2023 National Conference
Get to the Heart of It: Being, Caring, Doing
Awakening our capacity to be present in a broken world
Our 2023 conference will explore the heart of our promise as Catholic health care and how we live our call to compassion—individually and as a community. The conference will focus on getting to the heart of what it means to do our best as a Catholic ministry for the people we serve. As we work to recover from the challenges health care organizations have faced and want to revitalize our workforce, this conference will provide an opportunity to explore how we can grow our teams in challenging times and foster hope, compassion and resilience in ourselves, our ministry and our organizations.
Delta Montréal
475 Av. du Président-Kennedy, Montréal, QC

View Montreal video:

Regional Hosts:
Winnipeg, MB
Edmonton, AB

Online (simultaneous participation)

Date & Time
May 11th - 12th, 2023
10:30 AM - 4:30 PM EST
Speakers and
 Program at a Glance
Dr. Christina Maslach
Social psychologist, author and professor emerita of psychology at the University of California.
Dr. Michael Reiter
A psychologist advising organizations on addressing workplace mismatches that aggravate burnout. He was previously Professor of Psychology at Acadia University in Canada and Deakin University in Australia.
Kathleen Ledoux
Nursing leader and adjunct Research Professor and Research Coordinator at Western University in London ON. Certified Compassion Cultivation Trainer.
Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix
Archbishop of Quebec, Member of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Vatican Primate of Canada.
Thomas Williams
Member of the Kentucky law firm of Stoll Keenon Ogden in Louisville, Kentucky and Charter of Compassion member
Vanessa F. Hurst
Contemplative coach and multi-book author. 
Encouraging ever-increasing compassionate action in individuals and organizations.
 Jennifer Kilimnik
Director of Compassion and Culture at Réseau Compassion Network in Winnipeg, Canada
Dr. Michael West
Senior Visiting Fellow at The King’s Fund, London and Professor of Organisational Psychology at Lancaster University. 
Malvina Klag
An organizational behaviour expert who works in complex contexts and systems change for health and social services. Based in Montreal, QC
Richard Corneil
CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Care Society. Current Chair of the Ontario Sponsor Group as well as Vice Chair of the Governing Council of the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada.
Zofia Dove
Expert in the area of Palliative Communication and currently a Spiritual Health Practitioner at Actionmarguerite in Winnipeg. Author of best selling book Unexpected Gifts
Eleanor Stewart 
 Clinical Ethicist at Covenant Health in Alberta. PhD in Healthcare Ethics. 
Dr. Michael
 Yellow Bird
 Dean and Professor of the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba. Member of the MHA Nation (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara) in North Dakota, USA.
St-Hilaire, MBA
CEO of Actionmarguerite, an organization that currently provides care and services for the elderly and for persons with complex health needs at five locations in Winnipeg, MB
Ro’nikonkatste (Standing Strong Spirit) Bill Hill
Adjunct Assistant Professor at Western University, Department of Psychiatry and Vice President of Noojimo Health, an Indigenous-led and owned virtual mental health clinic.
Francis Maza
Vice-President, Mission, Ethics & Spirituality at Providence Health Care
Paul Francis
Director of Indigenous Relations at St. Joseph's Care Group in Thunder Bay, Ontario
Beth Johnson

President & CEO of Catholic Health Sponsors of Ontario
Fiona Dalton
President & CEO of Providence Health Care in Vancouver, BC
Program at a Glance
Thursday, May 11th
10:30 AM EST
John Ruetz, CEO Catholic Health Alliance of Canada
Ro’nikonkatste (Standing Strong Spirit) Bill Hill
Aurore Larkin, sgm & Véronique Dubé
Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Cardinal Lacroix
10:50 AM EST
Opening Remarks
11:10 AM EST
Keynote - Meeting the Challenge of Burnout
Dr. Christina Malsach & Dr. Micheal Reiter

1:00 PM ESTS
Compassion Cultivation Training - Strengthening our Innate Compassion
Dr. Kathleen Ledoux
What is compassion? Compassion literally means “to suffer together.” It is defined as the feeling that arises when you are confronted with another’s suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering. Let us take some time to understand how compassion arises and its effects.  
1:45 PM EST
Compassion Cultivation (continued) – Inspiring compassionate action in the community, workplace, home, and for ourselves
Facilitated by Kathleen Ledoux
We are all innately compassionate. It is in our biology. Sometimes though it can be challenging to express compassion both to others and to ourselves. In this workshop you will be guided through some of the essential ideas and key practices of the Cultivating Compassion (Stanford University) program. You will learn what the research tells us about how practicing compassion benefits both ourselves and others. You will also learn what barriers might prevent you from being compassionate and how compassion collapse can happen.  Through discussion and experiential exercises, you will gain practical skills to help strengthen compassion in your professional and personal life.
4:15 - 4:30 PM EST
Closing Comments
Weavers: Micheline St-Hilaire & Ro’nikonkatste Bill Hill
7:00 PM EST
Social Evening at Host Site
Montreal: Cocktail reception at Notre Dame Basilica Parish Hall.
Companions welcome to attend the reception at no extra charge.

