Terry Downing recognized by Canadian Palliative Care Nursing Association with Leadership Award

Congratulations to Terry Downing, who received the 2024 Canadian Palliative Care Nursing Association (CPCNA) Palliative Care Nursing Leadership Award on May 9.

The award honours a member of the CPCNA whose practice reflects components of the mission and purpose of the organization and demonstrates extraordinary leadership through advocacy for high quality palliative care, through generating knowledge and research, establishing partnerships, and contributing to professional development of others through education, consultation, leadership, and mentorship. 

“Terry embodies the essence of what hospice and palliative care is all about,” says Victoria Hospice CEO Teri Henderson. “She leads by example as she mentors peers and colleagues to care well for people who are dying and their families. She is exceptionally skilled and committed to a high standard of practice and has been instrumental in leading and supporting the clinical team at Victoria Hospice for many decades. We’re grateful for her presence, her work, and her dedication and we’re delighted to see her recognized in this way.”

Here is an excerpt from the CPCNA media release:

Theresa (Terry) Downing is truly a pioneer in hospice palliative care. In a career spanning five decades, she began nursing in acute care hospitals in the 1970’s in Victoria, BC. After moving to Victoria Hospice in 1986, she established herself as a force in promoting good palliative care.  As a clinician, Terry’s expertise and compassion made her a trusted ally for those in need and an inspiration to her colleagues. Terry’s advocacy knew no bounds, and she has been a fierce champion for patients and families, ensuring they received the care and support they deserved. 

Forever the innovator, Terry helped to initiate the Victoria Hospice Palliative Response Team, the first team of its kind in Canada. Her participation in research projects, coupled with her eagerness to apply findings to practice, led to many publications and elevated the standard of care in various settings. Terry’s commitment to continuous learning is evident in her pursuit of new knowledge and skills. As a teacher and mentor, Terry has impacted care providers at local, provincial and national levels, reaching across many sectors, from nurses to Home Support Workers.

Her extraordinary leadership and unwavering commitment have propelled the field of palliative care forward in BC and beyond. Terry officially retired in February 2024, leaving a legacy that will endure for years to come. The CPCNA is proud to name Terry as the recipient of the 2024 Palliative Care Nursing Leadership Award.