Author Archives: ellenw

  1. Virtual Toronto Hike for Hospice Partners – Join Team Emily’s House / PAC – July 17 – August 28, 2021

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    Toronto Hike for Hospice Partners – July 17 – August 28, 2021
    $10 to register.  Additional fundraising is encouraged. Have a heart for hospice!

    Everyone eventually will be touched by hospice care – in their community, family, and in their own home.  We invite you to help us offer compassionate care and support for families in our community.  Come hike with us! Create a team!

    Hike Highlights:

    ♦ Virtual Hike in your neighbourhoods

    ♦ Special Mystery Virtual Photo Walks on 3 Saturdays, July 24, August 7 and August 21, 2021

    As part of this Mystery Virtual Photo Walk schedule we will be releasing 5 clues each week of the location of that coming Saturday’s Mystery Location.  The clues will be published on our social media accounts each weekday (Mon-Fri).

    ♦ PRIZES!!!  If you can guess the Mystery Destinations, and for Fundraising Efforts.

    Click Here to enter your guess for the weeks Mystery Destination!  

    Emily’s House / Philip Aziz Centre and Hospice Toronto have again joined forces, as Toronto Hike for Hospice 2021 Partners, to host our 19th annual Toronto Hike for Hospice Partners Virtually – to raise awareness and funds in support of GTA hospice programs. 

    Annually, our partner hospices provide:

    ► Visiting volunteer and direct staff support to almost 2,000 individuals in the GTA in need of hospice care

    ► Caregiver relief, respite, support and resources, including 65,000 volunteer hours

    ► Counseling and care support to individuals and groups coping with illness, caregiving or bereavement

    100% of all funds raised through Hike for Hospice Partners will remain in your community, to raise public awareness and ensure that hospice palliative care is available for people with a life-threatening illness or in need of end-of-life supports, and their caregivers and loved ones at no cost to them.

    The number of people impacted by our programs is increasing yearly. With Toronto's rapidly aging population, and adults and children living longer with complex illness, the need for compassionate, hospice palliative care and support to improve people's quality of life, and support their caregivers and loved ones, is greater than ever before.

    Hike for Hospice Palliative Care is a Canadian national fundraising event held across that brings together organizations working collectively in hospice palliative care to raise funds and awareness in their community.

    ♦ Only 16% to 30% of Canadians who die currently have access to or receive hospice palliative and end-of-life care services depending on where they live in Canada. Even fewer receive grief and bereavement services.

    ♦ Each death in Canada affects the immediate wellbeing of an average of 5 other people, or more than 1.25 million Canadians each year. (Estimate provided by the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association).

    ♦ Hospice palliative care programs allow patients to gain more control over their lives, manage pain and symptoms more effectively, and provides support to family caregivers.


    To Sponsor:                Please contact


    To Register:                                                                                                  


    To Donate to a Team or Hiker:                                 


    2021 Toronto Hike for Hospice Sponsors: 

     Community Partner Sponsor:


    Sponsored nationally by:




  2. Hospice Palliative Care Ontario (HPCO) Awards

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    Hospice Palliative Care Ontario (HPCO) Honours Emily’s House / Philip Aziz Centre for Hospice Care (PAC) with Three Awards in 2021

    Rauni Salminen, CEO, Emily’s House / Philip Aziz Centre for Hospice Care (PAC) Awarded the Dorothy Ley Award of Excellence in Hospice Palliative Care 2021 
    Nominated by colleagues and selected by a Hospice Palliative Care Ontario (HPCO) adjudication committee, this award recognizes a lifetime of achievements and influence in palliative care. Kudos to Rauni Salminen, for her vision, leadership, team mobilization, and perseverance: a faithful heart, capable of fierce advocacy and deep compassion. We could not imagine a more qualified candidate at this time, and celebrate a life poured out in service of the palliative among us, both for adults and for children. As Rauni has stated and truly believes: “This award also reflects brightly on the outstanding contributions and service of our dedicated staff, volunteers and board members at Emily’s House and Philip Aziz Centre for Hospice Care over the past quarter century!”  The late Dorothy Ley was one of Canada’s first champions for quality care at the end-of-life. She brought a unique individuality to the field of hospice and palliative care, and maintained a highly visible and vocal presence during her distinguished career until her death in 1994. Dr. Ley was a pioneer and she broke new ground in fields of medicine and health care in general. The Dorothy Ley Award of Excellence, established in 1996 by the Ontario Palliative Care Association, now Hospice Palliative Care Ontario, is a perennial reminder of her truly great legacy. The award is presented annually in recognition of an individual or team effort to advance and improve the quality of palliative and end-of-life care. 

