Healthy End of Life Project (HELP) Ottawa

HELP Ottawa is a local, community-based, participatory research initiative, which has been designed to develop a Canadian-focused Healthy End of Life Project (HELP) framework.

Modelled after the critical and comprehensive community development framework, Healthy End of Life Project (HELP), developed by Andrea Grindrod, RN, BEdSt, PhD Can, and Dr. Bruce Rumbold and the Public Health Palliative Care Unit at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. [1]

Designed to create a collaborative end of life culture, this 3.5-year project aims to strengthen family, community and organizational capacity while enhancing and strengthening links among health services, community programs, neighbourhoods and the broader community.

Our ‘Growing’ Vision

HELP Ottawa aims to support people with advanced age, frailty, and/or chronic and life-limiting illness to live and die, as well as possible, at home or in the community, and to ensure people who are living with grief and loss have the care and support they need. [2]

HELP Ottawa Objectives

Our Objectives

To strengthen connections between people who are frail, or are living with chronic and advanced illness and

  • their families and/or chosen families, friends, neighbours;
  • their community networks, colleagues, community centres, places of worship, schools;
  • their primary care and specialist care health and social care providers;
  • their local community-and home-based healthcare support, end of life care and bereavement supports.

To create a community culture that supports people who are frail, living with chronic or advanced illness, are caregiving, and or grieving to feel able to ask for and accept help from their family, friends, neighbours, co-workers and other social networks.

To mobilize and prepare community members to be confident and capable of offering and providing help to people who are frail, are living with chronic or advanced illness, are caregiving, or are grieving in the community.

To mobilize and disseminate findings of the research to support other communities implementing the public health approach to palliative care, and to continue working with and educating health and social care providers across a wide range of sites, organizations, institutions to build a more integrated system of care.

Our 4 HELP Ottawa Sites

HELP Ottawa is working within four communities – two community health centres and two faith communities to build, implement and evaluate local, sustainable initiatives to create meaningful change.

Centretown Community Health Centre (CCHC)
Is a nonprofit, multi-service Community Health Centre that is playing an active role in the community since 1969. Their programs and services provide an ingrained presence in communities throughout the city so people can access the support that they need. CCHC offers a full range of community services delivered by a diverse team of professionals.

South-East Ottawa Community Health Centre (SEOCHC)
Is a non-profit, community-governed organization that provides a range of multi-disciplinary services to clients, including primary care, health promotion, social services, community and resource development, home support and advocacy to address the social determinants of health.

Christ Church Bells Corners (CCBC)
Christ Church Bells Corners, Nurturing Faith, Serving God’s world Welcoming all. Is a Christian community in the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa that seeks to be a dynamic presence in the world God loves. With a rich history and a hopeful future, we embrace the challenge of relevancy and faithfulness.

Orleans United Church (OUC)
Orleans United Church, Believe. Belong. Become. Is a vibrant, welcoming faith community with a commitment to reaching out beyond the walls of our building to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in word and action.

Stay tuned as videos and upcoming initiatives are being developed on each of our sites.


Our Sponsor

Compassionate Ottawa, a local, volunteer-driven organization, is the primary sponsor of HELP Ottawa. Compassionate Ottawa’s vision is that a compassionate Ottawa supports and empowers individuals, their families and their communities throughout life to live well and to die and grieve well.

Dr. Jim Nininger,
Past Board Chair, HELP Ottawa Dissemination Committee Chair, HELP Ottawa Steering Committee.

Dr. Charles Barrett,
Board Treasurer, HELP Ottawa Steering Committee Chair, HELP Ottawa Dissemination Committee.

Dr. Mary Lou Kelley,
Professor Emeritus, School of Social Work, Lakehead University, HELP Ottawa Steering Committee and Dissemination Committee, HELP Ottawa Research Team Collaborator.

Our Funder

The Mach-Gaensslen Foundation of Canada honours the lives of Vaclav F Mach and Dr. Hanni Gaensslen by supporting research in cardiology, oncology, and psychiatry.

Dr. Chris Carruthers, Board Chair

Dr. Ian Arnold, Board Vice-Chair,
HELP Ottawa Steering Committee and Dissemination Committee

Our HELP Ottawa Research and Project Team

There are many people who are part of our HELP Ottawa Project team, and each person that is involved, and each network, program, organization that is connected with this work, will help shape and guide HELP Ottawa as we aim to support people with advanced age, frailty, and/or chronic and life-limiting illness to live and die, as well as possible, at home or in the community, and to ensure people who are living with grief and loss have the care and support they need.

Dr. Pam Grassau,
Principal Investigator, HELP Ottawa, Assistant Professor,
School of Social Work, Carleton University.


Our Research Team Co-Investigators

Dr. Arne Stinchcombe,
Assistant Professor, Master of Applied Gerontology (MAG) Program, Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, Brock University, Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Roanne Thomas,
Canada Research Chair, Creative Practices & Well-being, Professor, Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Ottawa

Dr. David K. Wright,
Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of Ottawa; Academic Lead, Palliative Care and Nursing Ethics Hub, Centre for Research on Health and Nursing.

Our HELP Ottawa Research and Project Team

Hayley Miloff
Project Coordinator for HELP Ottawa

Christine Klerian-Rodriguez
Community Facilitator,
Centretown Community Health Centre & South-East Ottawa Community Health Centre

Colleen Mayo-Pankhurst
Community Facilitator,
Christ Church Bells Corners

Alexa Keeshan
Assistant Community Facilitator,
Christ Church Bells Corners

Emily Davison
Community Facilitator,
Orleans United Church; Research Assistant

Heather McGrath
Assistant Community Facilitator,
Orleans United Church

If you have any questions or comments, or want to get involved as this work moves forward, please contact Hayley Miloff at and/or Pam Grassau at


[1] Grindrod, A., & Rumbold, B. (2016) Healthy End of Life Program (HELP): offering, asking for and accepting helpCreating an End of Life Collaborative Community Culture. La Trobe University Palliative Care Unit, Melbourne, Australia.

[2] “Plant Care by iezalel williams DSCN3105″ by iezalel7williams is marked with CC0 1.0, “Forest Walk” by dr-scott is marked with CC0 1.0, “Forest Floor- Fern and Decomposition” by GlacierNPS is marked with CC PDM 1.0, “Fall Leaves” by LandBetweentheLakesKYTN is marked with CC PDM 1.0

[3] Videos created by Faculty of Public Affairs