2024 In-Person
National Conference
Get to the Heart of It: Being, Caring, Doing
Meaningful Connections & Actions
We are looking forward to seeing many of you at CHAC's 2024 conference which will continue to build on the theme of Being, Caring, Doing. Our 2023 program centered on supporting depleted health care workers and administrators through sessions on burnout, compassion cultivation training, and mindfulness for self and others. Our 2024 conference hosted in Winnipeg May 8-10 will focus on meaningful connections and taking action to make a difference in our communities and in people’s lives.

The conference will open with an evening of entertainment on Wednesday. We’re excited to begin on Thursday with a presentation and active learning experience facilitated by Dr. Shane Sinclair on spreading and scaling up compassion in healthcare—moving from personal responsibility to organizational priority. Zofia Dove, an expert in palliative communication, will also inspire us with an energizing, entertaining, actionable and inspiring presentation where participants will learn how being of service leads to impactful compassionate actions, results in the most meaningful care and how a heart centered approach in the most challenging times, leads to real connections, humour- joy and meaningful conversations, while positively impacting all involved.

On Friday, we’ll focus on the journey from loneliness to connection with an agenda that will challenge us to explore the inseparable aspects of being, doing and caring in our own work and our healing ministry. The conference will close with the TED keynote speaker Ted Tomlinson, founder of the C.A.R.E. Effect Movement. who will speak about The Naked Truth About Compassion is Revealed — A Return to the Heart of Healing.
Radisson Hotel
288 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba
DateS & Time

May 8: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

May 9: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

May 9: Entertainment 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

May10: 9 am - 3:30 pm
Welcome to the heart of the continent
Known for its friendly and welcoming spirit, Winnipeg is a diverse multicultural city with a rich and varied history. An Indigenous trading centre prior to the arrival of the Europeans, Winnipeg was at the heart of the country’s fur trade and instrumental in developing Canada’s gateway to the west.

Over the last decades, Winnipeg has developed into a cosmopolitan city complete with top-notch restaurants, swanky boutiques, exciting attractions and an arts and culture scene that bursts with talent and originality. We’d like to welcome you to Winnipeg and hope you’ll partake in this wonderful conference.

Speakers & Program at a Glance
Wednesday, May 8th, 2024 at 7 pm

Welcome and Opening Remarks
John Ruetz, Elder Clayton Sandy & conference weavers Dan Lussier & Beth Johnson

Celebrating Catholic Healthcare's Diversity and Culture
Winnipeg is in the heart of the continent and is known as a cultural hotbed. Dive into a cultural experience with us by being present and be entertained by world-renowned artists who will showcase their Indigenous, French Canadian, Filipino, African and Ukrainian cultures.
Thursday, May 9th, 2024
John Ruetz
CEO Catholic Health Alliance of Canada

John has held a variety of senior leadership positions which have taken him on a journey across the healthcare continuum. These various roles have focused on implementing strategy and leading major change initiatives. John is currently President & CEO of the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada (CHAC), which brings together 13 sponsor/owners of 129 health organizations with Catholic identity in Canada.
Shane Sinclair
Keynote speaker and workshop facilitator
Dr. Shane Sinclair  is a Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the U of Calgary.  He is also the Director of the Compassion Research Lab and an Adjunct Professor within the Division of Palliative Medicine, Department of Oncology, Cumming School of Medicine.
Zofia Dove
keynote speaker

Zofia is an expert in Palliative Communication and currently works as a Spiritual Health Practitioner at Actionmarguerite in Winnipeg, as well as an internationally known keynote speaker on this subject. Zofia’s focus is on bringing more human connection to all involved in transitioning in life. She touches her audiences on a deeper level by bringing more joy and laughter to serious topics
Concurrent Session Facilitators
Rolande Kirouac
Laughter Therapy
Founder of Spadrole, an experienced Story Teller, Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher and Workshop Facilitator.

Mood is the most important factor in determining the way we perceive people and happenings in the outside world and how we are going to react to them. We know for a fact that the body is able to create energy that can change our mood, can change our attitude and create a contagious environment, one that leads to healthy, satisfied, high-achieving individuals and teams!  
After attending this session, participants will be able to:
  • Learn about timing and rapport and how to destigmatize laughter 
  • Implement “check-ins” to ensure inclusive laughter
  • Adopt an approach to sustain personal and professional growth 

Bernice Parent
A certified yoga instructor and a certified teacher in the globally recognized Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program.

This workshop will begin by explaining the importance for healthcare leaders and practitioners to incorporate meditation in their daily lives. A meditation practice will follow.
Daniel Lussier & Jennifer Kilimnik
Participants selecting this session will be taking a bus tour to visit 3 organizations that RCN has been / is involved in. Join us to see how we have answered the call to support in a variety of ways in our province.

Centre Flavie is an ally against poverty and provides housing materials and goods for free to all those in need.

New Monastery for the Sisters of St. Benedict

Equal Housing Initiative: Another exciting project RCN is proud to be part of involves the McLaren Hotel, a derelict building in Winnipeg’s downtown core that houses 150 people in need of low-cost rental housing.
Clayton Sandy
Knowledge keeper, cultural advisor, and community activist. He was been employed with the Manitoba Government for 38 years.

A minimum of two elders will be helping to facilitate this workshop to provide the participants with Indigenous teachings. A sharing circle will follow. The circle is used for communicating the importance of our differences and to look at each other's strengths as an indicator of equality.
Sharing or talking circles provide an opportunity for each and every person to be heard - whether they choose to speak or not. Sometimes not speaking speaks volumes.  
Dillon Cherrett
Founder of Source Yoga, Dillon has been practicing Yoga for 21 years.

