Palliative and Therapeutic Harmonization - Optimal care meets appropriate spending

June 12, 2013
12 pm to 1 pm ET


Our healthcare system is at a tipping point, where unprecedented levels of chronic disease (or “frailty”) in an aging population meets healthcare silos designed to fix one problem at a time. The result is a system that provides costly and uncoordinated care, especially at the end of life. The lack of system coordination can lead to inappropriate decisions, such as whether to pursue interventional therapies and transition to long-term care.

Our June 12 session of On Call features the Palliative and Therapeutic Harmonization (PATH) model ─an innovative, award winning solution designed to improve appropriateness of care and use of resources across the healthcare continuum. At its core, PATH is a philosophy—a new way of thinking about the health of older adults—that places frailty at the forefront of evidence-informed decision making. This approach has been translated into clinical programs that have been implemented in the community, tertiary care, home care and long term care. The end result is that patients and families feel empowered to make decisions about surgery, medical interventions, dialysis, nursing-home placement, and end-of-life care that are appropriate for their frailty burden.

The PATH program includes:

  • Clinical consultation 
  • Team training 
  • Assessment tools 
  • Treatment guidelines for frailty 
  • A new approach to home care assessment 
  • Palliative and Therapeutic Harmonization in long term care 
  • Knowledge translation tools for the public

Guest Speakers:

Chris Power

Chris Power began her health care career as a frontline nurse. Over the years she has served in progressively more responsible leadership roles, both in Halifax and at Trillium Health Centre in Ontario, always maintaining the passion and compassion that led her to health care. In 2006, Chris became President and CEO of Capital Health where she provides strategic leadership to an organization that serves the health needs of the residents of Halifax Regional Municipality and West Hants, and patients throughout the Maritimes.

Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Mount Saint Vincent University and a Masters in Health Services Administration from Dalhousie University. She is a Certified Health Executive with the Canadian College of Health Leaders and holds a Fellowship in Management for Executive Nurses from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. In 2003, she received the Award for Excellence and Innovation from the Canadian College of Health Services Executives, in 2007 received an Award of Excellence from the Halifax Progress Club. In 2010, she was inducted into the Hall of Fame as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women. Chris has been named one of the top 50 CEOs in Atlantic Canada four times. In 2010, she received the Consumers Choice Award for Business Woman of the Year in Nova Scotia. She holds appointments on several Boards, including Chair of the Association of Canadian Academic Health Organizations.

Chris’s love of family, strong faith and gift of singing keep her grounded in what’s important.

Laurie Mallery

Laurie Mallery completed Medical School at the University of Pennsylvania, Internal Medicine training in Chicago at Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital and Geriatric Medicine training at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

She is the head of the Division of Geriatric Medicine at Dalhousie University and the Director for the Centre of Health Care of the Elderly. She is co-founder of the PATH (Palliative and Therapeutic Harmonization) clinic, which provides care planning for frail older adults. The PATH experience is brought to life in her recently published story The Salami Salesman and His Daughter Falafel: What an Older Man's Death Can Teach Us about How and How Not to Care for the Frail and Dying, which chronicles the story of her father’s frailty.

Dr. Mallery has developed an exercise program for the elderly, a curriculum in Geriatric Medicine for medical students, and interdisciplinary clinical protocols for older adults. She was a member of the Canadian Expert Drug Advisory Committee (CEDAC) over 8 years, a national committee that makes medication reimbursement and formulary recommendations to Provincial drug plans.

Paige Moorhoouse, MD MPH FRCPC

Dr. Moorhouse holds a Bachelors of Science from the University of Toronto and completed her MD and residency training in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at Dalhousie University in 2007. She completed a Master’s of Public Health at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in 2008.

Dr. Moorhouse draws on her clinical experience to inspire her research in end of life care, team-based care, vascular cognitive impairment, executive function, and driving and dementia. In her first four years of practice, she designed and implemented a customized electronic team assessment process for the Geriatric Day Hospital, created a public service campaign for driving and dementia, and a companion provincial web resource for primary care physicians. She has applied her expertise in program development, implementation and evaluation in co-founding the Palliative and Therapeutic Harmonization (PATH) Program, and the Collaborative Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment method.


Stephen SamisStephen Samis, Vice-President, Programs, CFHI  

Stephen has more than 15 years experience in research, policy development, knowledge exchange, partnership development and advocacy in the health sector. Prior to CFHI he was director of Health Policy at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada from 2004 to 2010 and manager of Research and Analysis at the Canadian Institute for Health Information from 2000 to 2004. Before moving to Ottawa in 2000, Stephen was a health research and policy consultant in British Columbia, where he worked for the BC Ministry of Health, Health Canada, the BC Workers Compensation Board and others.

Stephen has a strong interest in health research and policy, population health and evidence-informed policy development to improve Canada's health systems and ultimately the health of Canadians. He holds a Master’s degree in Sociology from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.