Victoria Hospice Staffing Update

As One Leader Retires, Another Steps Forward

Co-Authors: Wendy Wainwright (l) & Marney Thompson (r)At the end of February, 2019, Wendy Wainwright, a nationally-recognized champion of psychosocial care, retired after 36 years of dedicated service to Victoria Hospice.

The Director of Clinical Services since 2013, Wendy held many roles including Bereavement Coordinator, Manager of Counselling, Manager of Psychosocial Care, and Acting Executive Director. “Ever since Wendy hired me 25 years ago,” reflects community counsellor, Lucie Mattar, “she has been such a fantastic mentor. Wendy wrote the book on psychosocial care in a hospice setting.”

Wendy spearheaded and co-authored the first and second editions of Transitions in Dying and Bereavement: A Psychosocial Guide for Hospice and Palliative Care. In 2012, she also received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal at the CHPCA conference, has served as President of the BC Hospice Palliative Care Association, and was an active contributor to Canadian Virtual Hospice.

“We’re honouring Wendy as a colleague,” says Unit Counsellor, Michelle Dale. “Yet it also feels like we’re saying goodbye to a member of our extended family. For many of us Wendy has offered the wisdom and protection of a worldly big sister or fiercely protective mother.”

As Wendy moves to her next journey, Victoria Hospice is thrilled to announce a leadership role for Marney Thompson who accepted the position of Director of Psychosocial Services. (Click here to read about the new Director of Nursing Services.)

In 1989, Marney did her undergraduate practicum at Victoria Hospice and, in 1994, she was hired as a community counsellor working one half-day a week. Since then, she has increased her hours and deepened her commitment through counselling work on the unit, in the community, and on the PRT for ten years; as a bereavement counsellor for eight years; and as the Bereavement Coordinator for the past six years. Marney was also the first counsellor in Canada to be trained in Complicated Grief.

A skilled educator, published researcher, and expert in grief and loss, Marney was the first counsellor in Canada to be trained in Complicated Grief Treatment. She also co-authored Transitions in Dying and Bereavement: A Psychosocial Guide for Hospice and Palliative Care along with Wendy Wainwright – the second edition won third place in the 2017 American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award.

As Director of Psychosocial Services, Marney will play a key role leading and supporting a dedicated team of inpatient and community counsellors, spiritual health counsellors, child and youth, and bereavement counsellors. Her leadership, passion, and in-depth knowledge will serve us well as we expand our reach into the community and augment our psychosocial care services including bereavement support.

Quality palliative and end-of-life care for all: Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for those facing life-limiting illness, death and bereavement through patient and family centred care, education, research and advocacy.