This session will combine Yin Yoga and Ball rolling. You will be guided into a variety of postures that work to dramatically improve your physical flexibility. Practiced on your back, abdomen, or in a seated position, poses are held for a longer period of time with individual instruction to use yoga props so you never experience any pain.

Additional efforts will be made to release muscle tension employing a specialized ball rolling technique. The practice will ensure therapeutic benefit, releasing physical pain and discomfort, greatly improving flexibility, while developing strategies that can be practiced at home. The studio provides the Body Rolling balls, which can be inflated or deflated to ensure proper pressure with each treatment, customizing the practice to meet individual needs. As a result, the Yin Yoga poses become much more accessible and participants learn how to do the techniques on their own.

May 10, 2024
Louise Hawkley, PhD
expert on loneliness
Member of the Gerontological Society of America and the American Society on Aging A co-investigator on the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP)

David Stewart
Manager of Education and Training at Sara Riel - Mental Health & Addictions
Seneca Warm Line CHAC Program of Distinction 2023
Bre Brown (They)

Coordinator of Community connections, St.Amant
Terry Landry
Vice-President, Community Programs and Long Term Care Providence Care, Kingston
Andrew Terhoch
Andrew Terhoch is part of the Réseau Compassion Network as the Spiritual Health Practitioner for the St.Amant community. He began learning about presence and meditation 30 years ago as a daily practice and a support for anxiety. In his daily work, Andrew explores the importance of presence and connection in health and human through both contemporary and traditional teachings.
Kalvin Kristjansson
Disability consultant
Kalvin has worked alongside countless clinicians, health care providers and educational professionals and paraprofessionals.  His extensive experience in developing support relationships has fuelled his interest in advancing the ideas and principles of mindful care and support.  He is a University of Manitoba graduate with a Bachelor of Arts, Major in history and minor in film studies.
Lee Tomlinson "Patient Lee"
Founder The C.A.R.E. Effect Movement, Cancer Survivor, Author,  & Adjunct Professor, Keynote and TED Speaker

Keynote Topic:
The Naked Truth About Compassion is Revealed — A Return to the Heart of Healing
Conference Weavers
Vanessa Nicholas-Schmidt
Mission & Values Manager, Unity Health Toronto
Daniel Lussier
CEO, Réseau Compassion Network Winnipeg
Schedule - May 8th, 2024
19h00        WELCOME & oPENING rEMARKS
19h30        showcasing cultures in healthcare: eNTERTAINMENT & sOCIAL EVENING

Schedule - May 9th, 2024
08h00 Breakfast

09h00 Welcome and Opening Reflection
John Ruetz CEO Catholic Health Alliance of Canada

09h15 Shane Sinclair: Presentation and Interactive Learning Session
Spreading and scaling up compassion in healthcare: Moving from personal responsibility to organizational priority
DESCRIPTION: Within healthcare there have been increased calls and evidence for improving compassion.  While healthcare providers are the primary conduits of compassion, their individual efforts are impacted by the degree of organizational compassion present in their workplaces.  This presentation and interactive learning session will map the evolution of research conducted by the Compassion Research lab and other researchers over the last decade that have helped answer important questions including: What is compassion?  What is the impact of compassion in patient care? Can it be measured and enhanced in patient care? And what is the role of healthcare organizations in transforming compassion in healthcare?  The goal is to move from ideation to implementation--to reclaim the heart of healthcare in personal practice and at an organizational level.

11h30 Lunch

12h50 Keynote speaker: Zofia Dove: The Power Bestowed on You
This energizing, entertaining, actionable and inspiring presentation is based on 3 decades of an international service in health care systems.
 During this presentation participants will learn how being of service leads to impactful compassionate actions, results in the most meaningful care and how a heart centered approach in the most challenging times, leads to real connections, humour- joy and meaningful conversations, while positively impacting all involved.

14h00 Health break
14h15 Concurrent sessions (1 to 1.5 hours)

18h00 Cocktail reception and banquet
19:00  Entertainment - celebrating Manitoba's culture
Schedule - May 10, 2024
07h30-08h45     Breakfast
08h00 Eucharistic Celebration -Radisson Hotel

09h00 Welcome and Reflection

09h15 Keynote address: Louise Hawkley - LONELINESS
10h15 Health break

10h30 Panel discussion - Programs that respond to loneliness

11h45 Lunch
12h45 CHAC National Awards

13h00 Your Presence with My Toothbrush! - A first-person perspective on vulnerability and trust in support relationships.
14h00 Health Break

14h15 Lee Tomlinson "Patient Lee" keynote Address:
The Naked Truth About Compassion is Revealed — A Return to the Heart of Healing

15h30 Weavers
15h45 Closing comments
Hotel & Conference Site
Link for hotel room reservation. Please copy and paste in a new window: https://www.choicehotels.com/reservations/groups/G9660529
NOTE: The Group Block Rate has expired and room rates are now: $282.00

ALTERNATE HOTEL LOCATED a 1/2 block away: ALT Hotel.
The room rate is: $179.00/night

2024 Conference Sponsors
Platinum Friends
Gold Friends
Silver sponsors
Diocese of Victoria

Silver Friend Opportunity
Bronze Friends
Conference Supporters:
Archdiocese of Ottawa
Catholic Health Association of Saskatchewan
Diocese of London
Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, Pembroke
St. Clare's Mercy Hospital Advisory Council

 Join us on May 8th to 10th
We look forward to hosting you!

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