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Happy New Year!

I hear that this will be the "Year of the Monkey"! Apparently the monkey is: "cheerful and energetic by nature and usually represents flexibility".

I think that sounds terrific, fun, energizing, and just the perfect year for me! Email me if you feel like sharing a story of "cheerful, energetic and/or flexibility" from your life!

In the fall we attended hospice and palliative care and education conferences in Texas, Ontario and California. We got home in time for Christmas and the holidays with a desire to integrate our learning. Most profound for me was the opportunity to attend sessions addressing Physician Assisted Dying. I decided that it is time to share my thoughts.

Here is my first blog on this topic, and I'm looking forward to writing more.


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Tips for Talking with Someone Who is Dying
via Virtual Hospice

There are times when it would be nice to know "what to say", or at least to know "what NOT to say". The following tips may be useful at any point during a serious illness, but especially when the person is not expected to live more than a few weeks or days. (Thanks to Virtual Hospice for yet another great resource) Read more...

The Power of 10 - Bundle of 10 posters & 50 postcards - BILINGUAL

When Canadians were asked to define Physician Assisted Dying nearly a third of those who responded thought that Physician Assisted Dying was hospice palliative care.

We need people to know what hospice and palliative care are. The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association has developed a public awareness campaign to help share the message of hospice:

ONE OF THE BEST WAYS to spread an important message is through your social circles, your own sphere of influence. National Hospice Palliative Care Week’s official theme for 2015 was The Power of 10: Let’s talk about Hospice Palliative Care and is still as pertinent today.

CHPCA invites us to talk with 10 people — friends, family, acquaintances — about hospice palliative care in Canada. You can order materials to share with those you know, and for them to share with those that they know!"

Visit the website to learn more...

The End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) will hold 6 national train-the-trainer courses throughout the US in 2016.  For more information about ELNEC and these courses, go to  

Book - The Best Care Possible

Dr Ira Byock spoke to the California Hospice and Palliative Care Association Conference in November in Long Beach California. He provided a wonderful presentation. He suggests that we CAN provide the BEST CARE POSSIBLE< and that it will be less costly and more humane than what is currently being offered.

Byock addressed the acute treatments that are provided to too many seniors who would be happy to not receive acute treatments and surgeries if they understood what the likely outcomes and if they received support from a palliative care team to help them clarify their goals and have next step conversations.

Check out his book, The Best Care Possible.

Similar to books by Atul Gawande and Jerome Groopman, The Best Care Possible is a compelling meditation on medicine and ethics told through page-turning, life or death medical drama. It is passionate and timely, and it has the power to lead a new kind of national conversation.
Nurse Shares 30 Years Of Spiritual Experiences With Death & Dying

Becki Hawkins is a hospice nurse, a chaplain and author of Transitions: A Nurse's Education about Life and Death.  In this video she shares stories of caring for the dying and the family. In her gentle southern voice, she shares spiritual experiences experienced by the dying person, including near death awareness and near death experiences. An opportunity to reflect on those experiences, and wonder about the unseen in a world where we tend to rely on what is seen. Curl up with a cuppa something and enjoy an hour with Becki.
Our mission is to create resources that help front line caregivers, including Personal Support Workers (also known as Health Care Assistants, Nursing Assistants and Hospice Aides), provide excellent care for the dying person and their family.

If you are new to hospice palliative care then we hope that the website, newsletter, videos and podcast library will provide you with a foundation of understanding.  If you are experienced in hospice palliative care, we hope that you can use these resources to support, teach and mentor your colleagues.

If you are an educator we hope that the materials will reinforce what you know, and that the Instructors Guide will help you prepare education sessions that will stimulate your students learning, and facilitate you sharing from your rich experience while meeting the education standards and vocational learning outcomes.

Upcoming Conferences, Speaking Engagements and Events


ABHES 13th Annual National Conference on Allied Health Education
February 24 - 26, 2016
San Antonio, TX, USA
The National Conference on Allied Health Education is hosted by ABHES annually and features a variety of breakout sessions focused on those issues most current and relevant to allied health care educators.

We’ll be there!

2016 AAHPM & HPNA Annual Assembly
March 9 - 12, 2016
Chicago, IL, USA

The Annual Assembly of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA) is designed for physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers interested in acquiring, maintaining, or expanding the skills needed to function effectively in the field of hospice and palliative care.

We’ll be there!

HPCO 2016 Annual Conference
April 17 - 19, 2016
Richmond Hill, ON, Canada

Thought leaders, service providers, health system planners, researchers, policy makers, administrators and multidisciplinary, front-line practitioners from across the health care spectrum gather at HPCO’s annual conference to collaborate and to integrate hospice palliative care in all settings. 

We’ll be there!

2016 CLPNA Conference

April 27 - 29, 2016
Edmonton, AB, Canada

2016 marks 30 years of self-regulation for the Licensed Practical Nurse profession in Alberta. that's a generation of LPNs governing LPNs; developing our own practice, registration, and conduct. What an opportunity to reflect on where our profession has come from and where we are going! Changes encountered through our history and those on their way.

We’ll be there!

Geriatric Refresher Day - 30th Annual Event
May 4, 2016
London, ON, Canada
This will be the 30th Annual Geriatric Refresher Day! Come by the booth and chat about your education needs. Pick up some Conversation Cookies for your staff!

We’ll be there!

If you would like to connect with Kath Murray when she's in your area, or are interested in a campus visit, please drop us an email
Life and Death Matters Conversation Cookies are edible cookies with a message inside, each one intended to stimulate conversations about living well and dying well.