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New model of care builds on strength of Bruyère’s palliative and complex care programs


Bruyère colocating palliative and complex care programs at Saint-Vincent campus, ensuring a seamless approach to care.

OTTAWA – June 26, 2023 - The palliative care program, including the William and Maureen Shenkman Palliative Care Unit, will be moving from Bruyère’s campus in the By-Ward Market to its Saint-Vincent campus in Centretown. This move will support the creation of a new model of care that builds on the strengths of Bruyère’s specialized hospital programs in palliative and complex care.
This change is being made in support of those we care for and their loved ones and reflects the realities of an aging demographic. As our population ages, we are seeing a greater number of patients with increasing medical complexity who are managing multiple chronic illnesses.
“These are patients who can benefit from complex medical care as well as a palliative approach to care”, says Paula Doering, Bruyère’s VP of Clinical Programs. “Complex care helps people restore and maintain functional ability so they can transition on to life in the community. With a palliative approach to care, the focus is on reducing and relieving pain. Both care streams contribute to the same outcome for our patients and their loved ones: improved quality of life”, she said.
The move recognizes the significance of a palliative approach to care that goes beyond end of life and is beneficial for anyone with a chronic or complex illness. Palliative care has been shown to improve quality of life and reduce and relieve symptoms. It can play a significant role in helping patients and loved ones make important decisions and provide support throughout illness from the time of diagnosis.
“As a leader in palliative and complex care, we saw taking this step as something we needed to do to support those we care for and their loved ones. With the generous support of our community, including a lead gift from businessman and philanthropist, Bill Shenkman, $5.8M has been donated to ensure that our patients will now have the enhanced benefit of receiving the best in palliative and complex care from one campus”, says Guy Chartrand, Bruyère’s President and CEO.
The colocation offers new opportunities to grow the academic capacity of both programs, providing medical trainees and research students an integrated experience with complex and palliative care, and opening new doors for collaborative research and innovation initiatives.
Steps have been taken to minimize the impact on patients needing to transition from one facility to another. On move day, June 28, 2023, care teams at Bruyère will begin working to help patients who will be moving to the newly renovated palliative care unit in Centretown. “We apologize for this temporary disruption for our patients and their loved ones. We have appreciated their support and input as we transition this program”, says Paula Doering.