September 10th, 2020 was a memorable day for the City of Kirkland and its residents. The West Island Palliative Care Residence revealed its new name honouring the late co-founder, Teresa Dellar, M.S.C., MSW, PSW, FT who passed on August 19, 2019, at the age of 58. The renaming of Teresa Dellar Palliative Care Residence ensures that Teresa’s legacy, values, and dedication to 20 years of inspirational leadership will live on in the community forever.
Teresa aimed to make every single person who walked into the Residence feel at home. She brought comfort and peace to every person lucky enough to have crossed paths with her. Teresa spearheaded the initiative to bring palliative care to the West Island when she co-founded the West Island Palliative Care Residence with then MNA Russell Williams in 1998. Before Teresa co-founded this 23-bed facility, terminally ill patients had to be transferred downtown away from their loved ones in their greatest time of need.
Image source: Becky Donohue
Thanks to the efforts of Teresa, her team, and the community they have successfully built the largest free-standing palliative care facility in Canada widely recognized as a trailblazer of its kind! The Teresa Dellar Palliative Care Residence is an independent, non-profit organization that provides services free of charge to patients and their families. The Residence receives one-third of its annual operating budget from the Quebec government and relies on community support and fundraising activities to raise the balance of more than $3.8 million each year.
During this event, Rob Havill, President, Foundation Board announced the closing of the “Caring & Sharing – Under One Roof” Capital Campaign. This campaign was started in April 2018 and has since raised $14,570,000 million for the Palliative Care Residence to better support the community. Luc Bertrand and Erin O’Brien, co-chairs of the Campaign extended their sincerest gratitude to the community for their tremendous support in making this project a reality.
This project successfully integrated two separate locations of the Residence into one expanded facility, in Kirkland, able to meet the community’s palliative care needs without them having to go downtown. With this initiative, the Montreal Institute for Palliative Care was able to move into their new offices within the Residence in June 2020. This education center dedicated to palliative care brings vast knowledge and opportunities to the West Island. Health care professionals and the public alike can have their educational needs met in-person. The education center also boasts the capabilities to support 75 slots for remote learning.
Dale Weil, Executive Director honours Teresa’s memory, “I am excited to see Teresa Dellar’s legacy live on through our new identity. She was an admirable and strong woman who believed in dignity for all—she deserves nothing less than this homage and we are here to carry out her vision, giving patients the kind of care that would have made her proud. While we may not add days to life, we surely do add life to days.”