Working with passion and a desire to change lives… (and having some fun at the same time…)

Working with passion and a desire to change lives… (and having some fun at the same time…)

Life & Death Matters Post

The past few weeks Ted and I have been in Ontario. First at the Hospice Palliative Care Ontario Conference (HPCO), and now at the National Association of Career Colleges (NACC).  In between we met with a class of PSW students with the Catholic Continuing Education School Board program (CESBA) , and leaders from Ontario Community Support Association, (OCSA) and CESBA, and a marvelous educator from Centennial College. OH, and we had the very exquisite privilege of awarding Jackie McDonald with the very first Frances Montgomery PSW Hospice Palliative Care Award.


I love to work with people with passion…I love to meet people with passion… passion for palliative care, passion for educating, passion for caregiving, passion for learning… and passion for excellence.  I am reminded that passion for excellence, passion to help the individual and to change lives, is not defined by titles or territories or trends. It does not matter the name of your college or the type of school.  It does not matter whether you are a private or a public institution. It does not matter if your classroom is on a big campus or a small city block… miracles can happen in all sizes, shapes and forms.

The NACC student of the year award went to a woman who graduated from the Willis College – SOAR Challenge program (to help women move forward from really really difficult life situations), then went on to another business course and is now working in a job that she loves… the Educator of the Year was awarded to a woman police officer who after finishing that part of her career, went to work with triOS college and has “found her calling teaching” and drives several hours a day to teach students in their ?policing? program. Wow.

Today we head home. And I give thanks for the people we have met who have inspired us to continue to do our best to create wonderful effective resources that will help front line caregivers integrate a palliative approach in their care, and provide excellent care for the dying and their families.

And as much as I have passion for work and learning… I love to have fun… Sooooo, I could not resist playing “Boy Scout” and I collected pins and badges, or in this case, SWAG from the conference exhibitors.  I include the photo here of the apron I collected from Jane at Meridian Uniforms, and I earned myself the title of “SWAG QUEEN”.  (Life is too short and too precious to not enjoy it!)

The SWAG QWEEN at the NACC Conference
The SWAG QWEEN at the NACC Conference



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Courtney Murrell is a PSW who works in hospice palliative care.

When she is not at work, she is spending time with her family, going on hikes or writing. Courtney is a lifelong learner and loves to share her passion for writing as a wellness practice.

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