Monday, July 7, 2014

New Palliative Care Award named after Jean Echlin

The Jean Echlin Award for Ethics in Palliative care was announced by the deVeber Institute on July 3. In its announcement, the deVeber Institute stated that the new award recognizes and honours the important work done by Jean Echlin in her long and distinguished career in palliative care.

Jean Echlin was the founding Vice President of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

The Windsor Star announced the Jean Echlin award by recognizing as a pioneer in palliative care. The Windsor Star stated:
One of Ontario’s leading pioneers in advances in palliative care was honoured Friday with a major award in the field dedicated in her name. 
Jean Echlin, 82, who continues to teach nursing courses at the University of Windsor and hold roles with several nursing and end-of-life care provincial organizations, will have a new annual award for “ethics in palliative care” in her name under the deVeber Institute for Bioethics & Social Research in Toronto. 
Echlin was instrumental in the founding of the Hospice of Windsor and Essex County’s clinical and volunteer programs. She also served as executive director of the Hospice. 
She moved on in 1988 to University Hospital in London where she developed the first palliative care consultation team. 
In her long career, she also served as a director of nursing at Windsor Regional Hospital’s Metropolitan Campus and as a nursing faculty member at the university dating back to 1968. 
Echlin decided to dedicate her life’s work to the palliative field soon after graduating nursing school at the former Grace Hospital in Windsor. 
“I saw people suffering so much, the (end-of-life) care was not acceptable,” she said. “I always thought so much more can be done.” 
When talk started in Windsor of launching a new hospice centre, Echlin said: “I took a leave and went for it.” 
“It’s the idea of keeping someone comfortable. In the beginning it was all cancer, but it has broadened to so much more — into neurology, ALS, renal or cardiac. I just love my work.” 
Echlin said she is how the Windsor community has responded with so much support to grow the local Hospice and palliative care throughout the area. 
“I have never seen a response by a community anywhere in my travels like this community,” she said. “People have truly responded to the needs of those suffering. We cover at least 70 per cent of the population here who requires that type of end-of-life care. 
“In most places anywhere else it’s about 15 to 20 per cent. We are way ahead in this area.”
The deVeber Institute will be accepting applications for the Jean Echlin award for Ethics in Palliative care until July 31, 2014. Application for the reward is open to those who fit the following description:
A nominee for the award must be an individual or a group of individuals that supports, believes in, and embodies the philosophy and ethics of palliative care. Nominees support the notion that palliative care constitutes not just dying well, but also, and more importantly, living well. And that all persons should be provided the highest level of quality-of-life until the moment of death.
Nomination information can be obtained from the deVeber Institute (Link).

The winner of the award will be announced in September 2014 at the International Congress on Palliative Care in Montreal.

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