• Carmen Marie Fabio

Remembering West Island Palliative Care Residence co-founder Teresa Dellar


PHOTO COURTESY WEST ISLAND PALLIATIVE CARE RESIDENCE

WIPCR co-founder and executive director Teresa Dellar was celebrated for her many achievements over the last 19 years and recognized for her contribution to palliative care in the West Island community, as well as her acknowledged leadership role in the field throughout Canada.

The West Island Palliative Care Residence (WIPCR) issued a communiqué this week marking the passing of its co-founder and executive director Teresa Dellar who lost her battle with cancer August 19 at the age of 58.

“The entire palliative care community of greater Montreal, Canada and beyond is mourning the loss of our leader,” read the release. “Our thoughts are with Teresa’s husband, sons, parents, brothers and sisters, and extended family during this difficult time.”

Dellar’s biography lists her many accomplishments and the history of the WIPCR that grew from her concern for terminally ill patients who had to be transferred downtown in their final days, away from their community and loved ones.

“Teresa was an amazing person whose passion for her work shone through in everything she did,” said former West Island Chronicle editor in chief Marc Lalonde. “She worked insanely hard but I don’t think it really felt like work because she loved what she did.”

The WIPCR began operations in 2002 with nine beds, and 10 years later added and additional 14 beds. To date, over 4100 terminally ill patients have spent their final days at the residence.

Dellar obtained both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Social Work from McGill University and went on to obtain specialized certification as a Bereavement Facilitator and was certified as a Fellow in Thanatology. She brought her background as a Human Relations Agent specializing in Oncology Social Work at the Lakeshore General Hospital to her work at the WIPCR.

“The people she looked after at palliative care residence were everything to her,” said Lalonde. “She knew the difference she was making in people’s lives.”

Teresa is survived by her husband, Gavin Fernandes and their two sons, Jonathan and Nicholas.

Information regarding her funeral will be available as soon as possible on the WIPCR website at www.wipcr.ca.

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