Be part of a community of practice with the Palliative Care ECHO Project.

We’re dedicated to supporting a continuous learning journey for health care professionals to build local capacity to provide a palliative care approach to patients and their families.

As a capacity-building tele-mentoring program, the Palliative Care ECHO Project is designed to create virtual communities of learners by bringing together local healthcare providers (and community leaders) with regional, provincial/territorial, and national subject matter experts for continuous learning, deep-dive learning opportunities, brief lecture presentations, and quality improvement discussions, fostering an “all learn, all teach” approach.

Why is this important

Many Canadian health care professionals do not have the required fundamental skills to provide a palliative care approach and the over-reliance on specialist palliative care teams is unsustainable.

There is a need to address equity issues in many parts of Canada related to accessing palliative care clinical support and education, especially in rural and remote regions and Indigenous communities.

We require sustainable infrastructure to rapidly capture and share palliative care knowledge, tools, resources, and protocol changes among health care teams across the country.

Health care professionals from all regions and across all professions have demonstrated personal leadership and a desire to acquire the necessary skills to provide better palliative care to patients.

Continuous professional development is a vital element in career growth for health care professionals.

How the project works

The power of ECHO is in its connectivity. ECHO uses a “hub and spoke” education model to connect health care providers in communities (“spokes”) with teams of specialists and experts at regional and national centers (the “hub”).

The creation of hubs is the anchor of the overarching model and exists to be more responsive to local, regional and provincial, or sector-specific needs.

The spokes represent the various communities (e.g., family health teams, paramedics) and settings of care (e.g., long-term care residences, home care) that are served by a hub. Health care professionals who work within these spokes are the beneficiaries of the various palliative care educational interventions created by the hub and by Pallium that will enhance their learning and practice.

Pallium’s role

Pallium Canada’s role is to coordinate and connect the system of hubs across Canada, curate and develop content to support hub partners (and their spokes) in meeting their local needs, deliver national palliative care programming, and lead the overall evaluation of the Project’s impacts and reporting.

Connect and take part

It only takes a minute to connect and become part of this community of practice that is sharing knowledge, tools, and resources on palliative care for health care professionals.

Pallium is looking to engage with new partners across Canada to improve palliative care capacity. If your organization is interested in working with us on this exciting initiative, please submit the form below.

If you are a health care professional looking to take part in the Palliative Care ECHO Project, please fill out this form and stay connected. We’ll keep you up to date with updates and progress, every step of the way.

Upcoming National ECHO Sessions

National ECHO programming is free for all health care professionals to participate in. Some ECHO sessions are targeted to specific professions or practice areas.

Personal Support Worker - Community of Practice Series

Essential Communication Skills Part 1 – Tuesday November 16, 2021 @ 5:00 – 6:00 pm ET
Essential Communication Skills Part 2 – Tuesday November 30, 2021 @ 5:00 – 6:00 pm ET
Essential Communication Skills Part 3 – Tuesday December 14, 2021 @ 5:00 – 6:00 pm ET

Come be part of the Palliative Care ECHO Project’s new community of practice for personal support workers. This community of practice is for those interested in connecting with peers in sessions that are facilitated by practice coaches. Participants will have opportunities to bring knowledge to action in quality palliative care delivery, skill building through case-based discussions, shared experience, practice pearls, gold standard tools, breakout rooms, role play, etc. This community of practice is a welcoming and encouraging space that invites reflective practice, dialogue, transparency, and peer-to-peer connection.

Fin de vie de maladies neurologiques dégénératives (French only)

Wednesday November 24, 2021 @ 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET
This session is about end of life of degenerative neurological diseases such as Dementia, Cerebrovascular Disease, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and ALS. Participants will learn the common trajectory of degenerative neurological diseases, frequent complications of these diseases, symptoms at the end of life of degenerative neurological diseases, and early identification of the end of neurological life.

Pour une approche palliative intégrée: Optimiser la communication entre les intervenants de première ligne et les équipes hospitalières (French only)

Wednesday December 15, 2021 @ 12:30 – 1:30 pm ET
This session is designed for front-line workers and hospital teams. Participants will learn how to identify patients who may benefit from palliative care and detect the warning signs of end of life, how to engage in a discussion of goals of care with patients, and how to communicate this information effectively.

