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Panel Discussion: Palliative Care in the Community: Caregiving, Vision & Advocacy


May 6

6:00pm - 9:00pm

Event Category:

Contact Info

Amy Tibben


200 Coventry Rd, Ottawa, Ontario, CA, K1K 4S3

Champlain Palliative Education Week is back, in person, for the first time in many years!

Beth Donovan Hospice & The OutCare Fund are excited to kick off the event with an important panel discussion focused on Caregiving, Vision & Advocacy.

The discussion will touch on how caregivers can advocate for their loved ones, demystifying palliative care, and the importance of early access to care in both rural and urban settings.

This discussion to not only for the medical professional but open to all informal caregivers, volunteers and the general public, together we can promote a seamless care experience for terminally ill individuals and their families.

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Paul Adams was the primary family caregiver to his wife, Suzanne Szukits, a Canadian diplomat, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 at the age of 52. She died of the complications of metastatic breast cancer in September 2016. Since Suzanne’s death, Adams has written about palliative care in publications such as The Walrus, The Ottawa Citizen, Policy Options and Healthy Debate. He has served as a family representative on numerous advisory bodies on palliative and end-of-life issues, locally and nationally, and was an invited speaker at the International Palliative Care Congress in Montreal in 2022. He is currently co-chair of the Canadian Grief Alliance.


Monica Patten is the Chair of Compassionate Ottawa. She was CEO of Community Foundations of Canada for 18 years, served as an advisor and mentor to organizations and leaders in the community sector across Canada and in many countries around the world. Monica has often been recognized for her accomplishments, including her appointment to the Order of Canada in 2013. She has been a facilitator of Advance Care Planning (ACP) workshops, and has worked with the Board of Directors to present popular webinars for the general public known as Conversations with Leaders on topics such as caregiving in Canada, views about death in various Indigenous communities and the challenges around serious illness and death faced by street-involved people.        


Dr. Tania Zakhem completed her undergraduate medical degree at McMaster University in 2010. She graduated from the University of Ottawa Family Medicine Residency Program in 2012. She has spent her career working in a rural health care setting in the Kemptville area. Her scope of practice includes family medicine, hospitalist medicine, emergency medicine, coroner duties and palliative care. She has worked along side the Beth Donovan Hospice providing community based palliative care since 2012. Dr. Zakhem will speak to the successes, limitations and care gaps of rural palliative care and will also touch on her experiences with medical assistance in dying (MAID).



Amber Hutlink is a Commander with the County of Renfrew Paramedic Service. Her current portfolio is Community Paramedicine. She has been involved with Community Paramedicine since 2008 and is passionate about equitable access to patient centered care. 

In 2018/19, Amber was seconded to the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement to work as a Paramedic Improvement Lead implementing “Paramedics & Palliative Care”, a pan-Canadian collaborative in seven jurisdictions across Canada. Amber returned to the County of Renfrew Paramedic Service in fall 2019 just prior to the start of the pandemic. In 2020, Amber worked as part of a multi-disciplinary team to implement a program for Community Paramedic integration in palliative care within Renfrew County.


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