A Nova Scotia family has donated $4 million “to transform palliative care in Nova Scotia,” the QEII Foundation said Tuesday.

At a formal announcement in Halifax, the QEII Foundation revealed that $3 million of the family’s donation will fund the creation of an endowed chair in palliative care at the QEII Health Sciences Centre. The other $1 million will provide critical funding for Nova Scotia's new hospice residence, Hospice Halifax.   

It’s a cause that is deeply personal for the family.

“In just four years, my sister Karen, sister-in-law Holly and I lost three family members: our brother and Holly’s husband, Jon; and our parents, Janet and Bill,” says Lisa Murphy of the J & W Murphy Foundation.

According to Lisa, the family learned first-hand that we need to focus on palliative care sooner in Nova Scotia.

“It has to be as easy to have those conversations with your loved ones and healthcare teams as it is to talk about your flu shot,” says Lisa Murphy.

In addition to igniting palliative care research and supporting the funding of Hospice Halifax, the Murphy family hopes their gift will help shatter some of the stigma surrounding palliative care and its importance in helping individuals at any point in their illness – whether they have two months remaining, two years or longer.

According to Dr. Drew Bethune, medical director of NSHA’s Provincial Cancer Care Program, “this endowed chair and the research potential it offers will be critical in addressing one of our greatest needs in Nova Scotia.”

“Our chair will build upon these findings, establish the QEII as a true centre of excellence in palliative care and enable us to continue doing better for our patients,” says Bethune. “Donors like the Murphy family should feel proud knowing their generosity will have such a meaningful impact on the lives of patients and their families.”

To learn more about the Murphy family’s donation and the QE II Foundation's vision for palliative care, visit QE2Foundation.ca/transform.