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Quality of life at end-of-life

Jenn Rae
Wednesday, February 1, 2017

17 years ago, North York General’s Freeman Centre for the Advancement of Palliative Care paved the way for compassionate, patient-centred palliative care in North York.  The Freeman Centre is distinguished by a unique approach which places patients at the centre of care throughout their illness. Empowering patients to make important end-of-life decisions and establish goals of care helps to give patients control over a difficult situation, while encouraging them to live their remaining lives to the fullest. This added layer of support and patient- and family-centred care has earned the Freeman Centre the distinction of being the only palliative care program to be recognized in its entirety as a Leading Practice by Accreditation Canada.

The Freeman Centre provides care to patients in different settings –in the hospital, at home, and through outpatient clinics. For patients living with chronic illnesses, this means they can manage their own care at home, while receiving physical, spiritual, psychosocial and emotional support at every stage of their illness. A multidisciplinary team works with the patient, family and care providers to navigate the health care system and provide comprehensive end-of-life care in partnership with family doctors and other healthcare providers.  

“We work with patients and their family physicians and specialists to provide care that is right for each patient,” says Dr. Daphna Grossman, Palliative Care Physician. “For example, if a Freeman outreach patient is having difficulty managing symptoms at home, we can facilitate a direct admit to one of six Freeman Centre Pain & Symptom Management beds at NYGH, thereby bypassing the Emergency Department. We can then manage the symptoms and determine next steps together.”

The very existence of the Freeman Centre for the Advancement of Palliative Care is proof of the power of philanthropy. The Freeman Centre was born out of the vision of a small group of family physicians who identified the need for palliative care support in our community. Approached by Dr. Val Rachlis, former Chief of Family and Community Medicine, Zoltan and Yetta Freeman placed their trust in this vision and generously created the Freeman Centre – a pillar of support for patients and families in their greatest time of need. 

Today, we need your help to continue providing the very best care to some of our most vulnerable patients. Our six specialized palliative care beds have reached the point at which they must be replaced. At nearly $20,000 a piece, new beds will bring advanced safety measures and enhanced patient comfort, tailored to our patients’ individual needs.

Contact NYGH Foundation to find out how your gift will help. At NYGH, Going Beyond Care is what we do – but we can’t do it without you.


Learn more about The Freeman Centre for the Advancement of Palliative Care.