Dr. Kimberley Widger is the 2019 recipient of the Pediatric Award of Excellence from the Canadian Network of Palliative Care for Children and the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association. Dr. Widger received this prestigious award in recognition of the incredible impact she has made on pediatric hospice palliative care nationally.
Dr. Widger has dedicated her nursing career to working with children who have life-threatening conditions – primarily those diagnosed with cancer. Dr. Widger’s vision is that every family of a child diagnosed with a life-threatening condition receives optimal pediatric palliative care throughout the illness regardless of where they receive care and the outcome of the illness. Through her research, she has tracked the evolution of pediatric hospice palliative care in Canada over time and demonstrated the impact of specialist pediatric palliative care services. This research has highlighted the need, importance, and deficiency of access to specialist care nationally and has been used to develop or expand services across the country. She also co-led a study with Dr. Adam Rapoport aimed at enhancing care quality through a national rollout of the Education in Palliative and End-of-Life Care (Pediatrics) curriculum. Through this project, funded by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and Health Canada, over 3400 health professionals in every province and territory in Canada received education on pediatric palliative care, resulting in improvements in the self-reported palliative care knowledge of these health professionals, and significantly earlier referrals to palliative care services and discussions of advanced care planning from before to after delivery of the curriculum. Her research has had a national impact on enhancing the quality of life for children who are facing a life-threatening condition and bereavement and their families.
Dr. Widger’s impressive list of accomplishments include:
- Career Development Award from the Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research
- Member of the Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel on Medical Assistance in Dying for Mature Minors
- Inaugural Member of the Canadian Nurses Association, Hospice Palliative Care Nurse Examination Committee
- Dissemination of research findings through 33 journal publications, 7 book chapters, and numerous presentations
- Awarded over $4.5 million in research funding as Principal or Co Investigator , including CIHR funding
- Accomplished and respected mentor and teacher at the Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing
It is because of her outstanding achievements and advocacy efforts in pediatric hospice palliative care that Dr. Widger is the 2019 recipient of the Pediatric Award of Excellence. Congratulations, Dr. Widger!