of Social Work at Lakehead University and a part time Professor at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Her work focuses on promoting interdisciplinary research and education in gerontology and palliative care for health care professionals. Dr. Kelley was the recipient of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association's 2011 Award of Excellence and the Queens Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012 in recognition of her contribution to Canadian palliative care practice, education and research.
Dr. Kelley’s research and many publications focus on improving health and social services for older adults, rural health, Indigenous health, long-term care policy and delivery, palliative care, and interdisciplinary gerontology education. Her research on community capacity development created a conceptual model (the Kelley model) for developing community-based palliative care programs that are customized to the needs of unique populations and geographies. She was the Lakehead University research chair in palliative care from 2012-2014. Since her retirement June 30 2015 she has maintained her involvement in numerous national research initiatives.