What is ePAC?
Equity in Palliative Approaches to Care (ePAC) is a community collaborative informed by a research program led out of the University of Victoria. Members of the collaborative work together to conduct research with local, national and international partners, and develop resources and tools, programs, and services aimed at improving access to quality care for people facing the end-of-life and who also face inequities like homelessness, poverty, isolation, racism, and stigma.
Why equity in palliative approaches to care?
People who face inequities like homelessness, poverty and stigma and who are also living with a life-limiting condition (like cancer, lung, liver or kidney disease, organ failure) are considerably disadvantaged as their health declines. We believe that a palliative approach to care for people facing inequities and declining health will result in a better quality of life until death, and that such an approach promotes a compassionate, person-centred and community-informed response to the inequities faced by some people in our society.
Equity-oriented care directs resources and services to those with the greatest needs. It doesn’t mean that everyone gets the same resources and services because not everyone needs the same things. Instead, equity-oriented palliative approaches to care focus on:
Individualized, whole-person care for the person, their chosen family & community, that is driven by what is most important to the person;
Attention to physical, psychosocial, and spiritual needs – early in the person’s disease - to promote living well up until the point of death & after-death support for chosen family;
Quality of life, dignity, hope, comfort, and relief of suffering;
Aligning with the assets and strengths embedded in the community to develop a collective response to care.
Who is involved in ePAC?
Our collaborative includes university-based researchers, clinicians (such as doctors, nurses, social workers), inner city workers, chosen family members and friends, health and social care administrators, volunteers, and peers who work together to support quality care and minimize barriers that are often faced by people experiencing inequities as they are coming toward the end of their lives. We believe that understanding and caring for people who face inequities and experience declining health is a collective responsibility.
How did ePAC begin?
In 2011 a group of Victoria inner city service providers began working together with the aim of improving quality palliative care for their clients. This initial collaboration resulted in the creation of the Victoria Palliative Outreach Resource Team (PORT). The team provided support to dying clients and acted as a resource in the inner city community but with little funding to support continued work. On the invitation of PORT, a PORT-University of Victoria alliance was formed and such began the ePAC collaborative.
What is ePAC up to?
Our ePAC collaborative guides our research and informs the development of services, policies, programs, and educational resources in support of equity in palliative approaches to care. Our work is informed by the lived expertise of people and their care providers, ensuring that what we produce is relevant, useful and grounded in what is most important to people experiencing inequities who are also living with a life-limited condition. Recent and ongoing developments:
Lead Researcher – Equity in Palliative Approaches to Care
Dr. Kelli Stajduhar, RN, PhD, FCAHS
Professor, School of Nursing
Research Affiliate, Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health
University of Victoria
Ashley Mollison, MA
ePAC Project Coordinator
Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health
firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-472-5501