Past National ECHO Sessions

Find the recordings, Q&As, and PowerPoint presentations of our past sessions here.

7 Keys to Delivering Palliative Care Upstream: What We Learned From 1,000 Patients and Families

Health care providers know that integrating an early palliative care approach is difficult, in part because palliative care is associated with death and dying. As a result, palliative care is more commonly delivered at end of life or the “11th hour.” The presenters have talked with thousands of patients and families to uncover 7 keys to enable an early approach to palliative care.

QI Collaborative: Identify Patients with Palliative Care Needs

Session One – May 21, 2021 @ 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET
Session Two – June 18, 2021 @ 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET
Session Three -September 17, 2021 @ 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET

This ECHO series is designed to help coach family health practices who would like to make improvements in identifying patients earlier who could benefit from a palliative care approach.

Personal Support Worker Series - Session One

The Role of Personal Support Workers in Palliative Care
This session explores the role of personal support workers and health care aides/assistants in palliative care and as part of the health care team caring for patients with life-limiting illnesses, and their families.

Taking Vitals: The SCQ—The Evidence, Development, and Clinical Necessity of a Measure to Routinely Assess Patients Experiences of Compassion

This session discusses the importance of compassion in quality palliative care and viewers are introduced to the Sinclair Compassion Questionnaire (SCQ), a tool for health care providers to utilize to improve patients experiences of care.

Personal Support Worker Series - Session Two

LEAP Personal Support Worker – Question and Answer Session
This session explores personal support worker’s questions about the palliative care approach and the content of LEAP Personal Support Worker.

Personal Support Worker Series - Session Three

Personal Support Workers and Challenging Conversations
Challenging conversations related to end-of-life care can be difficult and uncomfortable. In this free ECHO session, the presenters will provide advice and suggestions on how to handle these exchanges in a professional, empathic, and compassionate way. Learn how our own personal feelings, emotions, and anxiety can influence and affect these conversations. Participants will practice new communication strategies and prepare a blueprint of action for future challenging conversations. 

Information Session – The CAPACITI program

This session provides an introduction to CAPACITI, a free education program for interprofessional primary care teams across Canada to learn how to integrate a palliative care approach in their practices. This session is for anyone who may be interested in participating in the CAPACITI program but would like to learn more.

World Hospice and Palliative Care Day Special Lecture

This lecture is honours international leaders in the field of hospice palliative care and to provide a platform to spread hospice and palliative care awareness and knowledge. Professor Irene J. Higginson will address hospice palliative care service provision in times of crisis and link to the theme of the World Day: Equity in Access to Palliative Care.

Past ECHO Project newsletters

Interested in what the Palliative Care ECHO Project has been up to this far? Get up to date by viewing our past ECHO Project newsletters below:

Hub Partners

Hub partners are at the heart of the Palliative Care ECHO Project and are critical to adapting the Project programming to meet their stakeholders’ needs. Through the leadership of these amazing organizations, existing programs and resources can reach more health care providers and learners and new content and programming can be rapidly shared, developed, and deployed to fill gaps and enhance learning opportunities.


For more details on the Palliative Care ECHO Project, please access our Frequently Asked Questions

About ECHO

Project ECHO (which stands for Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) was developed in 2003. It is a hub and spoke model that connects primary care providers to specialists to support learning for the care of their patients.

At its heart is videoconferencing that connects health care providers in communities (“spokes”) with teams of specialists and experts at regional and national centers (“hubs”) to to provide comprehensive recommendations for treatment, and in some cases includes patients in these discussions for direct consultations.

The hubs are at the heart of the ECHO model and are critical to adapting ECHO to meet local or regional needs by integrating ECHO sessions with existing educational, capacity building and support programs.

Funding acknowledgement

The Palliative Care ECHO Project is supported by a financial contribution from Health Canada.​ The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of Health Canada.

Stay connected to the Palliative Care ECHO Project