Pediatric Palliative Care
Easing the transition
Pediatric Palliative Care is an important resource for terminally ill children and their families. In addition to the clinical care we provide, we’re heavily involved in education and research.
We also work with families and communities to ensure families have the resources they need—whether they want their child to be cared for at home or in their local hospital. For these families, TeleHealth sessions and home visits are used as a means to provide information, support and symptom management.
Each year, we perform about 50-60 on-site consultations. In addition to seeing new patients, we also provide ongoing support to about 50 patients and families throughout the year.
Although most of our consultations originate within the IWK, a few of them come to us from communities throughout the Maritime provinces. We also provide regional and community support on pain, symptom management and other aspects relating to palliative care.
Our team collaborates with the front-line health care professionals who have an established relationship with the patients and their families. Bereavement follow-up is a significant part of the care we provide to both families and staff.
The service participates in various teaching activities, including:
- pediatric resident academic half days
- LINK program
- IPE mini-course on pediatric palliative care
- educational workshops, which are multi-disciplinary in focus and held locally, regionally and further afield
We also have a key role in educating current and future health care professionals. We offer rotations to clinical clerks, pediatric residents, hematology/oncology fellows and palliative medicine residents, as well as debriefing relating to the care of critically ill children. The service hosts visiting nurses and physicians so they can further their knowledge related to pediatric palliative care.
Our team members frequently advocate for enhanced pediatric palliative care. This type of care promotes the consideration of the child as both a family member and a patient. Our service led the development and implementation of policies relating to end-of-life care, including:
- death of a patient
- tissue and organ donation
- end-of-life care for newborns
- bereavement follow-up
We’re also leading the update and the implementation of the policy relating to potentially life-sustaining interventions.
- Marie-Claude Grégoire, MD, MSc, FRCPC (Clinical Director)
- A. Stacie Colwell, MD, PhD, FAAP (Division Head)
- Pamella Beliveau, Bereavement Coordinator
- Shauna Wilcox, Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Jennifer Bowden, Administrative Assistant
IWK Health Centre
Main Floor, Children's Site, Room K2101
5850/5980 University Avenue
PO Box 9700
Halifax, NS B3K 6R8