The R. Howard Webster Foundation has funded several new initiatives in palliative and hospice care…

During the 1970s hospice palliative care was established in the form of palliative care units in hospitals.  Over the years palliative care has, through major advances in medical science, developed and evolved into the programs and hospices that we are familiar with today.  In the early 1990s the R. Howard Webster Foundation began to support organizations that offered innovative programs in the field of palliative and hospice care, such as those offered by VON Montreal Inc. and the Dorothy Ley Hospice in Etobicoke.  The Foundation has continued and increased its support of innovations in the field, including home palliative care programs and the construction of a pediatric care facility (Le Phare, Enfants et Familles), and, in 1999, aided Dr. Balfour Mount, who is considered to be the father of palliative care in North America, in establishing The McGill Programs in Integrated Whole Person Care.

As part of its mission to make grants to outstanding Canadian charitable organizations offering unique and inspiring programs or projects for the benefit and improvement of Canadian society, the R. Howard Webster Foundation has funded several new initiatives in palliative and hospice care.  We invite you to take some time to browse and gain some firsthand knowledge about some very caring Canadian organizations and their programs.


West Island Palliative Care Residence

The West Island Palliative Care Residence is an independent, community-based non-profit institution, accredited by the Quebec government to provide palliative care health services.  It is not part of or affiliated with any other hospital or health institution.  The Residence was opened in 2002 with nine beds and expanded in 2012 to 23 beds, making it the largest free-standing palliative care residence in Canada.  The primary care goal at the Residence is to allow their patients to live the final chapter of their lives in the best and most fulfilling manner possible.  The medical and volunteer teams work together to manage symptoms and meet emotional, social, and spiritual needs with comfort and dignity in a warm, home-like environment which helps patients and their families to achieve peace of mind as they move together through the challenges of the end of a life.  They also provide follow-up bereavement services to families for a year.

The R. Howard Webster Foundation recently made a grant to help the Residence to provide comfortable surroundings and support services for families by establishing a much needed Family Room and a Children’s Room at the Stillview Pavilion.  These spaces allow families to gather, host celebrations such as birthdays, weddings, holidays, and do normal everyday activities like play games and watch television like they would at home.  Additionally, the Foundation is supporting an innovative Art Therapy Program at the Residence which is an approach to healing that uses art as a means of self-expression, reflection and communication.  For more information on the West Island Palliative Care Residence, visit:


Valley Hospice Foundation

The R. Howard Webster Foundation is also pleased to be one of the leading funders of the “Our Community Our Health” Capital Campaign, a joint effort of the Valley Hospice Foundation and the Valley Regional Hospital Foundation to establish a new Hospice and Palliative Care Centre and to fund several redevelopment projects at Valley Regional Hospital.

The Hospice and Palliative Care Centre, the first of its kind being opened in Nova Scotia, is located in the Annapolis Valley and will meet the increasing needs of an aging population and the number of individuals with chronic and life-threatening illness in a peaceful, comfortable, home-like environment.  The designated 8-10 bedroom Centre in the Annapolis Valley will allow for enhanced services to those requiring end of life care, which has been shown to not only improve the quality of care but also quality of life and dignity.  It will also provide support to care givers and enable palliative care knowledge and skill development among healthcare teams.


St. John Hospice

Another new initiative of the R. Howard Webster Foundation is its support of the Order of St. John Palliative Care Foundation, toward the construction of the St. John Hospice in Vancouver.

The first community hospice on Vancouver’s West Side and serving people from across Vancouver, the St. John Hospice, which opened in September 2013, is a freestanding residence with 14 fully furnished ensuite bedrooms.  Located on the University of British Columbia campus, the free standing residence allows hospice residents and visitors to enjoy the use of the dining room, family room, and quiet room in a home like setting, while also allowing them access to the UBC Botanical Garden across the street.  Palliative care in the Hospice will be provided by health authority doctors, nurses and other multi-disciplinary professionals.  The Hospice is also unique in that UBC’s Faculty of Medicine has dedicated space in the facility for researchers investigating best practices for end-of-life care, and for the training of health professionals.  For more information on the St. John Hospice, visit:


The Lighthouse, Children and Families

Founded in 1999, The Lighthouse, Children and Families (the Lighthouse) is a non-profit organization that contributes to the well-being of children whose lives are threatened by illnesses such as rare degenerative, neurological, genetic or heart diseases, complex chronic conditions, and pediatric cancers that require complex treatment.  To achieve its mission, the Lighthouse operates Maison André-Gratton, a unique pediatric palliative care home in Quebec, which offers end of life care to children suffering from these diseases as well as respite and support to their families.  All the services offered at the Lighthouse are free.  Built in 2007, Maison André-Gratton has nine bright bedrooms that can accommodate up to twelve children, from newborns to age eighteen.  Amenities include an adapted warm-water swimming pool, an arts and crafts room, a playroom, a multi-sensory room, a music room, and a computer room.  It also has a courtyard with adapted playground equipment, including a swing for use with a wheelchair.

In 2005 the R. Howard Webster Foundation made a grant to The Lighthouse, Children and Families toward the construction of the pediatric facility.  Currently the Foundation is supporting the Lighthouse’s From Respite Until the End of Life project.


Marie-Clarac Hospital Foundation

The Marie-Clarac Hospital Foundation was established in 1996 to support the hospital as it pursued its mission (acquiring specialized equipment, upgrading the X-Ray and shower rooms, and developing new rehabilitation rooms, among other plans). Between 2011 and the end of 2014 the hospital’s management decided to embark upon the construction of a new pavilion in order to add palliative care to its mission. This vast construction project also included the considerable expansion and modernization of Marie-Clarac Hospital. In June 2011, the Marie-Clarac Hospital Foundation launched its first major fundraising campaign in order to make this project a reality.

Since November 2014, the new Mère Anselme Marie Pavilion has been welcoming patients to the Oasis of Peace, its innovative palliative care unit. The realization of this ambitious project made it possible for Sister Pierre Anne Mandato, the hospital’s general manager, to fulfill her dream of offering free, high quality care to patients at the end of their lives. The Pavilion’s architecture was designed to harmonize with the existing building, and is surrounded by a garden and green spaces. The 24 spacious, adjoining rooms, including 18 for palliative care and 6 for multifaceted care on the second and third levels, will ensure that beneficiaries are provided with all the necessary care while those who wish to support and accompany them during these precious moments can do so in a suitable environment. Furthermore, each patient will be accompanied by specialized caregivers whose priority will be to preserve the patient’s dignity and peace of mind. The R. Howard Webster Foundation recently made a donation to this major fundraising campaign, to benefit this important project. For more information on Marie-Clarac Hospital, please visit their website at


Casey House

With 1 in 120 adult Torontonians now HIV positive, more people are living with HIV in Toronto than ever before.  Responding to this growing and evolving need for advanced care, Casey House is building a new, modern and greatly expanded home for complex HIV/AIDS care at the corner of Jarvis and Isabella streets.  The expanded site will enable Casey House to more than double its current care capacity, and allow for the implementation of Casey House’s new model of HIV/AIDS hospice care with more efficient, seamless consolidation of all services under one roof.  Key to Casey House’s future plans will be the introduction of a new Day Health Program that will improve health care for the growing number of vulnerable Torontonians living and aging with the complex health care challenges now posed by HIV/AIDS.

Recently the R. Howard Webster Foundation made a grant to Casey House’s Rebuilding Lives Capital Campaign to build a new healthcare and hospice facility for people struggling with HIV/AIDS and other severe health complications.  This grant will support two key areas in the new facility: the Multipurpose Room within the Day Health Program, where clients will receive support, learn coping mechanisms and acquire new skills by participating in workshops and therapy sessions in a group setting; and the Quiet/Family Room in the Inpatient Program, which will provide a cozy space where clients and their support networks can meet in a non-clinical setting to spend time together, or celebrate special occasions.  Bereavement and grief counselling will also be available in this space.  For more information on Casey House and the campaign, visit: