Experienced Clinician and Educator
While studying Community Work, Elizabeth began her career in healthcare as a Crisis Intervention Volunteer (1994-1999) in the Emergency Department at the Toronto East General Hospital, and as a Volunteer Crisis Counsellor (1995-1999) at the Halton Rape Crisis Centre. After graduating with a B.S.W and M.S.W, wanting to support individuals and families facing crisis and complex illnesses, Elizabeth began working in General Internal Medicine at the Toronto Western Hospital in 1999. Inspired by the emotional aspects of caring, in 2000, she joined the Psychosocial Oncology Program at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and supported individuals and families following diagnosis to end-of-life.
In 2002, Elizabeth was appointed as the first Palliative Social Worker at the largest cancer treatment centre in Canada, and was a proud member of the interprofessional palliative team from its inception. As the Palliative Social Worker (2002-2015), she specialized in therapeutic interventions with individuals and families facing complex illnesses, uncertainty and grief on the Acute Palliative Care Unit and the Palliative Outpatient Clinics. Wanting to broaden access to Palliative Care, in 2015, Elizabeth launched her community-based practice supporting people of all ages facing serious illness, dying and grief.
An experienced educator, Elizabeth highlights the value of compassion and communication in the context of coping with complex illness, grief and loss. She teaches courses and workshops to the general public, health science learners and healthcare professionals. She collaborates on numerous local, regional, provincial and national Hospice Palliative Care initiatives and has been published in peer-reviewed journals. In 2016, Elizabeth was honoured to be appointed an Assistant Clinical Professor (Adjunct) with the Department of Family Medicine, Division of Palliative Care at McMaster University.
In 2017, Elizabeth partnered with the Children and Youth Grief Network and was also honoured to be appointed Clinical Director for Camp Erin Hamilton, a free bereavement camp for children and teens (ages 6-17). As part of her private practice and compassionate community initiative, Elizabeth hosts and facilitates free public events including: Death Cafes, Ontario Children's Grief Awareness Family Days and the 100% Certainty Project: Death Something to Talk About. A Community Initiative creating safe spaces to support and empower people of all ages facing illness, uncertainty, dying and grief.
Certificate in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Hincks-Dellcrest Centre
Certificate in Children's Grief and Bereavement. Hincks-Dellcrest Centre
Master of Social Work. McMaster University
Bachelor of Social Work. McMaster University
Community Work Diploma. George Brown College
Bachelor of Arts. Western University
Assistant Clinical Professor (Adjunct). Department of Family Medicine. Division of Palliative Care. Faculty of Health Sciences. McMaster University
Longitudinal Facilitator. Professional Competencies: Pre-Clerkship in Undergraduate Medical Education. Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. Faculty of Health Sciences. McMaster University
Sessional Lecturer. The Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. University of Toronto
Contract Academic Staff. Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work. Wilfrid Laurier University
Faculty. Palliative Care Certificate. Part-Time and Graduate Studies, Health and Nursing. Mohawk College
Clinical Director. Camp Erin Hamilton. A free bereavement camp for grieving children and teens
Advance Care Planning Educator for i-GAP (Improving General Practice Advance Care Planning) research project
Specialized in person and family-centred care as the first dedicated Palliative Social Worker at the largest Cancer Treatment Centre in Canada
Co-created an Online Inpatient Hospice Palliative Care Directory
Assisted in development of free Hospice Palliative Care App (HPC Ontario) for iOS and Android
Provide community-based psychosocial support to individuals and families of all ages following diagnosis of a serious illness, through to bereavement
Partner Agency with the Children and Youth Grief Network
Facilitate development of Patient and Family Education Resources
Palliative Care Quality Initiative Committee Member
Chair of Regional Children's Grief Awareness Family Day
Volunteer with Bereavement Camp for Children and Youth
Continuing Professional Development Committee Member. Division of Palliative Care, Department of Family Medicine. McMaster University
Palliative Care Accreditation Committee Member
Family Counsellor and Group Facilitator for Community-based Cancer Support Centres
Advisory Committee Member for National Advance Care Planning Initiative
Facilitate Palliative Care Interprofessional Education
Residential Hospice Interprofessional Steering Committee Member
Development Team for National Child and Youth Grief Resource
Expert Consensus Panel Member (CIHR-Funded study)
Volunteer Educator for Compassionate Community Initiative
Clinician Resource for the Physician Health Program with the Ontario Medical Association
Organizer and Host of Death Cafe
Elizabeth's Professional Activities and Memberships:
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