Li Ka-shing Gives $500,000 Through His Foundation to Pallium Canada as it Wins Best Ottawa Business Award (BOBs)

Ottawa, ON – November 27, 2020 – Grateful to be recognized as Ottawa’s Best Not-for-Profit at the BOBs, Pallium Canada is delighted to announce, in these difficult times for fundraising, it has received a major donation from the Li Ka Shing (Canada) Foundation to enable more frontline health care professionals to provide palliative care in Canada. Mr. Li Ka-shing’s Foundation has donated more than $160 million internationally to palliative care initiatives.

Pallium is working to build the capacity of frontline health care professionals to provide a palliative care approach, something that is required even more in the time of COVID-19. Pallium’s response to COVID-19 was quick and decisive—thanks to support received from the Canadian Medical Association and Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd.—that collectively contributed to frontline preparedness by training over 16,000 health care professionals from many different professions through free online palliative care modules and live webinars.

Says Pallium CEO Jeffrey Moat, “The pandemic has amplified the need for better palliative care across the continuum of care and the need to rapidly create and disseminate education and resources to support health care professionals during the pandemic and beyond.”

He adds, “In a very short period of time Pallium had thousands of health care professionals access our palliative care resources, identifying the incredible need and desire to acquire the skills to provide better care to the patients they are treating across many settings including hospitals, long-term care, and within our communities.”

The donation by Li Ka Shing (Canada) Foundation in collaboration with the Li Ka Shing Palliative Care Skills Development Project will build palliative care capacity among Canada’s frontline health care professionals through Pallium’s Learning Essential Approaches to Palliative Care (LEAP) courseware. The project will reach and train health care professionals in urban, rural, and remote settings on the palliative care approach.

More than 80% of the palliative care needs of patients can be managed by properly training frontline health care professionals as the palliative care approach widens the circle of care beyond palliative care specialists.

The impact of COVID-19 on health care providers, to address palliative care needs for their patients, suddenly became both a professional and a national health care crisis. That further validated the need to rapidly create and disseminate resources and training to support health care workers during the pandemic and beyond.

Also, with an aging demographic and the onset of the pandemic, it is vital that our frontline health care professionals (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, paramedics, social workers, personal support workers, etc.) are equipped to provide a palliative care approach to the increasing numbers of Canadians facing serious illness.

The Li Ka Shing (Canada) Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the world and was founded in 1980 by Hong Kong entrepreneur Mr. Li Ka-shing who has pledged to donate one-third of his assets to support health and education philanthropic projects around the world.

Frank Sixt, President of the Li Ka Shing (Canada) Foundation explains, “Palliative care education and support has been one of the key focuses of the Li Ka Shing (Canada) Foundation for more than two decades after our founder, Mr. Li Ka-shing, was inspired to make a difference after witnessing the intense suffering of a friend with terminal cancer.”

Sixt adds, “We are very pleased to be able to provide this investment to support Pallium’s meaningful work to accelerate the building of health care capacity to ultimately provide timelier, more effective and compassionate palliative care to more Canadians.”

Palliative care is everyone’s business and the palliative care approach empowers all health care professionals to identify patients with palliative care needs earlier in their illness trajectory. This will help engage them in difficult conversations and set goals for care discussions, while considering the emotional, psychosocial and spiritual needs of patients and their families, in addition to excellent pain and symptom management.

The need for the entire health care system to adopt a palliative care approach across all professions and settings of care, within our communities, has become an issue that can no longer be ignored.

About Pallium Canada

Founded in 2000, Pallium Canada is a national, non-profit organization focused on building professional, community and workplace capacity to help improve the quality and accessibility of palliative care in Canada.

Since 2014, Pallium Canada has trained more than 29,000 health care professionals on its Learning Essential Approaches to Palliative Care (LEAP) courseware through a network of over 940 certified facilitators in every province and territory who are experienced palliative care clinicians and educators.

Pallium’s work is focused in three main areas:

  • Capacity building – Pallium is the national leader in Canada providing education to frontline health care professionals and transforming practice in palliative care through its educational program LEAP. LEAP courses have measurable impact showing significant increases in attitudes, knowledge, and comfort levels of frontline health care professionals to provide a palliative care approach as well as influence health care practice and system change.
  • Community engagement – Pallium mobilizes the creation of Compassionate Communities and enables community leaders, carers, and members through the offering of practical tools and resources to better support a palliative care approach. Pallium engages workplaces through the Compassionate Workplace Campaign to help transform workplaces into compassionate environments where Canadians who are caregiving, grieving, or dealing with a serious illness receive the support they need.
  • Research and innovation – As a leader in palliative care education, Pallium is working to bridge the gap between research and practice by partnering with McMaster University’s Department of Family Medicine to form the Dr. Joshua Shadd—Pallium Canada Research Hub. The Hub is undertaking work to advance palliative care educational research and measure the impact of continuing professional development on the health care system.

About Li Ka Shing (Canada) Foundation

The Li Ka Shing Foundation was established in 1980 by global entrepreneur and philanthropist Li Ka-shing. Mr. Li considers the Foundation to be his “third son” and has pledged one-third of his assets to it. To date, the Foundation has granted approximately HK$27 billion (US$3.48 billion) in charitable donations.

The Foundation supports projects that promote social progress through expanding access to quality education and medical services and research, encouraging cultural diversity and community involvement.

Li Ka Shing (Canada) Foundation was incorporated in Canada in 2004 in recognition of the warm welcome the country has extended to Li Ka-shing and to his group of companies. Over the years the Li Ka Shing (Canada) Foundation has, among others, supported major projects such as a Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, an Institute of Virology at the University of Alberta, Academic Exchange Programs with the University of Manitoba, an endowed Chair professorship at the University of Calgary, the MBA Program of University of British Columbia, and a research on cellulose biomaterials at the University of Ottawa.

For an interview, please contact:

Robyn Levy
Manager, Marketing and Communications
Pallium Canada