Reflecting on CHAC’s Annual Conference

30 May, 2023 | Initiatives and Projects

On May 11 and 12, 2023, the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada (CHAC) hosted their annual conference in Montréal, in person for the first time in three years. There were also virtual watching parties hosted across the country, including a group gathered here in Winnipeg and hosted by Réseau Compassion Network.

The theme of the conference this year was: Getting to the Heart of It: Being, Caring, Doing. We explored compassion and ways of being through many different lenses. We heard from researchers, lawyers-turned-community advocates, and experts in the field of burnout. It was a beautiful chance to reflect on our work, our daily lives and how we show up for ourselves and others.

Members of Réseau Compassion Network shared their take-aways from the conference:

We have this secret ingredient that makes Catholic healthcare a little different and it really is rooted in retuning always to compassion. The conference was such a valuable way to build community in the network and with others in Canada who support this way of approaching our work.
– Jennifer Kilimnik, Director of Compassion and Culture

Personally, I really appreciated meeting colleagues from across the country. Also, the thoughtful presenters reminded me of the importance of my own contemplative practice.
– Stéphane Dorge, Director of Governance Services and Corporate Secretary

This was a really re-affirming and inspiring few days for me. It reinforces that we’re paying attention to something that’s important for our staff and those we support. Offering compassionate care is our responsibility to our communities, and this was a great way to reflect on that responsibility.
– Daniel Lussier, Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Yellowbird’s presentation helped me to remember that mindfulness practices are dose dependent. I need to keep my meditation practice up and this was a good reminder for me that compassion can be cultivated. The broad perspectives shared at the conference also made me wonder: how do we ensure all of our senior leaders get the chance to reflect on their way of being and find the time to commit to their own practices?
– Paul Vermette, Director of Strategic Initiatives

The conference was an exceptional opportunity to connect with one another, and to realize how much us humans need to come together and share in order to evolve and grow. Beyond everything I learned about compassion and its extraordinary effects on human beings, it was the access to a safe, loving, open and welcoming space that enabled authentic exchanges and created opportunities to be open and vulnerable that had the greatest impact on me.
– Dominique Philibert, Director of Communications

My first in-person CHAC conference experience was good. As a non-Catholic person, it was meaningful to experience the theme of compassion in universally accessible ways throughout the conference. The attention given to weaving mindfulness and traditional Indigenous ways of seeing into the conference was grounding, and personally and professionally grounding. Here’s to CHAC 2023 in Winnipeg!
– Andrew Terhoch, Spiritual Health Practitioner

To find out more about the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada, please click here.