The Windsor Star has recently reported on the DeVeber Institute's release of the Jean Echlin Award, congratulating Ms. Echlin on her continuing work for palliative care over the last 35 years:
Local palliative care crusader sees major award dedicated in her name
Jul 04, 2014 - 5:23 PM EDT
Last Updated: Jul 04, 2014 - 10:06 PM EDT
One of Ontario’s leading pioneers in advances in palliative care was honoured Friday with a major award in the field dedicated in her name.
Jean Echlin, 82, who continues to teach nursing courses at the University of Windsor and hold roles with several nursing and end-of-life care provincial organizations, will have a new annual award for “ethics in palliative care” in her name under the deVeber Institute for Bioethics & Social Research in Toronto.
“We wanted to recognize Jean for all the important, life-long and distinguished work she has done in palliative care,” said Kathy Matusiak, the organization’s executive director. “She has been a pioneer in palliative nursing for over 35 years.
“Her focus has always been on providing the highest level of palliative care for those who face a life-threatening disease.”
The new Jean Echlin Award will be given to an individual who best supports the concept that palliative care constitutes “not just dying well, but living well” and also those who believe in providing “the highest level of quality of life until the moment of death.”
Echlin was stunned by the honour.
“How humbling,” she said. “So many have done so much more. I have been working with deVeber for so many years, but this did come as a big surprise — a nice one.”
Echlin was instrumental in the founding of the Hospice of Windsor and Essex County’s clinical and volunteer programs. She also served as executive director of the Hospice.
She moved on in 1988 to University Hospital in London where she developed the first palliative care consultation team.
In her long career, she also served as a director of nursing at Windsor Regional Hospital’s Metropolitan Campus and as a nursing faculty member at the university dating back to 1968.
Echlin decided to dedicate her life’s work to the palliative field soon after graduating nursing school at the former Grace Hospital in Windsor.
“I saw people suffering so much, the (end-of-life) care was not acceptable,” she said. “I always thought so much more can be done.”
When talk started in Windsor of launching a new hospice centre, Echlin said: “I took a leave and went for it.”
“It’s the idea of keeping someone comfortable. In the beginning it was all cancer, but it has broadened to so much more — into neurology, ALS, renal or cardiac. I just love my work.”
Echlin said she is how the Windsor community has responded with so much support to grow the local Hospice and palliative care throughout the area.
“I have never seen a response by a community anywhere in my travels like this community,” she said. “People have truly responded to the needs of those suffering. We cover at least 70 per cent of the population here who requires that type of end-of-life care.
“In most places anywhere else it’s about 15 to 20 per cent. We are way ahead in this area.”
Matusiak described Windsor’s Hospice as being “exemplary in Canada.”
Windsor has triple the amount of palliative care than the national average, she said.
For the actual article, see here.