The Aura Experience in the Basilica at 6 pm - interested delegates can purchase tickets via this link: https://www.aurabasiliquemontreal.com/en/tickets?day=11&month=5&year=2023
Friday, May 12th
8:30 AM est

10:30 AM EST
Eucharistic celebration in Montreal

Welcome and Opening Reflection
10:40 AM EST
Compassion is @#&! Hard
Jennifer Kilimnik, Thomas Williams and Vanessa Hurst
This moderated discussion will touch upon the challenges in exercising compassion on a personal level, and based on lived experiences, how difficult it can be to get communities and even cities to embrace compassion as a core value.
11:40 AM EST
Keynote - Compassionate Leadership for High Quality Care Cultures
Dr. Michael West, CBE
Dr. West Michael has extensive experience of working to improve staff experience and care quality. This keynote will focus on how creating a culture of compassionate leadership can enable people to reach their potential and do their best work, and improve staff retention in your organizations. He will share the results of NHS leadership data that has been gathered over the past 18-years and other practical examples on compassionate leadership.
1:30 PM EST
CHAC National Awards
  • Lifetime Achievement – 3 categories: direct caregiver; leader; board member
  • Tomorrow’s National Leaders
  • Programs of Distinction
1:50 PM EST
Practicing and cultivating compassion within efficiency-focussed and ever-changing health care systems  
Dr. Malvina Klag, Richard Corneil, Eleanor Stewart, Zofia Dove
3:15 PM EST
Keynote - The Power of the Mind, The Power of Intention: Using Mindfulness for Healing, Decolonization, and Transformation
Dr. Michael Yellow Bird
This keynote will focus on using mindfulness as a healing intervention that can be used by individuals, families, and communities. He will share a brief history of mindfulness and Indigenous contemplative practices and their benefits, lead three short healing and compassion practices, have participants share their experience in breakout sessions, and conclude with a final mindfulness compassion practice. 

4:15 PM EST
Closing Comments & Prayer
Hotels & Accommodations
Based on the success and positive feedback from the last convention, the 2023 edition will include both an in-person gathering in the host city of Montreal at the Delta Marriott located on President Kennedy Avenue.  The hotel block of rooms is fully booked. Adjacent hotels in close proximity are below (copy and paste underlined text into your browser to access reservation link).

L'Appartement Hotel in Montreal, QC - ReservationCounter.com
2 minute walk from hotel - 3-star hotel
455 Sherbrooke St W, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1B7•(514) 284-3634

Hilton Garden Inn Montréal Centre-ville Montreal, Quebec, CA - Reservations.com
3 minute walk - 3-star hotel•
380 Sherbrooke St W, Montreal, Quebec H3A 0B1•(514) 840-0010

Le Square Phillips Hotel And Suites Montreal, Quebec, CA - Reservations.com
6 minute walk - 4-star hotel•
1193 R. du Square-Phillips, Montréal, QC H3B 3C9•(514) 393-1193

Courtyard by Marriott Montreal Downtown Montreal, Quebec, CA - Reservations.com
10 minute walk from conference site - 3-star hotel
380 René-Lévesque Blvd W, Montreal, Quebec H2Z 0A6•(514) 398-9999

Face-to-face gatherings will also be held in Winnipeg and Edmonton, as well as a simultaneous online presence. With such a hybrid format, we hope that everyone will be able to attend the conference and have a rewarding and enriching experience.
2023 Sponsors
Platinum Friend
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Sisters of St. Martha
Gold Friend
Gold Friend opportunity
Silver Friend
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Silver  Friend
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Silver Friend
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Bronze Friend
Bronze Friend
Conference Supporters:
- Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, Pembroke
- St. Clare's Mercy Hospital Advisory Council
- Archdiocese of Toronto
- Diocese of Victoria
- Diocese of London
- Walkerton CWL
 Join us on May 11th & 12th
We look forward to hosting you!

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