Our Mission Statement

“To establish and maintain expert end-of-life care and support for the community.”

Dr. Shane Sinclair is an Associate Professor and Cancer Care Research Professor with the University of Calgary, Faculty of Nursing.  He holds adjunct appointments within the Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary and the Manitoba Palliative Care Research Unit at the University of Manitoba. His research focuses on psycho-social and spiritual issues within oncology and palliative care, including his nationally funded program of research on compassion.  Dr. Sinclair is a former Canadian Institutes of Health Research Postdoctoral Fellow (University of Manitoba), a recipient of the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care Award of Excellence in Research, a top 40 under 40 awardee, and is the current President of the Canadian Association of Psycho-social Oncology.  He has given invited lectures at the European Association of Palliative Care World Congress, Duke University, and George Washington University.  His 25+ publications thus far have been published in a number of high impact journals, garnering national and international media coverage.

Research interests:

  • Compassion
  • Psycho-social Oncology
  • Spirituality & Health
  • Palliative Care
  • Qualitative research

Dr. Shane Sinclair is Associate Professor, CancerCare Research Professorship, in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary.  He is also a certified spiritual care specialist with the Canadian Association of for Spiritual Care. He currently has a nationally funded program of research investigating the impact of compassion in clinical care.

Shane joined the Canadian Virtual Hospice team as a spiritual care consultant in 2012. His work exploring spirituality at the end of life has been published in the Canadian Medical Journal, British Medical Journal and Oxford University Press. He serves on a number of national organizations/boards, and is the current president of the Canadian Association of Psycho-social Oncology.

Shane considers it a privilege to work with people who are facing a serious illness and/or end of life. He is constantly reminded of the deep spiritual resources that lie within each individual, whether they’re being discovered for the first time or are rooted in a lifelong commitment to a particular faith

Although sympathy, empathy, and compassion are used interchangeably and frequently conflated in healthcare literature, patients distinguish and experience them uniquely. Understanding patients’ perspectives is important and can guide practice, policy reform, and future research

Healthcare today is paying a great deal of attention to patient-reported outcomes and person-centered care delivery. Clinicians, policymakers, patients, and their families are calling for healthcare providers to move beyond the delivery of services and to more explicitly consider the preferences, needs, and values of the persons receiving these services. Within this discussion, the constructs “empathy,” “sympathy,” and “compassion” are important principles within these models of care. But what exactly do these three constructs mean within the context of healthcare delivery? How should healthcare providers and researchers define, differentiate, and integrate them into practice? And, more importantly, how do patients understand and experience these constructs within the delivery of their healthcare?


The Compassion Model: