Dena is the CEO at Hospice Toronto and has been working in the Palliative Care sector since 2002. Prior to that, she founded a not-for-profit charity; one of the first supported employment programs in Canada. She was a recipient of the Vital People Award from the Toronto Community Foundation for her work in supporting access to program for Young Carers in Canada Establishing one of only 3 programs of this type and developing a "toolkit" for scaling in other communities.
In her role at Hospice Toronto Dena has served as the Chair of the Toronto Hospice Palliative Care Network, Co Chair of the Toronto Community Support Services Network and sat on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Community Support Association.
Dena has experienced the complexities of navigating end of life journeys from both a professional and a personal perspective. Supporting her husband through a stage 4 cancer diagnosis highlighted the importance of those lasting ties to a loved one...voice, communications, the tangible pieces of shared history all so important and so easily lost.
Currently Dena also serves as inaugural CEO of a new National Not for Profit organization; (EPIC) Essential Partners in Care.
Olga is a death educator, certified in Thanatology, the study of death, dying, loss and grief. She is a dying well advocate, nurse educator, cannabis educator and grief counselor with over 25 years of professional experience as a registered nurse in various health care settings, including hospice palliative care. Her educational history includes a degree in Anthropology and Psychology, a Master’s degree in Religion and Culture, an interdisciplinary certificate in palliative care, along with her recent Cannabis Science certificate. Olga has been involved in national, provincial and local efforts to shift the way we view and approach our dying experience, death and grief, including how we care for each other at the end of life. She served as one of the founding faculty members for the Virtual School for Community Deathcare in Canada and is currently facilitating on-line Thanatology program courses through Centennial College, and the on-line End of Life Doula course through Douglas College across Canada.
Olga is also the founder and director of DyingMatters.ca a Death Education social enterprise and is the founder and current administrator of the Death Doula Ontario Network.
Since the day Ross was born, he was groomed to take over the family hair business. As the next in line of a hair empire, Ross travelled the world attending hair shows, hands on classes and worked in some of the top salons and barbershops across Canada and US. On November 20th, 2017 Ross lost his mother to a long but courageous battle with Cancer. At this moment he realized that all the money, wealth and success he strived for couldn’t save his mother. From that moment on Ross removed himself from the family business and became a true minimalist in all aspects. After the loss of his mother, Ross became an End Of Life Doula and a Hospice Chaplain. He witnessed with his own mothers death, the importance of having one's dignity honoured and respected. This lead him to dedicate his life to providing that level of service and dignified support to the growing homeless population in Canada. In March 2021, Ross created the non-profit organization called “Bardo Network” which provides end of life care and services to Hospice Shelters and homeless shelters across Canada.
Jane Teasdale is the principle of Mosaic and is well known for developing awareness of home and health care issues in the community and for encouraging collaboration between public and private entities in Ontario’s Greater Toronto Area.
Mosaic Home Care & Community Resource Centre offers a person-centered community integrated model of care that is unique to the homecare industry. It also operates pop up events and hosts community events at our community hub and resource centre held at Armour Heights Presbyterian Church in Toronto. They provide information, education, events, space for hobby groups, community, and memory cafés and much more.
In her presentations, Jane focuses on the importance of a more complete model of care that addresses the clinical, the personal supports, the wider non-clinical psychosocial needs of the person and their relationships with community.
In November 2020 Jane received an award from Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario for her dedication and service in elder abuse prevention. Jane has spent many years presenting on community-based models of care to local hospitals, community agencies, social workers and conferences run by organizations including NICE (Canada), the Global International Federation on Aging and the European Society for Person Centered Care. She has also taught a module on person centered care for the European Society’s Masters’ Program at the University of West London and is an active member of the European Society of Person Centered Health Care. Jane is also a regular contributor to the North York Elder Abuse Network, Ontario Caregiver Coalition meetings and the Toronto’s Senior Strategy Accountability Table in addition to numerous other bodies.
Sarah Hines has spent over 20 years serving those at the end of life and also supports many families journey with grief. She has built this foundation of care on three pillars: Death belongs in the hands of love, Grief is a skill we learn and will tend to for the rest of our lives and that Community needs to be at the core of this healing..
She has integrated her life experiences with her scholarly undertakings into the launch of Grief Advocacy. Grief Advocacy supports organizations and their employees through grief and loss. For the past 4 years, Sarah and her team have been working with Long Term Care and Retirement Homes across Canada and is honoured to have witnessed many personal transformations but also system transformations.
The mission of the Grief Advocacy team is to meet individuals where they are and support their grief journey. They believe that by meeting people where they are, they can not only heal as a community but also rebuild foundations of trust, together. They are deeply rooted in the understanding that grief is something we tend to, through caring for ourselves and our community.