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How to become a self-advocate

Learn how to get the best care possible when navigating a live-changing diagnosis
Dr. Hsien Seow and Dr. Samantha Winemaker, co-authors of Hope for the Best, Plan for the Rest.

Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Palliative Care and the Niagara North Family Health Team have partnered to provide a day of learning called The Seven Keys to Get the Best Care Possible, this Thursday, at the NOTL Community Centre.

Keynote speakers, Dr. Hsien Seow and Dr. Samantha Winemaker, co-wrote Hope for the Best, Plan for the Rest, “about navigating a life-changing diagnosis,” said Bonnie Bagnulo, executive director at Palliative Care.

Seow, a professor and the Canada research chair in palliative care and health system innovation at McMaster University, and Winemaker, a palliative care physician in Hamilton, will be talking about the tools needed to navigate a diagnosis, including which are the important questions to ask,and how to become a self-advocate.

“In the afternoon, we’re doing segments on medical assistance and dying, advanced care planning, bereavement support and spiritual care,” said Bagnulo. The workshop will end with a question and answer period with speakers from throughout the afternoon, from NOTL Palliative Care and the Niagara North Family Health Team.

Community tables will be set up from Wellspring, Hospice Niagara, the Alzheimer’s Society and the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), the health authority for regional administration of public healthcare services.

The event is “absolutely free of charge and lunch is included,” added Bagnulo. The event will run Thursday, Sept. 21, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Anderson Lane community centre. Register at or

“We’re really looking forward to being able to have an informed information session for our community coming from the healthcare providers in this area,” said Bagnulo.