West Island Palliative Care Residence unveils its new name paying tribute to Teresa Dellar

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Today, the Teresa Dellar Palliative Care Residence was officially inaugurated. Paying tribute to co-founder Teresa Dellar, M.S.C., MSW, PSW, FT, who died on August 19, 2019, the name change honours her work bringing palliative care to the community, 20 years of inspirational, caring leadership and reinforces her vision and values that will live on at the Residence. The event also marked the closing of the Caring & Sharing – Under One Roof Capital Campaign which raised $14,570,000 million for the Residence to support the community with quality palliative care.

Teresa was truly a pioneer of palliative care, touching the lives of so many and engaging tremendous community support. Teresa’s vision, offering a serene and dignified experience for patients and their families was reinforced through the Capital Campaign. The project combined the two separate locations of the Residence into one expanded facility in Kirkland, Quebec. Patients and their families will all benefit from a home-like setting and many cozy common areas, making the most of their last days. The new Residence also houses the Montreal Institute for Palliative Care, a centre dedicated to education and building palliative care knowledge with health care professionals and the public, also part of Teresa’s vision.

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, said Dale Weil, Executive Director. 

Tremendous contribution from the community

This major transformation of the facility would not have been possible without tremendous support from the community. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to all those who contributed to the Caring & Sharing—Under One Roof capital campaign, which was launched in the spring of 2018. Thanks to your exemplary generosity, we were able to reach $14.6 million, said Luc Bertrand and Erin O’Brien, co-chairs of the Campaign, well over our original objective.

As co-founder of the Residence, I am proud to see how the community is committed to honouring Teresa’s legacy through different initiatives such as establishing annual scholarships in Teresa’s name for nursing students at McGill University and Universite de Montreal, and hosting an annual public event in her name to educate people about palliative care. I believe that through the combined efforts of our stakeholders  and our dedicated team, we can continue to help more and more Canadians live the final chapter of their lives in the most dignified and fulfilling manner possible, said co-founderRussell Williams.

About the Teresa Dellar Palliative Care Residence

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. With its 23 beds, the Residence is the largest free-standing palliative care facility in Canada and is recognized as a leader in its field.

In September 2020, the Residence, originally known as the West Island Palliative Care Residence, changed its name to the Teresa Dellar Palliative Care Residence to honour the legacy of its late co-founder Teresa Dellar. Teresa was not only the co-founder and the Executive Director of the Residence for close to 20 years, she was also its champion and built it up to where it is today. She made a difference to so many people and inspired the community to continue her vision.  

About Teresa Dellar, M.S.C., MSW, PSW, FT

Teresa Dellar co-founded the West Island Palliative Care Residence with then MNA Russell Williams in 1998. She was the Executive Director of the Residence from its creation until August 19, 2019, when she passed away at the age of 58. The need for the Residence grew out of her concern for terminally ill patients who had to be transferred downtown in their final days, away from their community and loved ones. Teresa was a pioneer in bringing palliative care into the community.

Feature image: Picture – from left to right: Russell Williams, co-founder; Rob Havill, President, Foundation Board; Erin O’Brien, Capital Campaign co-chair; Dale Weil, Executive Director; Luc Bertrand, Capital Campaign co-chair; Allen Van der Wee, President, Operations Board.

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