Bev Lawson, Fred Burge, Gordon Flowerdew, Yukiko Asada, Grace Johnston


Learn more about NELS research here


NELS research is based in Nova Scotia, Canada. The province released its "Integrated Palliative Care" strategy in the spring of 2014. In the summer of 2014, a coordinator, Cheryl Tschupruk, was hired to guide the phased implementation of the strategy. In early 2015, the booklet "Preparing for Death and Dying" was made available across the province. Now, even more information is available.


In 2021, we published a plan for team-based community palliative care across Nova Scotia for the next twenty years. This is the first time in the world that operations research has been carried out and published to provide a palliative care staffing plan. It is available at: Taghavi M, Johnston G, Urquhart R, Henderson D, Tschupruk C, Tupala B (2021) Workforce Planning for Community-based Palliative Care Specialist Teams using Operations Research. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 61(5):2012-22

“Another very innovative publication is: Johnston G (2020) Jesus practiced Advance Care Planning. Palliative Medicine Reports.1(1):242-245

Our most recent student is Grace Park. Her Research in Medicine (RIM) project on cancer patient navigation at end of life is published in Current Oncology.  A subsequent publication on this cutting-edge research is: Johnston GM, Park G, Urquhart R, Walsh G, McCallum M, Rigby K (2019) Population surveillance of navigation frequency and palliative reports before death among cancer patients. Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal. 29(1):17-32

Another publication is on "Rules to identify persons with frailty in administrative health databases" in the Canadian Journal on Aging resulting from our CFN funded project.  A subsequent publication using this novel new methodology is: Kendell C, Lawson B, Puyatt JH, Urquhart R, Kazanjian A, Johnston GM, Straus S, Durand PJ, Juneau L, Turgeon AF, Légaré F, Aubin M, Rochette L, Giguere AMC (2020) Assessing the quality of care provided to older persons with frailty in five Canadian provinces using administrative data. Canadian Journal on Aging. 37(1):52-68

See links to details in our past funded research grants.

NEW: QEII Foundation Endowed Chair in Palliative Care Research

In the spring of 2021, recruitment commenced for a QEII Health Sciences Centre Foundation Endowed Chair in Palliative Care Research. The Chair is to engage in palliative care research, as well as work with the Nova Scotia Health Integrated Palliative Care Network to enhance evidence-based care for people living with life limiting conditions. The Chair is to work with the Network in accord with the Nova Scotia Palliative Care Strategy which focuses on education, standard development and implementation, data collection and review, and quality improvement. It provides a central hub for all the Palliative Care and Hospice teams to connect, review the needs of the province’s people and develop strategies to meet these needs. The job posting for the Chair is at:


Palliative Care for the Deaf Community

- youtube channel

NELS ICE Investigator, Victor Maddalena, looked at palliative care in Newfoundland's deaf community. One of the outcomes of the research, based on the feedback from teh Deaf community, was the need for more information on navigating the maze of terminal illness and end of life for Deaf peple (and their caregivers).

As a result, a video was created in American Sign Language (and voice) that walks through the steps of getting a diagnosis, treatment options, palliative care, death and bereavement care. (Part 1 of 5)