C. Elizabeth Dougherty

B.A. (Western University); Community Work Diploma (George Brown College); B.S.W, M.S.W (McMaster University); R.S.W (OCSWSSW)

Elizabeth began her career in healthcare as a Crisis Intervention Volunteer (1994-9) in the Emergency Department at the Toronto East General Hospital, and as a Volunteer Crisis Counsellor at the Halton Rape Crisis Centre (1995-9). Compelled to support individuals and families facing crisis and complex illness, Elizabeth began working in General Internal Medicine at the Toronto Western Hospital in 1999. Wanting to pursue the emotional aspects of caring, in 2000, she joined the Psychosocial Oncology Program at the largest cancer treatment centre in Canada and supported individuals and families from time of diagnosis to end-of-life.

In 2002, Elizabeth was privileged to become the first Palliative Social Worker at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and specialized in therapeutic interventions with individuals and families on the Acute Palliative Care Unit and in the Palliative Outpatient Clinics. Grateful for the experiences of working in Acute Palliative Care, but wanting to broaden access to Palliative Care in the community, Elizabeth launched her private practice in 2015 specializing in Palliative Care, offering psychosocial support to individuals and families of all ages facing complex illness, dying, grief and bereavement.

An experienced educator, Elizabeth highlights the value of compassion and communication in the context of coping with complex illness, grief and loss. She teaches courses, workshops and seminars to the general public, health science learners and healthcare professionals. She collaborates on numerous local, regional, provincial and national Hospice Palliative Care initiatives and has examined access to care and quality of life with findings published in peer-reviewed journals. Elizabeth is an Assistant Clinical Professor (Adjunct) with the Department of Family Medicine, Division of Palliative Care, Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University.