    Elizabeth Kagabe wins the Frances Montgomery Award for Outstanding Personal Support Worker 2021
    At the HPCO conference, it was announced that Emily’s House’s Elizabeth Kagabe was selected for the Frances Montgomery Award for “outstanding Personal Support Worker, who demonstrates commitment, excellence and compassion in their scope of practice.” Our CEO, writes: “Elizabeth’s work ethic, compassion and wisdom continues to be a valuable gift to Emily’s House.  Thank you, Elizabeth, for your years of service and untiring love for those in your care and support for those on your team.” Elizabeth writes: “Thank you all for the congratulatory messages I have received on this special achievement. No words can express my gratitude for the love and support you have given me during the eight years plus I have worked at Emily's House. I always felt the love and compassion when I was a volunteer of Philip Aziz Centre but, when I joined EH, I met special people with big hearts who became my clinical mentors. A mixed of my community experience with their clinical knowledge made me who I am today.”

    Emily’s House / PAC – Awarded the Mount Pleasant Group Hospice Innovation Award 2021
    The Mount Pleasant Group Innovation Award recognizes innovative solutions, approaches, and program delivery of high-quality hospice care in the community.   This year’s award recognizes and honors Emily’s House innovative program pivot in response to COVID-19.  Our Emily’s House children’s hospice “stepped up” by committing to temporarily provide care for palliative adults.  Our team freed up eight hospital beds at Michael Garron Hospital for COVID-19 patients, while still reserving two beds at our hospice for children from Sick Kids Hospital for end-of-life care. At the same time, our Philip Aziz Centre for Hospice Care continued to safely provide modified virtual and limited in-person hospice supports for children and adults, including Music Therapy, Recreational activities, Respite, Social Work and Bereavement Care, while responding to emerging client care needs in crisis. (For more, please see: Covid-19 Response Client Impact and Testimonials on our websites). The HPCO Mount Pleasant Group Hospice Innovation Award is a geographically based award open to hospices physically located in either Durham Region, Peel Region, Toronto or York Region.

    Hospice Palliative Care Ontario sends congratulations, again, to all the 2021 award recipients.

    Here is a link to the recording of last week’s 2021 Virtual Award Presentation:

    #HPCO; #hospiceawards; #innovation


  3. E-News March – May 2021

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    Emily’s House / Philip Aziz Centre for Hospice Care
    E-Newsletter: March – May 2021


    Owen and the Tile Mosaic 

    From home in March, children and families participated in an Emily’s House tile mosaic community art project.  The series of 30-minute Zoom sessions enabled participants to mosaic together, including 15- year-old Owen who needs social interaction. His mom was delighted that Emily’s House reached out to them: “Owen loves art,” she said. “He really needs this. He’s really loving this!”  … “You make a difference, and you have a profound impact on the patients and families you provide care for.”  


    Virtual & Safe Hospice Programming

    Many of our hospice programs that were previously delivered face-to-face — after adding some creativity and technology — have expanded into practical remote supports. Onsite 24/7 clinical paediatric care has introduced safety protocols to protect patients and families.  Our children’s program calendar has something fun scheduled for every day of April; new care / grief groups for adults are launching via privacy protected video technology; and online training opportunities for our hospice volunteers are non-stop.

    PAC Community Virtual Sessions

    From a community client regarding invitations to Virtual Sessions:  "Thank you so much for thinking of the caregivers. These sessions all sound so great. Even just opening the envelope I received in the mail, and reading all the ways you thought to support us, quite literally brought tears to my eyes. To say this has been a challenging or stressful time is most certainly an understatement."

    Garden Memorial

    Plans are underway for the next Emily’s House Virtual Garden Memorial.  Our Spiritual Care Practitioner will contact families with more information.

    “Best Practice Spotlight Organization”

    Our CEO, Rauni Salminen, and our Emily’s House Nurses are in the early stages of a global healthcare initiative:  Emily’s House has been selected as a “Best Practice Spotlight Organization” … “Building a Centre of Excellence in Safety.”  The initiative will elevate professionalism among clinicians, and further education in paediatric palliative care.

    National Volunteer Week

    It’s National Volunteer Week, and we couldn’t appreciate our volunteers more.  They will be feeling the love this week. As well as virtual celebrations and surprises, our Volunteer Department is providing ongoing supports to encourage volunteer health, wellbeing, and professional development. Volunteer retention is vitally important even when volunteers may be temporarily supporting fewer hospice clients face-to-face than pre-COVID times. 

    Volunteers Gardening at EH

    What could be a more encouraging sign of spring than smiling volunteers cultivating a garden? Thank you to Carol and Lydia, Emily’s House Gardening Volunteers, for opening the gardens, keeping a safe distance, and encouraging blossoms, buds and beauty. Special thanks also to Beech Nursery on Carlaw Avenue for donating plants.

