Nova Scotians are receiving improved palliative care services from better trained health-care workers thanks to Cancer Care Nova Scotia’s Palliative Care Front-Line Education Program, says an evaluation released today, March 31. More than 1,400 health professionals from across the province completed an evaluation after taking the three-day program. All feedback was positive. The evaluation indicates that the program content was appropriate, meaningful and applicable to the daily work of health-care providers. Through pre- and post-testing, participants demonstrated both an increase in and retention of knowledge. “Palliative and supportive care is an essential component of a high-quality cancer system,” said Dr. Andrew Padmos, commissioner, Cancer Care Nova Scotia. “The Palliative Care Front-Line Education Program has significantly increased the level of palliative care expertise available to Nova Scotia cancer patients and their families. It is providing health professionals with the knowledge they need to more skilfullymanage the unique needs of their patients.” By covering such topics as pain management, spiritual and cultural considerations, and grief and bereavement, the Palliative Care Front-Line Education Program addresses the physical, emotional, social and spiritual impacts of dealing with a life-threatening illness. It is designed to provide front-line health-care workers with the education they need to deliver high-quality palliative care. “This initiative helps build confidence among health professionals throughout the province — and patients ultimately benefit from their enhanced knowledge,” said Health Minister Angus MacIsaac. The Palliative Care Front-line Education Program encouragescollaboration and the development of community partnerships byincorporating an interprofessional, team approach to education. To build on the program’s success and further enhance the quality of palliative care services in Nova Scotia, Cancer Care Nova Scotia will provide continued support to districts that offer the three-day program. “Health professional education at the district level is a cornerstone in the development and delivery of high-quality palliative care,” said Lynn Yetman, president, Nova Scotia Hospice and Palliative Care Association. “The Palliative Care Front-Line Education Program has been very successful, and has brought consistency to palliative care services offered across the province. The support, expertise and resources provided by Cancer Care Nova Scotia are valuable in enhancing the quality of services available to patients and families.” The Palliative Care Front-Line Education Program was developed in response to a needs assessment and a Palliative Care Roundtable hosted by Cancer Care Nova Scotia. It was modelled after the Rural Palliative Home Care Project, a federal health transition project conducted in 1999 and 2000. Cancer Care Nova Scotia is a program of the Department of Health, created to reduce the burden of cancer on individuals, families and the health-care system through prevention, screening and research. It also aims to lessen the fear of cancer through education and information. Its programs are centred in the community, compassionate to patients, cost-effective and based on sound research.