Cape Breton University is delighted to honour and recognize a woman who has contributed immensely to the betterment of the healthcare landscape in Cape Breton, and in particular, the establishment and advancement of hospice palliative care services in hospital and in the community, Mrs. Patricia Jackson.
Mrs. Jackson was born in the United Kingdom and moved to Canada with her husband, Dr. Peter Jackson, and three-month-old son, Simon, in 1963. Their intention in was to stay for one year and 55 years later, they are part of the fabric of this community. First Sydney, and now East Bay is home where they have raised four children and are proud grandparents to twelve grandchildren.
Patricia Jackson exemplifies the epitome of a community volunteer. She is the co-chair of the Hospice Palliative Care Society of Cape Breton, an organization she started more than 35 years ago.
In 1986 Patricia gathered a small group together to discuss the need for the establishment of palliative care in Cape Breton. It marked the beginning of her quest to provide public education to government, health care partners, health care providers and the community at large.
Her knowledge and belief that every person deserves to live fully until the end of their life, based in the origins of hospice palliative care philosophy, inspired many to become engaged in supporting the patients and families facing life-threatening illnesses.
The Cape Breton Hospice Palliative Care Society is currently engaged in an initiative to build a stand-alone facility for Cape Breton. This 10-bed residential hospice facility will serve the entire Island. Membertou will provide land for the facility adjacent to the Cape Breton Regional Hospital, and BCA Group will raise the money needed for construction of it, through its 2016-2017 community economic development investment fund (CEDIF). The 15,000-square-foot building is estimated to cost $3 million. The hospice society will be responsible for raising approximately $1 million to furnish and fully equip the facility and establish an endowment fund to ensure the facility’s future needs can be met.
Clinically trained as a nurse and midwife, Patricia has long been an advocate for responding to local community needs with action, commitment and vision. Through these many years, she has committed her time to volunteer endeavours, large and small, taking initiative where she saw a need or could contribute in a meaningful way. Patricia also spent many years as an active board member with the Cape Breton Hospital Mental Health Association as a supporter for those facing mental health challenges. She is best known however for her tireless and passionate devotion to Hospice Palliative Care in the Cape Breton community.
Thanks to her efforts, funding was obtained for the first paid palliative care service positions in 1989 and she did not stop there. Patricia has been actively engaged at a provincial association level and led a major fundraising campaign to establish and furnish the 9 bed An Cala Palliative Care Unit in the Cape Breton Regional Hospital which opened in 2008.
Patricia is also a 2012 recipient of Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for her contribution to Hospice Palliative Care in our community.
Patricia is also an avid gardener, creating lovely English gardens at her Cape Breton home. Simply stated, she believes in this community, is often overwhelmed by its generosity and has always contributed to making our community a better and more beautiful place