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Pallium Canada and McMaster University Launch the Dr. Joshua Shadd – Pallium Canada Research Hub

September 20, 2019 — Pallium Canada and McMaster University announced the launch of the Dr. Joshua Shadd – Pallium Canada Research Hub today at the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care conference. Dr. Denise Marshall, professor and palliative care physician, and Jeffrey Moat, Chief Executive Officer of Pallium Canada addressed the crowd to say that the Hub was born out of a shared desire to foster opportunities to advance research on palliative care education and service delivery.

Data suggests that up to 89% of Canadians who die might have benefited from palliative care, yet only 15% are actually receiving it. The vast majority of the 270,000 Canadians who die each year do not receive any palliative care. Despite the widespread need across the health care system, most health care professionals lack basic palliative care education.

The Division of Palliative Care within the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University and Pallium Canada share a strong interest in curriculum development and continuing education in palliative care. “We know that lack of access to palliative care leads to a high burden of suffering for patients and families, inappropriate use of health services and high costs to the health care system”, said Moat. “We’re hoping that the Hub can help to bridge the gap in equipping health care professionals with knowledge and skills in palliative care.”

Initially, research at the Hub will focus on educational curriculum design, including evaluating the impact of Pallium’s Learning Essential Approaches to Palliative Care (LEAP) course; looking at the availability and impact of palliative care services across different regions in Canada; and undertaking leadership for the Canadian Palliative Care Atlas project.

“The Hub is named in honour of the late Dr. Joshua Shadd, who died suddenly and tragically in December 2018 before the Hub was able to launch,” said Marshall. “The name is a way of honouring his memory and his desire to see this initiative come into existence.”

Next steps include establishing the researcher to the David Braley Health Sciences Centre and forming initial relationships with McMaster palliative care researchers, clinicians and educators.



Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians. How to improve palliative care in Canada: A call to action for federal, provincial, territorial, regional and local decision-makers. Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians. November 2016.

CIHI, Access to Palliative Care in Canada, 2018

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