    Prophix Software Inc. Employee Vote

    Thank you to Prophix Software Inc. and their employee giving initiative for their recent support of Emily’s House children’s hospice. The Prophix Corporate Social Responsibility team encourages employees to present charities for an employee vote on how to direct their corporate donations. Amanda Stone, Regional Account Manager, Construction & Real Estate, Prophix Software Inc., wrote: “I am very excited that Emily’s House was elected for our quarterly donation project at Prophix. Throughout my campaigning, I felt so much support from my colleagues and received a ton of positive feedback from people who really appreciate what Emily’s House does – I wanted to relay this appreciation to you. We are grateful for this opportunity to give back to you.”  Prophix donated $25,000 which helped our hospice to pivot to offer virtual in-home children’s hospice supports and family events, via YouTube, secure Zoom, and individual technology devices.  “We are constantly seeking out charities to work with whether it is for our quarterly donation or to provide opportunities for our staff to volunteer,” said Ron Massicotte, Executive Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Prophix: “We are looking forward to working more with Emily’s House in the future.”  

    Donate Online  

    Now, more than ever, as parents are physically isolated at home, and often providing 24/7 care for a medically-fragile child, all hospice supports designed to relieve the strain and bring children joy are desperately needed. For palliative adults at home, phone check-ins, virtual groups, and home-delivery supports can be a lifeline. Your donation can be directed to life-giving hospice programs. To donate online, visit: Donation Page

    Events Updates

    • 2021 Hike for Hospice:  An announcement is coming soon about this year's Event!

    Keeping in Touch

      For more frequent updates, visit or follow us:

    ♦ Twitter: @PAChospice_care


    ♦ Instagram: Emilyshousetoronto

    How You Can Help

    Donate online today, and support compassionate hospice care in your community:  or

    Emily’s House / Philip Aziz Centre for Hospice Care, 558 Gerrard St E Toronto, ON  M4M 1X8. 
    Thank you for having a heart for hospice!


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  4. E-News

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    Emily’s House / Philip Aziz Centre for Hospice Care
    E-Newsletter: January – February 2021

    Allan’s Waves of Love & Inspiration  

    To mark the first anniversary in memory of Allan Roy Roxas, his family delivered 200 boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts across the city.  Allan’s family fundraises year-round for Emily’s House. To read more or to support their campaign visit:


    Emily’s House Virtual Campfire Night (Jan 2021)

    One family’s review: “What a great night and program! Loved this collaboration. We had so much fun at camp night!  It was easy to access. We had no trouble at all getting in via Zoom. The two “guides” were fabulous. Loved their energy and excitement towards the kids. They also really engaged all those taking part. A few of the kids were non-verbal, but I really felt like they were fully included. It was a great mix of songs, games, and interaction. I think this is a great program. Great job all around.”


    Valentines:  So much love!

    Thank you to everyone who contributed to this heartfelt surprise! This generous expression of love touched 85 of our hospice clients: 45 children and 40 adults. Special thanks to Elevation ChurchTagan, and the volunteers who helped assemble and deliver bundles of love. 

    • One mom wrote: “Thank you for all the gifts. The best surprise! Lots of love, from our family.”
    • One community client wrote: “Thank you for considering me for Valentine Day 2021. I am forever grateful for the gift sent to me. I really appreciate everything you are doing.”


    Emily’s House Valentine’s Day: 
    A Song from the BareNaked Ladies

    The BNL band remembers us again. Watch and enjoy: Emily's House | Videos


    Volunteer Training by Zoom

    Hospice volunteer training continues! These fresh faces are currently training to provide hospice care for children, in our “Zoom Class.” For more information:


    Frank Leo & Associates Gift Drive

    The Frank Leo & Associates’ online fundraiser raised over $13,000 for Emily’s House in Memory of Ava.  New tablets purchased with this generous donation will enable children clients to participate in virtual hospice programming like music therapy and recreation.  Gift cards purchased are being delivered to client families, and hospice programs are made possible. Community newspaper and radio interviews also helped raise awareness of Emily’s House. Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen!


    Electric Unicorn Beads

    9-year-old Chloe has been selling Covid-19 mask chains since August to raise funds for Emily’s House, in Memory of Ava.  She visited Emily’s House to present a cheque for $3,200, and to safely drop off some mask chains for our nursing / frontline care team. @electric.unicorn.beads


    Events Updates

    • ►  Emily’s House Black & White Gala:  A 2021 gala dance is unrealistic. Thank you to lead sponsors Agnico Eagle and Kinross Gold for leadership in pivoting sponsorships into donations to Emily’s House, and to the Gala Committee for all their work behind the scenes.
    • ►  Virtual Hike for Hospice:  An announcement is coming soon!


    Keeping in Touch

      For more frequent updates, visit or follow us:

    ♦ Twitter: @PAChospice_care


    ♦ Instagram: Emilyshousetoronto

    How You Can Help


    Donate online today, and support compassionate hospice care in your community:  or


    Emily’s House / Philip Aziz Centre for Hospice Care, 558 Gerrard St E Toronto, ON  M4M 1X8. 
    Thank you for having a heart for hospice!


    Sign Up for the Enews