The Honourable Sharon Carstairs, P.C.

The Bridge Hospice is very pleased to announce that the The Honourable Sharon Carstairs, P.C., has agreed to be a Patron of The Bridge Hospice. Sharon Carstairs has been actively involved in promoting Palliative Care for Canadians for many years. On June 8, 2010, she tabled a report about Palliative Care in Parliament which we are quoting below. She retired from the Senate in 2011.

“Honourable senators, earlier today I tabled in this chamber a report entitled Raising the Bar: A Roadmap for the Future of Palliative Care in Canada.

As many honourable senators in this chamber know, this has been a passion of mine for the last 15 years. However, in reality, it goes back longer than that. Due to the way my parents died in 1980, I became engaged in death and dying issues.

Ninety per cent of Canadians who die can benefit from palliative care, yet, at best, just over 30 per cent of Canadians are presently receiving palliative care services in Canada. Palliative care is a whole-person health care that is multi-disciplinary in nature, can or should happen in any care setting, and aims to relieve suffering and improve the quality of both living and dying. It is care which should begin at the diagnosis of a life-threatening condition and continue to the end of the life. It views the patient and family as recipients of care and continues to include bereavement services for families after the death of their loved one.

When I was appointed to the Senate in 1994, I immediately became a member of the Special Senate Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, and quickly became convinced of the need for better palliative care services in Canada. That committee tabled its report, entitled Of Life and Death, in June 1995, so it is no coincidence that I am tabling this report also in June, some 15 years later.

There have been significant improvements in providing quality palliative care to Canadians, yet we need to raise the bar much higher because there are still far too many Canadians needlessly dying in pain and unnecessary suffering. As honourable senators know, I have remained a dedicated advocate for the improvement of palliative care services.”

Dr. Robert O. Stephens

Dr. BobThe Board of Directors is pleased to announce Dr. Robert O. Stephens of Warkworth, Ontario as a Patron of The Bridge Hospice. Known by his friends and neighbours as “Dr. Bob,” Robert Stephens received The Order of Canada in 2007 and was presented with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award in 2012 for his lifetime of voluntary work in health care and his assistance to those in need around the globe.

Being instrumental in the establishment of new facilities comes naturally to him. During his lifetime, he has been responsible for building new hospitals in Africa and establishing means for training medical missionaries to assist in countries throughout the world. He is passionate about the importance of hospice palliative care and has been involved with The Bridge Hospice project since its inception. Having served as a director and having chaired various committees, Dr. Bob continues to work diligently to encourage major donors to lend their assistance to this essential service.