(Sudbury) June 8, 2015

Today St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre of Sudbury (SJCCC) welcomed geriatricians Dr. Paige Moorhouse and Dr. Laurie Mallery from the PATH Clinic in Halifax.   This is only the second time  that this training is being offered to a hospital in Ontario and the first in the North East.  The team is here to introduce and provide PATH (Palliative and Therapeutic Harmonization) training to SJCCC’s multi-disciplinary team including physicians, Registered Nurses, Allied Health Care professionals and pharmacists.  Observers from Health Sciences North, members from EDOS (Emergency Department Outreach Services) and Dr. Jo-Anne Clarke, geriatrician, NESGS (North East Specialized Geriatric Services), were also invited to attend to ensure consistency throughout the Sudbury health care system.

PATH is a process that helps older people and their families understand their health status and guides them through the process of making health care decisions that protect their best interests and quality of life.  The goal of PATH is to help patients and families choose a blend of therapeutic and palliative measures that will best preserve an individual’s quality of life in their remaining time.

 Why is Harmonization Important?

Therapeutic care aims to solve a person’s health problems.  Palliative care seeks to reduce a person’s suffering by controlling symptoms like pain or nausea.  It does not try to solve the underlying problem.

There are times when it is appropriate to take all possible therapeutic measures to cure or delay the progression of illness.  However, at other times this approach may cause more harm than good.  As people develop more health problems they become frail.  People who are frail may not be able to tolerate or benefit from the complex medical and surgical treatments that tend to benefit healthier people.  When a person is in the final stage of his or her life, palliative care is often the most compassionate course of action.

The goal of PATH is to help patients and families choose a blend of therapeutic and palliative measures that will best preserve an individual’s quality of life in their remaining time.

This is an ambitious program of skill building and team re-organization for improved efficiency to:

  • Eliminate repetitive assessments
  • Improve the relevance of the patient assessment
  • Optimize team communication
  • Make better use of the assessment for care planning
  • Improve system navigation

Dr. Laurie Mallery graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1981 and completed residency at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Subsequently, she received her subspecialty training in Geriatric Medicine at Dalhousie University/Halifax Infirmary Hospital. Her principle interests are the assessment and treatment of dementia, education, and exercise..

Dr. Mallery is the head of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and the Director of the Center for Health Care of the Elderly at the QEII Health Science Centre.

Dr. Moorhouse holds a Bachelor 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.

She is the principle investigator for several provincial and national grants including the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation and the University Internal Medicine Research Fund. She was the 2007 recipient of the Kaufman Award for Research from the Canadian Geriatrics Society, and the 2006 recipient of the Award of Excellence from the Gerontology Association of Nova Scotia.

Website:      http://pathclinic.ca/